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Psychological Science: Theory & Practice (PSYC30021)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codePSYC30021
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This Capstone subject draws together students’ undergraduate experiences in psychology by emphasising links between the science and practice of psychology in contemporary life.

In the lecture series, students engage with topics relating to current applications of psychological research and practice such as the ethical practice of psychology and the measurement of attitudes, behaviour, and behavioural change as related to contemporary issues such as climate change, indigenous cultural respect, drug addiction, and psychological health and wellbeing.

In the research seminars, students work in small groups to design and conduct a research project under the supervision of an academic researcher.

Together, the lecture and research streams prepare students for further studies in psychology or to enter the workplace having developed skills in applying psychological knowledge, conducting research, working collaboratively, and communicating effectively about psychological theories and findings. Students’ achievements are celebrated in a final poster presentation evening at which the research conducted by groups over the semester is presented to peers and academic staff.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the subject students should demonstrate knowledge of:

  • The key research findings that underpin psychological science and how these can be applied to psychological practice and contemporary social issues
  • The principles of ethical research and practice in psychology, with reference to the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics and NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
  • An awareness of and respect for diverse experiences and culture, including specific reference to the experiences and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


On completion of the subject students should have developed skills to:

  • Translate psychological research questions into meaningful and appropriate methods of investigation.
  • Critically review the literature in an area of psychological inquiry to inform clearly motivated research questions.
  • Interpret data accurately on the basis of appropriate analytical methods.
  • Evaluate and draw conclusions from research findings.
  • Communicate psychological research findings effectively in oral and written formats.

Application of knowledge and skills
On completion of this subject students should be able to apply their knowledge and skills to:

  • Apply psychological concepts and theories to problems of behavioural change in a range of contexts such as home, workplace, community and global settings.
  • Work both collaboratively and independently to solve problems posed in psychology
  • Apply psychological knowledge reflexively to evaluate personal biases and assumptions, especially in relation to ethical reasoning and cultural respect.
  • Reflect on the development of their psychological knowledge and skills and articulate these in relation to identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of further study in psychology, and/or entering the workplace.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have developed skills in:

  • Literature review and research methods;
  • Critical thinking and analysis of arguments;
  • Reflective thinking and self-evaluation;
  • Giving and receiving feedback;
  • Goal setting, time management and self-directed learning;
  • Effective written and oral communication;
  • Sensitivity to ethical issues and cultural diversity;
  • Working effectively in a team to design, execute and present a collaborative project.

Last updated: 9 October 2019