Course Title: Psychology of Stress

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Psychology of Stress

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr Mandy Kienhuis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7400

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.03.14D

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to biopsychosocial models of stress. It aims to help students build an experientially informed, coherent theoretical understanding of:

  • causes, moderating variables, and responses to stress
  • stress in several social contexts
  • a range of effective coping strategies

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is a University Student Elective available to students from various disciplines and program across RMIT.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Articulate an organised and coherent understanding of stress and coping theory informed by reading, discussion, and reflection on experience.
  2. Critically evaluate several different theories of stress.
  3. Explain individual differences in response to stress.
  4. Describe the transactional nature of stress that occurs in social contexts.
  5. Develop knowledge of the skills required for managing stress effectively.
  6. Apply knowledge of stress management skills effectively to a range of contexts

Overview of Learning Activities

Theoretical and conceptual material from prescribed readings will be critically examined, synthesised and applied through a range of activities including individual and small group exercises, reflection, and discussion.
Self-guided preparation will provide students with an opportunity to take increased responsibility for their own learning. Students are expected to prepare for class each week by reading the prescribed reading.
Theoretical and conceptual material from the readings will be discussed in the lectures/seminars and content applied through a range of activities, including individual and group exercises, reflection, and discussion.
set of written exercises will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of stress theories, concepts, and stress management strategies, and to reflect on the application of this knowledge to their own experience.
The end of semester exam provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate the consolidation and critical synthesis of both theoretical and experiential knowledge of stress.


Teacher Guided Hours: 36 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 72 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

Combination of text book and online resources.

A Library Subject Guide is available at

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Tasks


Early Assessment Task: Online quiz

Weighting 5%

Students will complete an online quiz to test their understanding of the introductory topic content. More information about this quiz will be provided in class.

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2

Assessment Task 2: Written assignments

Weighting 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

Assessment Task 3: Exam (MCQ)

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6