PSYC3303 Psychological Science in the Modern World

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Psychology in Society; Psychology major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit exposes students to the major debates, issues, and controversies in modern psychology. The unit examines a series of contemporary practical or theoretical issues and debates through a set of lectures addressing different social problems. The objective is that students use the skills taught to them in this and other units to appraise the theoretical and practical implications of various perspectives in any debate. The topics vary from year to year as key issues and debates in society and in the field of psychology change. Topics may include climate change, gender inequality, social conflict and educational disadvantage.
Students are able to (1) recognise how psychological theories, methods and research findings can be applied to everyday and important human problems, and how they have done so in the past; (2) identify the obstacles to applying psychological science to social problems, and judge the consequences of failing to take account of psychology when devising policy interventions; (3) appraise how scientific investigation can assist in resolving societal debates; (4) investigate a human problem, appraise the key psychological aspects which contribute to this problem, and judge which of these are relevant to solving or relieving the problem; (5) communicate in a way that translates psychological theory into practical application for both lay and professional audiences; and (6) collaborate in problem-focused think tanks to devise solutions to real-life problems.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) in-class assessment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Lies Notebaert
Unit rules
PSYC1101 Psychology: Mind and Brain
PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context
PSYC2203 Psychological Research Methods
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Enrolled students can access unit material via LMS (Learning Management System).

Students are exposed to topics in psychology units that may cause some discomfort or distress in certain individuals (e.g. depression, suicide, trauma, eating disorders). They are required to demonstrate skills across a variety of different formats and contexts (e.g. written assessments, participation in practical work, contribution to group discussions, oral presentations, examinations), and so it is important to carefully consider whether they are able to cope with the demands of studying psychology and whether there is anything that would impact upon their ability to complete the requirements of the unit. Refer to individual unit outlines for more detailed unit information.

There is no assigned text. Students are provided with selected articles on the relevant research and theory in psychology, current affairs and policy. These are posted as PDFs on LMS (Learning Management System).

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.