Course Title: Psychology 1b (Normal and Abnormal)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Psychology 1b (Normal and Abnormal)

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence

Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010

Course Coordinator: Mervyn Jackson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7367

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is one of two offered at first year level. This course introduces the student to three areas of psychology, namely individual differences, psychopathology, and social psychology. Specific lecture topics include: introduction to psychology and its scientific nature; the study and assessment of individual differences; the psycho-dynamic, humanistic, trait, and behavioural theories of personality; the theories of psychological abnormality and classification of disorders; and social psychological areas of attitude formation and change, social influences on behaviour, and group processes.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Students will develop the following capabilities:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of psychology as the scientific study of human behaviour.
2. Describe the nature of individual differences in humans
3. Compare and contrast the major theories of personality: psychoanalytic, humanistic, trait, cognitive, and behavioural accounts
4. Explain and compare the major theories of abnormality
5. Explain and compare the major theories of social psychology
6. Students develop responsibility for critically reading and revising their own writing

Students learning outcomes will include an ability to demonstrate an understanding of psychology as the scientific study of human behaviour; to explain and compare the major theories associated with individual differences, major theories of personality, theories of abnormality, and major theories of social psychology.

Overview of Learning Activities

Online/Web-based learning - Students will access online and web-based modules to acquire a framework of relevant knowledge and an understanding of underlying theoretical / conceptual material

Written exercises/Essay - Students completing the written exercises and the essay assessment engage in a critical analysis of relevant knowledge and underlying theoretical / conceptual material. Students develop responsibility for a synthesis of knowledge and the ability to apply this knowledge to their field of interest. Students acquire problem solving skills, and the ability to critically analyse papers from research journals.

Examination Tasks – preparing and sitting for exams will allow students to develop the skills and attitudes necessary to enhance performance under these and related conditions.

Overview of Learning Resources

A text book will be set for this course
Course material is also available through the Learning Hub for this course

Overview of Assessment

One 2-hour examination
One essay 
Written assignments