Course Title: Psychology 4

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Psychology 4

Credit Points: 90.00

Important Information:





Course Title (30 including spaces)

VCE Psychology Unit 4




Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


360T Education


Term2 2019,
Term2 2020,
Term 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Natasha Biltoft

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4782

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 108.05.006

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

To continue to Unit 4, satisfactory completion of Unit 3 must be achieved.

Course Description

Psychology is a broad discipline that incorporates both the scientific study of human behaviour through biological, psychological and social perspectives and the systematic application of this knowledge to personal and social circumstances in everyday life.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This study enables students to:

• apply psychological models, theories and concepts to describe, explain and analyse observations and ideas related to human thoughts, emotions and behaviour

• examine the ways that a biopsychosocial approach can be applied to organise, analyse and extend knowledge in psychology

and more broadly to:

• understand the cooperative, cumulative, evolutionary and interdisciplinary nature of science as a human endeavour, including its possibilities, limitations and political and sociocultural influences

• develop a range of individual and collaborative science investigation skills through experimental and inquiry tasks in the field and in the laboratory

• develop an informed perspective on contemporary science-based issues of local and global significance

• apply their scientific understanding to familiar and to unfamiliar situations, including personal, social, environmental and technological contexts

• develop attitudes that include curiosity, open-mindedness, creativity, flexibility, integrity, attention to detail and respect for evidence-based conclusions

• understand and apply the research, ethical and safety principles that govern the study and practice of the discipline in the collection, analysis, critical evaluation and reporting of data

• communicate clearly and accurately an understanding of the discipline using appropriate terminology, conventions and formats.

How is wellbeing developed and maintained?

  1. How do levels of consciousness affect mental processes and behaviour?   Differences in levels of awareness of sensations, thoughts and surroundings influence individuals’ interactions with their environment and with other people. In this area of study students focus on states of consciousness and the relationship between consciousness and thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They explore the different ways in which consciousness can be studied from physiological and psychological perspectives and how states of consciousness can be altered. Students consider the nature and importance of sleep and apply biological, psychological and social factors to analyse the effects of sleep disturbances on psychological functioning, including mood, cognition and behaviour.


  1. What influences mental wellbeing?   In this area of study, students examine what it means to be mentally healthy. They explore the concept of a mental health continuum and factors that explain how location on the continuum for an individual may vary over time. They apply a biopsychosocial approach to analyse mental health and mental disorder, and evaluate the roles of predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating and protective factors in contributing to a person’s mental state. Specific phobia is used to illustrate how a biopsychosocial approach can be used to explain how biological, psychological and social factors are involved in the development and management of a mental disorder. Students explore the concepts of resilience and coping and investigate the psychological basis of strategies that contribute to mental wellbeing.


  1. Practical Investigation The investigation requires the student to identify an aim, develop a question, formulate a research hypothesis including operationalised variables and plan a course of action to answer the question and that takes into account safety and ethical guidelines. Students then undertake an experiment that involves the collection of primary qualitative and/or quantitative data, analyse and evaluate the data, identify limitations of data and methods, link experimental results to science ideas, reach a conclusion in response to the question and suggest further investigations which may be undertaken. Results are communicated in a scientific poster format according to the VCAA template.  A practical work folio must be maintained by the student for record, authentication and assessment purposes.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will take place in a classroom setting.  It will involve face-to-face teaching, class discussions and practical/experimental activities in class.  Student-directed learning out of the classroom will also be expected.  This will usually involve reading, research, practical and learning activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be required to purchase a prescribed textbook from the VCE booklist to support your learning in this course.  Additional material from other texts and study notes will be provided in order to further develop and extend your understanding of the material.

RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems (e.g. CANVAS).

Overview of Assessment

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on the teacher’s decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. Demonstration of achievement of outcomes and satisfactory completion of a unit are determined by evidence gained through the assessment of a range of learning activities and tasks. This course has been developed to provide appropriate opportunities for students to demonstrate satisfactory achievement of outcomes. The decision about satisfactory completion of a unit is distinct from the assessment of levels of achievement. Schools will report a student’s result for each unit to the VCAA as S (Satisfactory) or N (Not Satisfactory).

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks in detailed written comments; a designated grade and a personal conversation allowing interpretation of the written comments and areas of improvement.

Feedback is also provided on general progress at the relevant time and at intervals when major projects are being conducted.

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate or vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. Students can contact their relevant Year Level Coordinator for more information.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which can be found on the RMIT University website.