PSY101 Foundations of Psychology 1 (8)

PSY101 Foundations of Psychology 1 and PSY102 Foundations of Psychology 2, together, provide a thorough introduction to the discipline of psychology. PSY101 Foundations of Psychology 1 includes the following topic areas: i) introduction to the science of psychology, ii) research methods, iii) biological aspects of behaviour, iv) sensation and perception, v) consciousness, vi) learning, memory, vii) cognitive processes and language, and viii) intelligence. Fundamental principles, theories, methods, and research findings are studied for each topic. A key aim of the subject is to develop students competencies in critical thinking and essay writing following the American Psychological Association (APA) conventions.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Bathurst Campus
Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus
Session 3 (90)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY101. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate theoretical knowledge of the nature and the historical and philosophical development of psychology as a scientific discipline and as a profession;
  • be able to demonstrate foundational knowledge in the following core areas of psychology; i) history and development of psychology, ii) research methods, iii) biological aspects of behaviour, iv) sensation and perception, v) consciousness, vi) learning, vii) memory, viii) cognitive processes and language, and ix) intelligence;
  • be able to understand and apply a range of psychological theories, concepts, principles, and research findings, with the ability to communicate this effectively to others in various formats;
  • be able to develop and apply critical thinking skills in evaluating psychological literature and questioning claims that arise from myth, stereotype, pseudoscience or untested assumptions;
  • be able to demonstrate the ability to critically reflect on and understand the ethical and practical aspects and processes of psychological research; and
  • be able to correctly apply the structure and formatting conventions of an academic essay following the guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA).


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The historical, philosophical, theoretical, and methodological backgrounds to psychology
  • Biological bases to behaviour
  • Sensation and perception
  • Varieties of consciousness
  • Learning
  • Human memory
  • Language and thought
  • Intelligence and psychological testing
  • Basic research methods
  • Presentation of written material in APA style

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY101 in Session 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Basics of apa quiz
Nature vs nurture essay
Online test
Research participation or alternative task
Online final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.