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PSY4040 Advanced Psychological Theory

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 21 July 2014

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Examiner: Nola Passmore
Moderator: Charlotte Brownlow


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in Program BSCH in Psychology major (12302) or Program BPSH


An advanced understanding of psychological theory forms the foundation for research that informs the way we understand and respond to current social issues. Psychologists can inform state and federal policy makers, and assist individuals, groups, organisations and communities through the application of psychological theory and scientific principles within a context of culturally sensitive communication and consultation.


The aim of this course is to further develop students' critical understanding of several core theoretical models of human behaviour, with a view to applying those theoretical perspectives to various current issues faced by contemporary Australians. Students will use research evidence to critically evaluate the theories in order to gain a greater understanding of particular current psychosocial issues, and to develop suitable evidence-based interventions that are ethically sound, consistent with theory, and sensitive to diversity issues in 21st century Australian society such as culture, gender, age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status. Strengths and limitations of the proposed interventions will also be considered.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. understand and critically evaluate a range of psychological theories that could be applied to current psychosocial issues in Australian society;
  2. identify and assess a range of current psychosocial issues that affect individual, group, organisational, and/or community wellbeing; and describe the antecedents, possible consequences, and potential impact at various systemic or community levels;
  3. develop ethical, evidence-based strategies or interventions that address the psychosocial issues, thereby enhancing psychological health and wellbeing;
  4. identify relevant diversity issues that must be considered in developing and applying these interventions (e.g., culture, gender, age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status).


Description Weighting(%)
1. This course will focus on the advancement of students' critical understanding of various psychological theories that explain human behaviour from a range of differing perspectives. This understanding will be developed through comparisons of various theoretical frameworks and the application of these perspectives to issues faced by Australians today. Specific topics will vary depending on the expertise and discipline areas of staff involved in the course and the issues that are topical during the semester in which the course is run. Students will be given more specific detail about topics at the start of the semester. 100.00

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. (

  • There is no set textbook for the course, as journal articles make up the bulk of the readings. The examiner will provide more information at the workshops.

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.
  • Readings will depend on the issues discussed in the course and the project chosen by the student. More information will be given at the workshops.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 63.00
Private Study 70.00
Test 2.00
Workshops 32.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CASE STUDY TEST 50 50 24 Sep 2013 (see note 1)
PROJECT REPORT 50 50 11 Oct 2013

  1. The case study test will be held on campus during the scheduled workshop time for the course.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Attendance at the on-campus workshops is compulsory. It is the student's responsibility 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:
    To complete the assignment and test satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the assignment and test. If students obtain less than 50%, they may be required to resubmit the assessment item or do other make-up work.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) 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.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the Summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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 the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours of receipt of a request from the Examiner.

  3. Students require email and internet access for this course.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use 6th edition 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.