Unit description

The aim of this unit is to provide an opportunity to study historical, conceptual, and philosophical issues in Psychology. Students will study issues in the philosophy of science, such as epistemology, human consciousness, intention, determinism, and the mind-body problem. Students will explore attempts to develop unifying theories in psychology. All classes and assessments for the unit will be in Session 1.

Unit content

Topic 1. An introduction to the history and philosophy of psychology (Chapters 1 and 8)
Topic 2. The nature of science (Chapters 1 and 4)
Topic 3. The early Greek philosophers and after Aristotle (Chapters 2 and 3)
Topic 4. Descartes, empiricism, sensationalism, positivism (Chapters 4 and 5)
Topic 5. Rationalism, romanticism, and existentialism (Chapters 6 and 7)
Topic 6. Physiology, voluntarism, structuralism, and Darwin's influence (Chapters 8, 9, and 10)
Topic 7. Mental testing and functionalism (Chapters 10 and 11)
Topic 8. Behaviorism, neobehaviorism, and Gestalt psychology (Chapters 12, 13, and 14)
Topic 9. Mental Illness, psychoanalysis, and alternatives to psychoanalysis (Chapters 15, 16, and 17)
Topic 10. Humanistic psychology, cognitive psychology, and contemporary psychology (Chapters 18, 20, and 21)
Topic 11. Review

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Hergenhahn, BR, 2014, An introduction to the history of psychology, 7th edn, Cengage.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Coffs Harbour

Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Workshop on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
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