PSY4131 - Developmental and biological psychology - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Miss Leah Braganza


Ms Eloise Perini

Unit guides


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 2 2019 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 4 2019 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 6 2019 (Online)


PSY4111, PSY4122.


Must be enrolled in either of the GDP course codes (M5013 or 4525).


Psychology is a scientific discipline which spans a diverse range of areas. This unit provides a continuation of two psychology topics that you will have learnt about in the foundational units. Developmental psychology encompasses physical, cognitive, and social-emotional changes across the life span and how these are shaped by macrosystems such as culture, and microsystems such as peers and the family. Biological psychology includes states of consciousness, mental disorders and addiction, mechanisms and disorders of learning and memory, and the regulation of emotional and motivated states. Unit activities provide further training in research techniques, report writing, oral presentations and teamwork.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe how the range of human thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are underpinned by physiological and neural processes.
  2. Identify the structural, chemical, and functional changes in the brain that accompany normal human development.
  3. Evaluate the interplay between familial and cultural factors in determining the course of development from birth through to old age.
  4. Compose a cohesive account of the etiology, neuropathology, and behavioural sequelae of a select developmental disorder, using current research.
  5. Develop a literature review and interpret research results through comparison with past studies on a biological psychology topic.
  6. Apply widely used psychological tests to an assessment of human behaviour.


  • Quasi-Lab report (1400 words) (25%)
  • Oral presentation (4 mins) (20%)
  • Developmental assessment report (1000 words) (20%)
  • 6 x Secure online quizzes (35%)

Workload requirements

Students should expect to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week on this unit to achieve the learning outcomes.

This time will cover:

  1. video lecture materials;
  2. synchronous & asynchronous discussion;
  3. synchronous web-based 'class-time' for skills-based activities;
  4. weekly readings;
  5. weekly skills-based assessment tasks; and
  6. content-based assessment, including revision and formative assessment.

See also Unit timetable information

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