PSYCHOL 3027 - Psychology, Science & Society

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

The section of the course on social psychology builds upon existing knowledge and examines the social principles of processes that enable us to understand human behaviour. Some of these topics include the ways in which people develop categories and stereotypes, develop attributions about the behaviour of others, and how identities (both individual and group) are structured and developed. The critical component of the course looks at psychology as a complex human enterprise that is concerned with the production, dissemination, and application of psychological knowledge claims. The broad aim of the course is to show how our understanding of psychology can be aided by recent developments in related disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology and politics.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 3027
    Course Psychology, Science & Society
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PSYCHOL 2004 and at least 6 units of Level II Psychology which must include PSYCHOL 2004
    Assessment Practical report, online quiz, tutorial attendance, written exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Amanda LeCouteur

    Additional Academic Staff:
    Prof Martha Augoustinos: Ph - +61 8313 4627;  Email -

    School of Psychology Office:
    Ph - +61 8313 5693
    Email -
    Location: Room 408, Hughes Building
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1.    Display understanding of the implications of recent work in the Philosophy of Science for foundational concerns in the science of Psychology
    2.    Demonstrate familiarity with a range of epistemologies and methodologies as practised in various sub-sections of the discipline of Psychology
    3.    Display understanding of the complexity, multiplicity and context-dependence of processes of psychological explanation and practice
    4.    Display understanding of competing theoretical approaches of how individuals and groups attend to, process, and represent complex social information.
    5.    Display understanding of critical approaches to standard Social Psychological topics such as attributions, categorisation, stereotyping, and social identity
    6.    Present the results of psychological research in the appropriate APA format (6th Edition)
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Barr Smith Library – Psychology on the Web
    The Library is a major resource centre for students. The Research Librarian for Psychology, Maureen Bell, provides some useful information through the Internet at The website contains a list of databases, links to tutorials and help with searching methods.

    For additional information regarding recommended resources please refer to the relevant Psychology Program Handbook at the following link:

    Online Learning
    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:

    •    Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    •    Submission of assessment
    •    Access to lecture recordings
    •    Access to tutorial materials
    •    Additional readings
    •    Self-directed learning activities
    •    Exam preparation materials

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures plus online activities and readings.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Face-to-Face Contact Hours
    2 hours per week in Lectures over a 12 week period (Total 24 hours)
    4 hours per semester in Tutorials as scheduled (Total 4 hours)

    Revision of Material / Tutorial Preparation
    2 hours per lecture for revision of lecture content and set readings (Total 60 hours)
    2 hours of preparation for each tutorial (Total 8 hours)
    2 hours for each self-directed learning activity (Total 4 hours)

    Assessment Tasks
    20 hours for the completion of the research assignment during the semester (Total 20 hours)
    Exam revision as required (approx. 32.5 hours)
    End of semester examination = 2.5 hours

    Total time commitment: 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Introduction Social Identity theory
    Week 2 Self-categorisation Theory Social Identity in the ‘Real World’
    Week 3 Stereotypes and social reality Social Identity and attributions
    Week 4 Social representations theory Social representations of scientific knowledge
    Week 5 Social representations and attributions Social constructionism
    Week 6 Discourse and cognition Discursive psychology
    Week 7 Psychology’s relationship to science, and its place in contemporary society What is Science? A brief excursion through the history of Science
    Week 8 Definitions of Science: Bacon, observation and experiment What is Science: Some answers from the Philosophy of Science
    Week 9 Philosophy of Science & implications for Psychology What is Science: Some answers from the Sociology of Science
    Week 10 The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge & implications for Psychology
    Week 11 Science in action: Finding the Secret of Life Introduction to Foucault: Madness, criminality and punishment
    Week 12 Foucault continued Knowledge, power and psychology
    Disclaimer: This program is provisional and subject to change
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning outcome(s) being addressed
    Tutorial Participation Summative 10% 1, 3-5
    Short Answer Questions Summative 20% 1-5
    Examination Summative 40% 1-5
    Research Practical Summative  30% 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    One-and-a-half hour examination taking the form of 20 multiple-choice questions in one of the two main sections of the lecture course, and 20 multiple-choice questions in the other main section of the lecture course.

    A short-answer-question assignment that tests knowledge of one of the two main sections of the lecture course will be completed in the second half of the course.

    The research practical takes the form of a paper in which literature is reviewed and evidence is analysed in relation to a set question.

    Tutorial attendance and participation is recorded by the tutor at 2.5% for each of the 4 tutorials scheduled for the course.  

    For additional information regarding assessment please refer to the relevant Psychology Program Handbook at the following link:
    All assignments must be submitted in hard copy via the School of Psychology’s practical submission box located adjacent to the School office on Level 4 Hughes Building, as described in the instructions for the assignment.

    Please refer to the General Handbook for Undergraduate Psychology students (available at the link below) for details on submission process/requirements, penalties for late submission, the process of applying for extensions, and the staff “turn-around” timeline on assessments and the provision of feedback and policy relating to re-submission/redemptive work.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.