PSYCHOL 3027 - Psychology, Science & Society

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

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. The course is delivered in four separate but related modules covering the history and philosophy of science and how this applies to psychology; European and Critical Social Psychology; contemporary methodological approaches and methodological issues in psychology; and the application of these topics to psychological practice. 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.

  • 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 1 hour per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II Psychology which must include PSYCHOL 2004
    Assessment Written assessment, group presentation, tutorial attendance, module quizzes
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Peta Callaghan

    Course Coordinator:
    Dr Peta callaghan
    Ph - +61 8313 9907
    Email - 
    Location: Room 515, Hughes Building

    School of Psychology Office
    Ph - +61 8313 5693
    Email -
    Location: Room 510, 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. Describe, discuss and critically evaluate the nature of various approaches in the philosophy of science to the question “What is science?”
    2. Compare and contrast a range of epistemologies and methodologies as practiced in various sub-sections of the discipline of Psychology.
    3. Evaluate the application of critical and constructionist approaches to specific issues/problems of concern in Psychology, such as prejudice and discrimination, public trust in science, and psychology's role in society.
    4. Display understanding of the complexity, multiplicity and context-dependence of processes of psychological explanation and practice.
    5. Collaborate with other students to constructively evaluate psychological topics.
    6. Present the results of psychological research in the appropriate APA format in written and digital formats.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Readings and asscociated materials will be indicated and /or made available in the relevant online modules.
    Recommended Resources
    Barr Smith Library – Psychology on the Web
    The Library is a major resource centre for students. The library website contains a list of databases, links to tutorials and help with searching methods.

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

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

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by critical-thinking and 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
    1 hour per week in workshops over a 12 week period (Total 12 hours)

    Revision of Material / Tutorial Preparation
    3-5, 15-20 minute pre-recorded lecture videos per week (approx. 1-2 hours per week) and and set readings (Total approx. 54 hours)
    1 hour per week of workshop preparation (Total 12 hours)

    Assessment Tasks
    20 hours for the completion of the research assignment during the semester (Total 20 hours)
    20 hours for the completion of the group-work task (Total 20 hours)
    Module quiz revision as required (approx. 26 hours)

    Total time commitment: 144 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Module 1) The History and Philosophy of Science
    Week 2 Module 1) The History and Philosophy of Science
    Week 3 Module 1) The History and Philosophy of Science
    Week 4 Module 2) Critical and European Social Psychology
    Week 5 Module 2) Critical and European Social Psychology
    Week 6 Module 2) Critical and European Social Psychology
    Week 7 Module 3) Contemporary Approaches in Methodology
    Week 8 Module 3) Contemporary Approaches in Methodology
    Week 9 Module 3) Contemporary Approaches in Methodology
    Week 10 Module 4) Applications: Psychology, Science and Society
    Week 11 Module 4) Applications: Psychology, Science and Society
    Week 12 Module 4) Applications: Psychology, Science and Society
    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, 2, 3, 5
    Group work task Summative 20% 1-6
    Major Assessment Summative 30% 1-6
    4 X MC module quizzes Summative  40% 1-5
    Assessment Detail
    Four multiple-choice quizzes (MCQs) comprising 15 questions each, related to each of the four modules will be due at the end of each module (weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12).

    A group-work assignment that tests knowledge of one of the four modules will be completed. Students will have time within the allocated workshops to work on their group-work task, and will present 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 question related to one of the four modules.

    Workshop attendance and participation is recorded by the tutor at 1% for a total of 10 workshops attended (that is, of the 12 scheduled workshops, student must attend at least 10 to recieve the 10% assessment grade). 

    All assignments must be submitted online via MyUni
    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.