• Offered by Research School of Psychology
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Psychology
  • Areas of interest Human Sciences, Social Work, Medical Science, Psychology, Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Kristen Pammer
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Understanding how people think and behave is one of the greatest challenges facing science. Considering brain processes and the biological constraints on behaviour is vital in discerning human behaviour and subsequent behavioural pathology. There are three lecture streams in PSYC1003: Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Research Design & Statistics.

Some of the questions that we would cover would be: The ethics of human and animal research - do scientific gains justify human and non-human research? Scientific theory and objectivity - can you become a more clever consumer? Heredity and behaviour - is behaviour hardwired, are people born bad? Phineas Gage lost the entire front of his brain: he survived but it changed his behaviour - what does brain damage tell us about brain function and human behaviour? In two minds - what happens to behaviour when the pathway between the two brain hemispheres is cut? Smoking, spiders, rats and sex - how do positive and negative consequences shape behaviour? Memory and memory processes - why do we remember, how do we forget, and what is the best way to study for an exam? Language and communication - does language shape thought? We know about 60000 words, how do we recognise, read and manipulate these words, how does the brain deal with it? Chomsky vs. Skinner - is language innate? 10% of the population has dyslexia - what is dyslexia and what do we know about it? And is our early childhood experience really so crucial to how we organize our behaviour in adulthood.

 Can you study the mind scientifically? In compulsory laboratory classes you will develop skills in the planning, implementation, analysis and presentation of psychological research.

No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course, nevertheless it is anticipated that students enrolling in PSYC1003 will also enrol in PSYC1004. Completion of both PSYC1003 and PSYC1004 is required for most later year psychology courses. All lectures are digitally streamed as far as possible, and lecture content is available on line.

Honours Pathway Option

Entry to this option will be subject to the approval of the course convenor. The Research School of Psychology has major research strengths in three fields: social psychology, cognition and perception, and clinical/health psychology. In the Honours Pathway Option (HPO), first year students have the opportunity to explore work on advanced topics related to one of these broad areas. PSYC1003 students who take the HPO are required to prepare and develop a scientific presentation on an area of psychological science relating to cognition and perception. (PSYC1004 offers similar opportunities in other areas of psychology).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Psychology 1003 involves three content modules. The content modules cover Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods and Statistics. By the end of the semester, we hope that you will have achieved a deep theoretical and applied understanding of each of these areas. Moreover, you should also develop an ability to access psychological information using the database PsycInfo and the ANU library catalogue, familiarity with Wattle, the ability to write a psychology laboratory report, and an understanding of academic honesty (including a clear understanding of plagiarism and how to reference correctly in psychology).

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Report, analzye and integrate information on the biological basis of behaviour, cognitive process, and research methods and statistics in psychology
2. Express a knowledge of the foundations of research and methods in cognitive and biological psychology
3. Review and integrate the relevant material in cognitive psychology or biological psychology; construct an argument; develop hypothesis. Report properly an experiment in cognitive psychology or the biological basis of behaviour
4. Discuss research findings in cognitive and biological psychology
5. Use statistical and research methods
6. Understand and report on the nature and practice of psychological research in an ethical environment.

The Psyc1003 laboratory program consists of a variety of experimental exercises and laboratory classes designed to:


1. Illustrate and develop competence in a range of Psychological techniques and skills.

2. Emphasise the importance of a quantitative analytical approach to psychology.

3. Develop an awareness of the scope and limitation of experimental observation and accuracy.

4. Develop your skills in discussion and debate around core theoretical principals in psychology.

Indicative Assessment

  • Laboratory quizzes (30%; LO 2, 5, 6)
  • Research report (25%; LO 1- 6)
  • Research participation (5%; LO 6)
  • Final exam (40%; LO 1, 2, 5)
  • HPO students: a poster presentation is an additional assessment item in 2009.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Three hours of lectures per week and nine 2-hour laboratory classes spread across the semester, plus five hours of research participation (or equivalent).

Prescribed Texts

Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalsi, R. (2015). Psychology: 4th Australian and New Zealand Edition. John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

Haslam, A., & McGarty, C. (2014). Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology: 2nd Edition.SAGE Publications Ltd, London




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1544 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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