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.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
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 - 2020

Term 3 - 2020 Profile
Online
Term 1 - 2021 Profile
Adelaide
Bundaberg
Cairns
Online
Rockhampton
Townsville
Term 3 - 2021 Profile
Online

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 - 2019 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.8 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 43.25% 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: "Have your say" survey
Feedback
Students stated there were too many sources of help regarding APA formatting.
Recommendation
Consider directing students only to the APA Publication Manual and the CQUniversity guide.
Action Taken
The number of APA resources was reduced. The Moodle site now only includes links to sources which are the most useful and comprehensive.
Source: "Have your say" survey
Feedback
Occasionally students wanted to discuss points after the 2 hr lecture, but would be cut off due to the ISL time limit
Recommendation
Arrange for 1 hour ISL tutorial time after the 2 hour lecture to allow for discussion and questions.
Action Taken
A tutorial via Zoom was offered on Friday evenings which covered additional questions and material.
Source: "Have your say" survey
Feedback
Some students found the comments / questions from other students would occasionally take up too much time during lectures.
Recommendation
This type of discussion could be facilitated during the extra half hour after the lecture (see above recommendation).
Action Taken
There is always a balance to be struck between student contributions and covering the lecture content. Further discussions were held during the Friday tutorials.
Source: "Have your say" survey
Feedback
Students found the use of case studies and scenarios contributed to learning new concepts
Recommendation
Continue to incorporate the use of case studies and examples.
Action Taken
Future content will include case studies and clinical examples to illustrate key concepts and enable students to see the relevance of biological principles in psychology.
Source: "Have your say" survey
Feedback
Generally students found the level of feedback useful - especially in the first essay. This assisted students in refining the second essay.
Recommendation
Continue to provide detailed feedback to the first essay.
Action Taken
The first essay is due in week four. Feedback from this essay is incorporated into the second written assignment due in week eight.
Source: Have your say survey
Feedback
Students reported that the content was made relevant by incorporating examples and case studies.
Recommendation
Continue to incorporate case studies to illustrate the relevance of course content.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Have your say survey
Feedback
Students reported that the first few weeks were challenging and suggested that students could be informed that later content is easier.
Recommendation
The first few weeks are content heavy and include material related to neuroanatomy and neurochemistry. It is recommended that students be informed that early lectures serve as a foundation for later content and once the foundation is formed, learning becomes somewhat easier.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Have your say survey
Feedback
Some students stated it was difficult to know what was expected of them in assessments.
Recommendation
Next term it would be worthwhile taking students through the marking rubric and explaining what is required.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Have your say survey
Feedback
Several students commented that the on-campus tutors were instrumental in doing well in this unit.
Recommendation
Continue to offer on-campus tutors where possible. Continue to offer Zoom tutorials for distance students.
Action Taken
Nil.
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
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Essay
1 - Online Quiz(zes)