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Major: Psychological Science

Major Details

Psychological Science


Department of Psychology
Faculty of Human Sciences

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Introduction to Psychology I (3)
Introduction to Psychology II (3)

200 level

6cp from
Social and Personality Psychology (3)
Developmental Psychology (3)
Biopsychology and Learning (3)
Cognitive Processes I (3)
Perception I (3)
Design and Statistics II (3)

300 level

Psychological Science: Putting Theory into Practice (3)
9cp from
PSY units at 300 level
PSYC units at 300 level


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program This non-accredited major is designed to provide a broad education for students interested in psychology. It will introduce students to the core areas of psychology, and with the opportunity to study some areas in greater depth. As a major in a general degree, students are able to tailor their undergraduate studies in psychology around their other interests as well—whether they be in Science, Arts, or Business, thus maintaining flexibility and broad options. In this major students will undertake the two introductory psychology units in their first year, select two units from a choice of six more advanced units in their second year, and in their third year they will take the capstone unit and choose three advanced psychology units from a wide range of electives. For students seeking an accredited psychology degree, they can transfer from this major to the Bachelor of Arts -Psychology or the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) upon meeting the entry requirements.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in the core topics of psychology (K, T)
2. understand, apply, conduct, and evaluate the research methods used in psychology, including research design, data analysis and interpretation and the appropriate use of technologies by which to do this.
3. use the concepts, language, major theories, and perspectives of the discipline to account for psychological phenomena.
4. identify relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate conclusions
5. demonstrate the capacity for critical thinking and independent learning to solve problems related to a range of issues, including behaviour and mental processes
6. communicate concepts and results clearly and effectively both in writing and orally
7. engage in a critical review of appropriate and relevant information regarding psychological processes and demonstrate analytical research skills in evaluating psychological literature
8. Recognise and evaluate arguments and other persuasive appeals and approaches to problems
9. identify how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues and inform public policy and apply psychological concepts, theories, and research findings as these relate to everyday life
10. develop insight into your own and others’ behaviour and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement
11. articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues and inform public policy
12. examine the sociocultural and international contexts that influence individual differences
13. demonstrate a capacity for responsibility and accountability with regard to their own learning.
Learning and Teaching Methods Psychology is a broad discipline, and the range of units offered in this program reflects that breadth. Over the three years of the program students will be exposed to all the major areas of psychological study, from the most fundamental brain research through to social issues such as the causes of intergroup conflict. The learning and teaching methods employed throughout the program also reflect this breadth, from laboratory-based practical work through to sophisticated, reflective field-work, as represented in our 3rd-year Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) unit. The overarching pedagogical approach throughout the program is student-centred learning, with an emphasis, not simply on the acquisition of discipline knowledge, but also on the development of higher-order critical thinking and problem-solving approaches to a range of psychological processes and issues. Although units differ with respect to formal or recorded lecture offerings, there is a focus in every unit on small-group learning through laboratory practicals and/or tutorial exercises and discussions. Students are also encouraged to engage with iLearn discussions of lecture and tutorial material, and to test the development of their own understanding via online tests and quizzes. First-year psychology students are also required to participate in Departmental research projects in order to learn how research is conducted and to encourage interaction with more senior scholars in the field.
Assessment There is a range of assessment methods used throughout the Psychology program, each of which has been designed to measure the extent to which students can demonstrate their acquisition of the program learning outcomes. Assessment is both formative and summative, with students being presented with multiple opportunities throughout the program to improve their critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication skills, while also demonstrating their acquisition of important discipline knowledge. Across the three years of the program, assessment methods will usually include:
• web-based quizzes
• research reports
• class presentations
• essays
• literature reviews
• multiple-choice tests and exams
• essay and short-answer-based exams
• designing experiments
• research participation (compulsory at 1st year)
• conducting individual and group-based research projects
• placement and reflective project report (PACE unit).
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. For recognition of prior informal and non-formal learning, please refer to the relevant RPL Plan, which describes the evidential requirements and approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit in this program.

For undergraduate RPL plans visit
For postgraduate RPL plans visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The major in psychological science can lead to employment in the fields of human resources, health-related services, marketing, advertising, education and research.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit