University of Technology Sydney

96833 Introduction to Psychological Science

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health (GEM)
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Psychology is a diverse field which seeks to understand human behaviour and mental processes. This is one of two subjects that introduces students to the core concepts and methods of psychological science, and builds a foundation of skills in academic report writing and critical thinking. Students explore the history and philosophy of psychology and some of the principles underlying psychology’s scientific approach to the study of mind and behaviour. Students learn about leading psychological theories across a range of psychology's major subfields and explore how biology, learning, cognition, motivation, and emotion filter experience. Such insights help us to better understand human behaviour and individual differences, and foster values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

011. Describe key concepts, principles, and theories in psychology
012. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychology's major subfields and key theories in psychology
014. Describe historically important perspectives (e.g., theoretical orientations) in psychological science
015. Describe examples of relevant and practical applications of psychological principles to everyday life
024. Define psychological research concepts in a research study
040. Express knowledge of the terminology, logic, and procedures used in research
057. Describe the roles of whiteness, power and dominance and the manner in which these are manifest and influence and shape understandings, realities and experiences
068. Craft clear and concise communications to fulfill a purpose and address specific audiences
071. Organise ideas to fit a project's purpose and length
075. Summarise main ideas from psychology sources and research
094. Participate in relevant activities to gain experience in the application of psychological methods and interventions

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

The learning outcomes for this subject are as follows:

  • Culturally Appropriate: Evaluate knowledge and skills required for research and professional practice that is sensitive to diversity of individuals, culturally appropriate, and cognisant of the impacts of ongoing colonisation on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. (1.1)
  • Psychological Literacy: Apply psychological science to meet personal, professional, and societal goals. (2.1)
  • Research and Communication: Analyse, critique, and communicate theory and research in psychology. (2.2)
  • Lifelong Learning: Assemble knowledge, skills and attributes required for self-directed pursuit of scholarly inquiry in psychology and for ongoing personal and professional development. (3.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Culturally responsive

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Psychology are culturally responsive professionals, able to reflect on and explain their own cultural perspectives and cultural differences, particularly in the context of working with and for Indigenous Australians.

2. Psychologically and technologically literate

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Psychology understand psychology and behaviour from an evidence-based perspective, can apply psychological science to real-world problems, and are competent in the analysis and critique research.

3. Lifelong learner

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Psychology appreciate the importance of lifelong learning and are equipped to undertake ongoing learning for personal and professional development.

Teaching and learning strategies

Orientation activities

Preparation for the session - You are expected to undertake activities during orientation week. These activities are designed to introduce you to the subject and your peers and will assist you to prepare for the subject's assessment tasks.

Independent learning activities

Relevant readings, videos and activities will be made available online relevant to the topic of the week. This will support your ability to progress successfully throughout the subject and complete assessment items effectively. The online material aims to enhance your understanding of the topic or delve deeper into a more specific area, compare experiences and ideas with others and gain feedback. Information and links to all these learning activities can be accessed via Canvas as well as the subject outline.

Zoom meetings

You are strongly encouraged to attend all scheduled Zoom meetings as they will prepare you for the subject’s assessment tasks. Additionally, they provide opportunities for group activities, discussion, self-assessment, peer review and formative feedback from the subject coordinator and your teaching team. The schedule for this subject’s zoom meetings is provided on Canvas.


Feedback in this subject takes several forms including self-assessment, peer review, automatic feedback from interactive activities and from the teaching team. Formative feedback throughout the subject aims to increase your performance in summative assessments.

Feedback and changes from previous subject offering

This is the first offering of this subject, we will be collecting feedback from you in several forms to evaluate the design, relevance and depth of the content and its delivery. We appreciate you taking part in this process to ensure we are delivering subjects that are contemporary and meet your needs.


Assessment task 1: Weekly Discussion Board Contributions


This assessment provides a platform for students to demonstrate their understanding of the course content by summarising the main ideas from psychology’s major sub-fields and critically reflecting on what they have learnt from the modules in this subject.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

012, 014, 068 and 075

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

2.1 and 2.2

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

6 x 100-300 words


Marking criteria are available on Canvas

Assessment task 2: Weekly Test of Knowledge


This assessment allows students to test their understanding of the content associated with each module.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

011, 015 and 057

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

1.1 and 2.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

6 x 5 item tests (30 questions in total)


Marking criteria available on Canvas.

Assessment task 3: Research Report


Engaging in this task allows students to demonstrate their understanding of the terminology, logic, and procedures used in psychological research and to present their ideas in a format that facilitates effective scientific communication.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

040 and 071

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:


Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

1250 words


Marking criteria are available on Canvas.

Assessment task 4: Research Participation


Students get the opportunity to participate in relevant research studies. This participation is designed to increase students’ awareness regarding theory and research methodology in psychology.?


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

024 and 094

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

2.2 and 3.1

Type: Laboratory/practical
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 5%

2.5 hours of research participation and submission of brief report (up to 400 words)


Marking criteria are available on Canvas

Recommended texts

Bernstein, D.A., Pooley, J.A., Cohen, L., Provost, S., Cranney, J., Gouldthorp, B., & Drew, N. (2020). Psychology: Australian and New Zealand Edition (3rd ed.). Cengage Learning.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

O’Shea, R. & McKenzie, W. (2021). Writing for psychology. (7th ed.) Cengage Learning.


University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). (2020). Assessment of coursework subjects policy and procedures, UTS.

A comprehensive list of references and other resources are available in this subject in Canvas.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre

Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm

Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Student Centre details

For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website and Canvas.

UTS Library

The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: +61 2 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills

Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.