• Offered by School of Medicine and Psychology
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Psychology
  • Areas of interest Psychology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

In this course three key areas of psychology will be introduced: social psychology, personality psychology & biological psychology. 

The course will chart key developments, theories and foundational research that continues to have an impact on current approaches. The course will address the big questions in psychology, such as: How does the social environment influences the way people think, feel and behave?; Are there stable personality traits that determine people’s behaviours across time and different situations?; How flexible is the human brain in adapting to changing life circumstances and injuries?

No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course. Students can enrol in PSYC1004 before completion of PSYC1003. Completion of both PSYC1003 and PSYC1004 is required for most later-year psychology courses.

This course has an Honours Pathway Option

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe key theories and topics in social psychology including humans as social animals, social norms, social influence, stereotyping and prejudice.
  2. Describe key models of personality, including trait, psychodynamic, and biological models.
  3. Describe the structural components of the brain, and biological mechanism and how they relate to elements of human behaviour and behavioural disorders.
  4. Understand and critically analyse theoretical and empirical material in social, personality and biological psychology.
  5. Develop the ability to integrate information from multiple (sometimes conflicting) sources, construct a logical argument and effectively communicate it through writing, either in the fields of biological, social, or personality psychology, in the form of a research essay.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research Essay (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Question Generation and Review (or HPO - see below) (5) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Research Participation (5) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Mid Semester Exam (20) [LO 1,4]
  5. End of Semester Exam (40) [LO 2,3,4]
  6. The HPO assessment varies from year to year but is designed to build and strengthen basic research skills and will be worth 5% of the final mark. It will replace 'question generation and review' in the course. (0) [LO 4]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 hours of lectures per week (1 x 2 hour lecture and 1x 1 hour lecture) plus 7 x 2 hours laboratory classes spread across the semester plus 5 hours research participation.
  • Approximately 75 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Psychology) (BSPSY), Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (APSYC), Bachelor of Science (BSC), Bachelor of Arts (BARTS), Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) (PhB), Bachelor of Health Science (BHLTH), Bachelor of Design (BDESN), Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) – Humanities and Social Sciences (AHUSS) or Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) (ASCAD).

Prescribed Texts

Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalsi, R. (2015). Psychology: 5th Australian and New Zealand Edition. John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4560
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6164 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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