BESC1021 Introduction to Psychology

Bachelor Course Unit

BESC1021 Introduction to Psychology

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: None

Unit description

This unit focuses on understanding psychological theory and its application to life. It provides students with an understanding of:

  • psychology as a social science
  • the biological basis of behaviour
  • psychological development through the lifespan
  • sensation and perception
  • states of consciousness
  • memory, learning and conditioning theories
  • cognition, language, creativity and intelligence
  • motivation and emotion
  • personality
  • psychological disorders and their treatment
  • health, stress and coping

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • demonstrate and describe the role of psychology in various areas of life
  • demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a social science
  • use basic terminology and concepts of psychological theory
  • apply psychological theories to your own life

Unit content

  • Introduction to Psychology and the Biological Bases of Behaviour
  • The Science of Psychology: Tools and Research Methods
  • Psychological Development through the Lifespan
  • Personality: Theory, Research and Assessment
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Health, Stress and Coping
  • States of Consciousness
  • Memory, Learning and Conditioning
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Cognition, Language, Creativity and Intelligence
  • Psychological Disorders and Social Issues
  • Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Regular Term



Word count


Academic Essay




Academic Essay




Summer School (2014)



Word count


Reflective Journal and Integrative Statement


Reflective Journal (600) and evidence of completed activity 6.2 & 6.3 (400)


Academic Essay




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Knowledge of the framework of counselling theory, and a foundational understanding of the major theories of counselling 
  • Understanding of and the appropriate application of counselling skills in a range of contexts and circumstances
  • Understanding what constitutes ethical practice in counselling interactions
  • The ability to effectively and appropriately apply the micro and macro skills of counselling
  • The ability to recognise major transition points in human development and major forms of mental illness and know when and how to appropriately refer clients

Recommended text

Weiten, W., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2013). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Relevant journals

American Behavioral Scientist
Australian Psychologist
Basic and Applied Social Psychology
Brain Behavior and Evolution
British Journal of Psychology
International Journal of Psychology
Journal for Theory of Social Behaviour
Journal of Social Psychology
Psychology and Health
Psychology Review
Psychology Today
Social Behaviour and Personality: An International Journal
The Journal of General Psychology
The Journal of Psychology

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of semester.