Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Malaysia Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Cameron Duff


This elective will examine selected, topical issues relating psychology to broader social, political and cultural issues. In building on the background developed in the undergraduate curriculum, the unit will seek to locate existing psychological research in a contemporary social context, exploring emerging theoretical developments and reviewing existing controversies. The overarching goal will be to build greater understanding of the range of competing explanatory hypotheses that have emerged in response to key psychological issues in the extant literature. The role psychological research and theory plays in broader society will be reflected in the choice of topics and issues canvassed in this unit. The general areas from which the specific topics may be chosen will include: population health, chronic disease, indigenous health, forensic and behavioural science, substance use, medical anthropology and psychological theory.


On completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Critically appraised the role of psychology in explaining a range of social, political and cultural issues;

  1. Reviewed evidence and evaluated contentious theories;

  1. Evaluated important ideas in psychology and its role in broader social issues through group discussion; and

  1. Developed skills in summarising and presenting ideas in both spoken and written form.


Research symposium: 20%
Critical article review (1,000 words): 30%
Essay (2,000 words): 50%

Attendance: Attendance at 75% of tutorials is a hurdle requirement
Hurdle: Students must pass the essay to achieve
a pass for this unit

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2hr lectures each week and 2 hr tutorials fortnightly

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Completed Bachelors Degree and a major sequence in psychology approved by the Australian Psychological Society or qualification assessed as equivalent by the Australian Psychological Society, with a distinction average for the third year psychology units.


PSY4200, PSY4240, PSY4508.