PSYC2032 Learning and Memory

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


2nd year

Credit points: 

6 (out of 144)



Mode(s) of delivery:

On-campus and Online Delivery




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:

  • Describe major principles of learning and provide examples.
  • Articulate how principles of learning relate to intervention paradigms
  • Identify a range of individual and cultural differences that impact on learning and memory
  • Describe the key processes involved in memory
  • Identify the ways in which learning interacts with memory to produce psychological difficulties

 Unit content

  • Introduction to learning and memory
  • Classical conditioning
  • Operant conditioning
  • Avoidance, punishment and the applications of learning theory
  • Learning by observation
  • Implicit learning and learning motor skills
  • Theories of memory
  • Working memory
  • Long term memory
  • Forgetting and individual differences in learning and memory

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly three hour lectures and 9 weekly one hour Tutorials. Attendance at Tutorials is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. Lectures will be captured electronically at the time of delivery. These recordings of the slide content and oral presentation will be available for downloading as soon as it is feasible after the lecture.

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.

**you must have completed PSYC2012 or enrol into PSYC2012 at the same time.