PSYC11008 - Biological Foundations of Psychology

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit you will be introduced to the biological bases of human behaviour. The content of the unit examines: the structures and functions of the brain and nervous system; sensory and perceptual processes; learning and memory; states of consciousness; and neurological disorders. The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) states that graduates of psychology must be able to comprehend and apply a broad range of knowledge including the neurological elements underpinning human experience and behaviour. The brain and nervous system are significant factors which contribute to the aetiology of psychological disorders and the maintenance of mental health. Consequently, a sound understanding of biological principles is essential to psychology students seeking future careers either as clinicians or as researchers. A further competency required by APAC is the ability to analyse and critique psychological theory and research, and be able communicate these findings in a written format. Psychologists are expected to become "scientist-practitioners" and you will learn how to conduct basic literature searches and communicate your findings in short written assessments using conventional APA style and formatting.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 3 - 2023

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 60%
2. Written Assessment 10%
3. Essay 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.8 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 30.5% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback
The Moodle site (particularly the assessments page) is not mobile friendly.
Improvements to the Moodle platform commencing Term 3 2020 will enable better access to content via mobile devices. Students will be encouraged to download and read text files detailing assessment instructions (rather than viewing the Moodle site).
Action Taken
The Moodle site has been simplified with fewer external resources and now follows the tile format. This is easier for students to navigate, especially for students using mobile platforms.
Source: Student feedback
Referencing should be taught within the unit given it is required for the assessment tasks.
Students will be encouraged to contact the Academic Learning Centre for guidance and tutoring support.
Action Taken
The Academic Learning Centre was very proactive in providing live tutorials and online learning resources.
Source: Student feedback
Several students expressed that the case studies were useful in understanding the relevance of biological psychology to future practice.
Continue to use case studies in lectures and tutorials and expand on the current repertoire.
Action Taken
Case studies will continue to be incorporated to illustrate potentially difficult concepts.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the major theories and principles underpinning biological psychology
  2. Conduct a basic literature search on a topic in biological psychology and compose a brief written submission which summarises current research
  3. Develop the capacity to link principles of biological psychology to perception, cognition, emotion and behaviour.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Essay
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10