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HPS111 - Psychology A: Fundamentals of Human Behaviour


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 3, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of trimester.

Last updated: 5 October 2020

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), CBD*, Warrnambool, Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Trimester 3: Cloud (online)

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Mathew Ling
Trimester 2: Ruth Tatnell
Trimester 3: Michael Barham




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 2 hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

1 x 2 hour cloud (online) seminar per week


*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery


This introductory unit explores the fundamental principles underpinning the study of human psychology. As such, it will cover the definition and scope of the discipline of psychology; the primitive roots of our behaviour; the neurological structures and processes that are responsible for our mental life; and the important elements in our adapting to the world as individuals such as learning and intelligence.

This unit will provide an integrated and challenging introduction to psychology as a science, while also providing training in important skills for tertiary education as a whole through the seminar series. In completing this unit, students will gain new insights into the science of behaviour, a mastery of important research and writing skills, and a strong platform for learning advanced topics in psychology.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit
At the completion of this Unit, successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
ULO1 Develop an understanding of the biological bases of human behaviour and the foundations of individual adaptation to environmental challenges.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO8: Global citizenship


Develop an evidence-based position on an issue pertinent to psychology.

GLO2: Communication
GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO5: Problem solving

ULO3 Develop proficiency in self-directed learning both in structured (knowledge video) and unstructured (research for written assessments) contexts.

GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving
GLO6: Self-management

ULO4 Construct a critical analysis of a piece of popular press with reference to scholarly literature.

GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving

ULO5 Develop real-world professional and academic skills in researching, reading of technical documents, planning, drafting, and editing.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving
GLO6: Self-management
GLO8: Global citizenship


Assessment description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1: Critical response essay 800 words 20%
  • Week 6
Assessment 2: Academic essay 1,200 words 30%
  • Week 11
Assessment 3: Online quizzes 3 quizzes 20%
  • Weeks 4, 7, 11 
Assessment 4: Multiple Choice Examination 90 minutes 30%
  • Examination period

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: HPS111 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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