PSYC2032 Learning and Memory

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


2nd year

Credit points:

6 (out of 144)




This second year unit will introduce you to key theories, findings and methodologies in the study of learning and memory in psychology, and combine evidence from the fields of behavioural science, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. It will also look at the clinical applications of learning and memory theory, and consider the cultural and individual differences that contribute to the wealth of human behaviour.

Learning and Teaching Process

This unit comprises ten (10) weekly 2.5 hour lectures and nine (9) weekly 1 hour tutorials.  Lectures commence in Week 1 of the trimester and will be captured electronically at the time of delivery and will automatically be made available online within the following 24 hours. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory; students should attend, from Week 2, the tutorial class into which they are enrolled.

All students are provided with secure online access to comprehensive unit learning resources via the Student Portal. Unit Coordinators, Lecturers, and Student Support staff are available to students (in all modes of delivery) at designated times via email and telephone contact throughout the duration of the unit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

a) Demonstrate an understanding of the major principles of learning

b) Articulate how principles of learning relate to intervention paradigms

c) Demonstrate a critical awareness of individual and cultural differences that impact on learning and memory.

d) Critically evaluate the key processes involved in memory.

e) Identify the ways in which learning interacts with memory to produce psychological difficulties.

f) Demonstrate a critical understanding of the current literature

Unit content

Week Lecture Topic Tutorial Topic

Introduction to learning and memory

No tutorial Wk 1

Classical conditioning 

Classical and operant conditioning

Operant conditioning

Data collection for the research report


Avoidance, punishment and the applications of learning theory

Applications of learning theory


Learning by observation

Observational learning

Verbal learning, implicit learning and learning motor skills

Research report writing

Theories of memory

Research report writing II 


Short-term and long-term memory

Verbal learning vs. the learning of motor skills  


Short-term and long-term memory

Episodic memory


Individual and cultural differences in learning and memory

Long term memory and forgetting. Revision

Assessment Summary

Type Weighting Length
Assessment 1: Behavioural Modification Report 20% 1000 words
Assessment 2: Research Report 30% 2000 words
Assessment 3: Final Exam 50% 100 Multiple Choice Questions; 2 hour time limit


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time.