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PSY1010 Foundation Psychology A

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Carla Jeffries
Moderator: Michelle Adamson


Psychology is concerned with understanding why people act and think as they do and how people differ. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the major concepts, techniques, and theoretical perspectives in psychology. Students will gain an appreciation of the main fields within the discipline and learn about the standard format for referencing in psychology.


This course is designed to provide students with an overall perspective of the scope, nature, and methods of psychology. The major concepts of developmental psychology, personality, cross-cultural psychology, psychological disorders, therapy, health, and social psychology are introduced. Students will learn the correct procedures for citing references and putting together a reference list in the format recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA).


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate ethical research and enquiry by recognising the guidelines for the conduct of psychological research and identifying how to evaluate a study critically;
  2. demonstrate problem solving by showing a knowledge of the basic concepts and techniques of psychology;
  3. demonstrate academic and professional literacy by showing an understanding of the scope of psychology and its major contemporary perspectives and the relationship between its fields;
  4. demonstrate academic and professional literacy by searching and synthesising material obtained from refereed books, journals, databases, and electronic resources;
  5. demonstrate written communication skills by completing exercises and planning and writing a psychology essay that apply the style and format requirements outlined in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association;
  6. demonstrate cultural literacy skills by identifying how culture shapes the identities of people, including indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand, and describing efforts to promote cross-cultural communications and relationships;
  7. demonstrate management, planning, and organisation skills by setting and achieving their study goals.


Description Weighting(%)
1. What is Psychology? - defining psychology - history of psychology - psychology in Australia and New Zealand - perspectives in psychology 10.00
2. Developmental Psychology - issues in development psychology - studying development - prenatal development - childhood: physical, cognitive, and social development - adolescence: physical, cognitive, and social development - adulthood: physical, cognitive, and social development 15.00
3. Cross-cultural and Indigenous Psychology - culture and psychology - culture and its context - cross-cultural relations - indigenous psychology - promoting cross-cultural interactions 10.00
4. Personality - psychodynamic theories - cognitive-social theories - trait theories - humanistic theories - genetics, personality & culture - sociocultural perspective - measurement of personality 10.00
5. Psychological Disorders - culture and psychopathology - approaches to psychopathology - classifying psychological disorders - childhood disorders - anxiety, dissociative, and somatoform disorders - mood disorders - schizophrenia - eating disorders - substance related disorders - personality disorders 15.00
6. Treatment of Psychological Disorders - mental health services - defining therapy - psychodynamic therapies - humanistic therapies - cognitive-behaviour therapies - group and family therapies - biological treatments - evaluating psychological treatments 15.00
7. Health, Stress and Coping - theories of health behaviour - health compromising behaviours - barriers to health promotion - defining stress - sources of stress - moderators of stress - stress and health - coping mechanisms 10.00
8. Social Psychology - attitudes - social cognition - the self-relationships - altruism - aggression - social influence 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Burton, LJ 2010, An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Australia.
  • Burton, LJ, & Younger, A 2012, Study guide to accompany Psychology: 3rd Australian and New Zealand edition, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Burton, LJ, Westen, D, & Kowalski, R 2007, Cyberpsych Multimedia CD-Rom Version 2.0.
  • Burton, LJ, Westen, D, & Kowalski, R 2012, Psychology: 3rd Australian and New Zealand edition, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Australia.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • American Psychological Association 2010, Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edn, APA, Washington, DC.
  • Bernstein, DA, Penner, DA, Clarke-Stewart, A, & Roy, EJ 2006, Psychology, 8th edn, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
  • Bourne, LE (Jr) & Russo, NR 1998, Psychology: behavior in context, WW Norton, New York.
  • Coon, D & Mitterer, D 2010, Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior, 12th edn, Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA.
  • Myers, DG 2006, Psychology, 8th edn, Freeman, New York.
  • Wade, C & Tavris, C 2006, Psychology, 8th edn, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Weiten, W 2007, Psychology: Themes and variations with critical thinking applications, 7th edn, Thomson/Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 86.00
Tutorials 13.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
APA STYLE EXERCISES 30 15 26 Mar 2012
ESSAY 30 30 14 May 2012
2 HR M/C RESTRICTED EXAM 100 50 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the student's responsibility to actively participate in all classes scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each of the assessment items to be awarded a passing grade in the course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    Final grades for students will be determined by the addition of the marks obtained in each assessment item, weighted as in the Assessment details and by considering the students' level of achievement of the objectives of the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination; English translation dictionaries (but not technical dictionaries); Formula sheets; Translation dictionary. With the Examiner's approval, candidates may, take an appropriate non-electronic translation dictionary into the examination. This will be subject to perusal and, if it is found to contain annotations or markings that could give the candidate an unfair advantage, it may be removed from the candidate's possession until the appropriate disciplinary action is completed.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Students who, for medical family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. Any deferred examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  2. Students do not need to request an extension in advance from the Examiner if they submit their assignment within one week of the due date. However, they still do need to provide a written statement explaining why they are not submitting their assignment on the original due date. Assignments submitted more than one week after the due date, without an extension approved by the Examiner, will attract penalties as in Statement 3 above. Extensions will usually not be granted for workload reasons unless it can be shown that your work commitments prior to the due date for the assignment were above and beyond your normal duties or responsibilities. In such cases, a letter from your employer would be required. If you think you have grounds for an extension, you must apply in advance. A covering letter and appropriate documentation must be submitted with the assignment. No assignment will be accepted after marked copies have been returned to students.

  3. As there are resources cited in the Study Materials that are available of the World Wide Web, and a discussion group that will be used throughout the course, students undertaking this course will require access to email and Internet access to UConnect to enable them to participate fully in the course.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.