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PSYC2032 Learning and Memory

Bachelor Course Unit


One Trimester


2nd Year

Credit points: 

6 (out of 144)



Mode(s) of Delivery:

Online and on-campus




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.

Unit Description

This unit explores the major theories of learning and how these theories relate to the development of new behaviour. A range of learning principles such as reward, punishment, avoidance, and classical conditioning are used to understand and explain psychological problems. Ways of intervening in psychological problems are derived from learning theories and are subsequently explored. Factors affecting memory are investigated including the theories of learning and memory in the context of individual differences. Finally, the interaction between learning and memory is examined to determine how psychological difficulties may emerge.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the major principles of learning
  • Articulate how principles of learning relate to intervention paradigms
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of individual and cultural differences that impact on learning and memory.
  • Critically evaluate the key processes involved in memory.
  • Identify the ways in which learning interacts with memory to produce psychological difficulties.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the current literature

 Unit Content

  • Introduction to Learning and Memory
  • Classical Conditioning
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Avoidance, Punishment and the Applications of Learning Theory
  • Learning by Observation
  • Verbal Learning, Implicit Learning and Learning Motor Skills
  • Theories of Memory
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Memory
  • Memory Development and Aging
  • Individual and Cultural Differences in Learning and Memory

Learning and Teaching Process

This unit is taught over 10 weeks and totals approximately 3 student contact hours per week. 

The unit comprises ten weekly topics, and students will participate in teaching and learning activities including: 

a)    Lectures

b)    Tutorials

c)     Online activities and exercises

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. Lecture attendance is encouraged but not compulsory. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory: students should attend, from Week 2, the tutorial class into which they are enrolled.

Assessment Summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space

Recommended Text

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

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. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.


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 trimester.