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PSYC5232 Learning and Memory Advanced

Graduate Diploma Unit


One Trimester


Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science – AQF Level 8

Credit points:

6 (out of 54)



Mode(s) of Delivery:





This 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:

  • Critically analyse major principles of learning and provide examples.
  • Analyse and 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.
  • Analyse the ways in which learning interacts with memory to produce psychological difficulties.
  • Critically evaluate the current literature
  • Demonstrate the ability to write a psychological report at an advanced level

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 ageing 
  • 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.

Recommended Text(s)

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 full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.

Parallel Teaching Statement

This unit involves parallel teaching. In order to ensure the required coverage of psychology and meet the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Standards, students enrolled in this unit will attend the same lectures as undergraduate students enrolled in the second and third years of the psychology sequence. To ensure learning at the appropriate level, however, students enrolled in this unit will attend separate laboratory and/or tutorial sessions from the undergraduate students. These sessions, rather than focusing on reinforcing the learning of material presented in lectures, are designed to extend this learning in more depth and at an advanced level. This will involve students preparing for these sessions by reading more advanced material. Assessment tasks also differ from the parallel undergraduate unit to ensure students are able to demonstrate the higher level of learning that is required for successful completion of the unit.


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 on the online class space.