Course Outline

PSY202 Physiological Psychology

Course Coordinator:Mathew Summers ( School:School of Health and Behavioural Sciences

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In this course, you will examine the structural and functional organisation of the nervous system. You will focus on interrelationships between physiological functioning with special reference to sensory processes, sleep and arousal, motivation and emotion, learning and memory and language. You will be introduced to basic principles of neuroscience that affect thought and action.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus seminar - 2 hours 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – Online e-lectorials, quizzes, and supplemental directed learning activities 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • Cell function and structure

  • Neuroanatomy

  • Movement

  • Eating and drinking

  • Vision

  • Other sensory systems

  • Language

  • Human sexual function

  • Learning and memory

  • Neuroplasticity

  • Executive functions

  • Emotional regulation

  • Dementias

  • Cerebrovascular accidents

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Toxins and infectious processes of the brain

  • Unusual neurological/neuropsychological disorders

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Understand and explain the terminology and theories relating to the study of physiological psychology Knowledgeable
2 Know, understand, and apply information on the structures, functions, and connections of the brain in particular, and the nervous system in general Knowledgeable
3 Critically evaluate research conducted in physiological psychology, and to synthesis the information in clear and concise written arguments on topics in physiological psychology Creative and critical thinker
4 Understand different disorders of the brain and diagnostic conditions Knowledgeable

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


PSY100 and PSY101


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Early feedback will be provided in week 4 following the first online quiz. Please use this feedback to seek additional supports if necessary.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 25%
5 x online quizzes, 30 multiple choice questions each
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 2 Essay Individual 35%
2000 words
Week 10 Online Submission
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
2 hours
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Online multiple choice exams
The goal of the assessments is to familiarise you with the types of multiple choice questions that you will be asked in the final exam, to apply the knowledge of the course content, and to demonstrate your understanding of this knowledge.
Product: Quiz/zes
Online MCQ exams will be available on Canvas across the semester and will cover the content of the learning materials and text book chapters from the weeks immediately prior to the Quiz. Each quiz will be worth 5 percent, for 25 percent in total. Due dates for quizzes will be available will be given in Week 1 and provided on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and comprehension of related course content
1 2 3 4
Recognition, evaluation and application of theories within various contexts
1 2 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Essay
The goal of this assessment is to communicate your understanding of a topic in physiological psychology in an academic and formal way, using current research literature to evaluate and analyse the essay question. You will be given the topic for the essay in Week 1 and further information and guidelines will be placed on Canvas at that time.
Product: Essay
The word limit for the essay is 2000 words (±10 percent) and includes headings and the in-text citations (inside and outside the brackets), but not the title page or reference list. Include the word count on your title page. Your essay should be submitted in Week 10, details to be provided on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Situation of essay in topic area, identification of appropriate concepts and processes, and definition of key terms
1 2 4
Reference to current experimental research
Correctness and accuracy of relevant information, that is without omission
1 2 4
Clarity of expression appropriate to the audience
Evidence of critical analysis of the research literature and original thinking
Appropriate organisation, including APA style
All - Assessment Task 3:Examination
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
The final examination will contain multiple choice and short answer questions that cover material that is selected from the whole curriculum.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Accuracy of responses
1 2 3 4
Knowledge and comprehension of related course content
1 2 3 4
Recognition, evaluation, and application of theories within various contexts

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required James W. Kalat 2019 eTextbook: Biological Psychology, 13th Edition 13 Cengage

Specific requirements

Please make yourself aware of the following information on the Policies and Procedures of Assessment of Courses, and the Policies and Procedures for academic misconduct,

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
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