PSYCHOL 4209 - Mind, Brain & Behaviour

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The aim of this course is to introduce students to current topics in mind, brain and behaviour. The course content will cover fundamental questions in the study of the human mind. The specific content will vary from year to year, but may address the following questions: How do people acquire knowledge of the world? How does children's reasoning differ from that of adults? How do people make choices in a complex world? How are these processes instantiated in the brain? How can cognitive functioning go wrong?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 4209
    Course Mind, Brain & Behaviour
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to students in the BPsychSc (Honours) and Honours year of BPsych(Hons)
    Assessment Mid-semester exercise, final examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Anna Chur-Hansen

    School of Psychology Office:; ph +61 8313 5693
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The learning outcomes of this course are to;

     1)- Understand the current debates in the literature regarding the mind, brain and behaviour

     2)- Demonstrate skills in posing the key questions of relevance to understanding the mind-brain problem

     3)- Understand the techniques and methods used to explore the mind-brain problem

     4)- Understand the role of physiological processes in clinical disorders and problem behaviours

     5)- Demonstrate the ability to argue for a position in the debate about the mind-brain problem

    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)
    1,3 & 4
    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
    2 & 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4, & 5
    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
    1 & 4
    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
    1 & 2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no required resources for this course. A set of readings will be assigned by each presenter and will be available on MyUni throughout the course.
    Recommended Resources
    Some members of the class of 2016 offered their essays to be complied into a book - this will be made available to the class, online.
    Online Learning
    Material from the seminars offered during the semester will be made available on MyUni.

    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:
    - Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    - Submission of summative assessment-
    - Access to additional readings
    - Self-directed learning activities
    - Exam preparation materials

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Series of interactive, face-to-face seminars

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

    Lectures:  6 x 2 hours  = 12 hours
    Critical Reflection: 1.5 hours
    Essay: 3 hours
    Independent reading:  94.5 hours
    Assessment preparation: 45 hours

    Total = 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Details will be made available on MyUni.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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 Title Weighting Due Date Learning Objectives
    Assessment 1: Critical Essay 70% Thursday June 15th 4pm 1, 2 & 3
    Assessment 2: Critical Reflection 30% Thursday April 27th 4pm 3, 4 & 5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are required to submit two written pieces: one reflection and one essay.
    Assessment Detail

    Assessment 1 (70%): A critical piece of 1000 words, with no more than 10 references: "Consider the following statement: The mind and the body interact. Drawing upon at least one of the sessions in this course, consider the implications of this in relation to psychological research into the mind, brain and behaviour".

    Assessment 2 (30%): A critical reflection of 500 words, with no more than 5 references: “This course is interdisciplinary, with contributions from scientists and practitioners from different disciplines.  What are your observations about the ways in which psychology as a discipline enhances our understanding of the mind, brain and behaviour in relation to other disciplines, such as medicine?”

    Additional references and rubrics for these assessments will be made available during the course.

    All assessments are to be submitted via Turn-it-In on MyUni under the Assessments tab. Please view the Undergraduate Psychology Students Handbook for information about late penalties.

    Students are advised to keep a copy of all assessments and to take a screen shot of the submission page showing the date and time of submission should any problems be encountered due to MyUni or Turn-it-In server outages. This information should be saved for future reference.
    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.

    The School of Psychology and the members of academic staff are committed to listening to and understanding the perspectives of students in relation to our teaching programs. Feedback to the School teaching staff can be given via the Student-Staff Consultative committee. Year level representatives for this committee are nominated at the beginning of each year and the contact details of the representatives can be obtain from the School of Psychology office:
  • 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.