Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

As part of advanced training in the discipline of psychology, this unit provides you with the opportunity to be exposed to specialised training in cutting edge research in the area of cognitive psychology. Topics may be drawn from one or more distinct aspects of cognitive psychology including (but not limited to) attention, memory, perception, executive function, imagery, social cognition, judgement and decision making, problem solving, language, intelligence, human factors, and the history and philosophy of cognitive science. The material will be of an advanced nature, offering engagement with cutting edge research and innovation and in-depth examination of contemporary perspectives on and interpretation of recent trends in the field of cognitive psychology, as well as an awareness of its historical and philosophical underpinnings. The choice of specific topics will be driven by the expertise of the lecturers assigned to teach the unit. The aims of this unit are to develop advanced skills in (a) critical analysis of theories and models presented to explain cognitive findings, (b) the use of research evidence to develop, modify or reject said theories and models and (c) the development of research designs that may address an open research question in the area under investigation.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - demonstrate an ability to critically analyse research evidence and theoretical accounts in the cognitive psychology research topics under study (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10); 

LO2 - demonstrate an ability to synthesise and present theoretical models and evidence in a logical, structured and eloquent manner, in oral or written format. (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10); 

LO3 - identify the critical predictions of the theoretical models under study, and the methodological approaches used to test those predictions (GA4, GA5, GA8); 

LO4 - develop proposed empirical approaches to the investigation of critical issues in the specific cognitive psychology topic under study (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10); 

LO5 - describe some of the main implications of knowledge of the topic(s) for practice. (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA10). 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 


Anthropology in Cognitive Science; Attention; Attributions, Artificial Intelligence; Attributions; Cognition and Aging; Cognition and Culture; Cognition and Development; Cognition and Disorders; Cognition and Emotion; Cognition and Performance; Cognitive Neuroscience; Cognitive Neuropsychology; Cognitive Schemas; Computational Modelling; Embodied Cognition; Executive Function; Judgement and Decision Making; Language; Learning; Linguistics; Memory; Mental Imagery; Metacognition; Motor Cognition; Music Cognition; Neuroimaging; Perception; Philosophy in Cognitive Science and Cognitive Neuroscience; Problem Solving; Reasoning; Spatial Cognition; Social Cognition.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit will be delivered face-to-face with 2 hour sessions ever week. The sessions will mostly be organized as guided journal discussion workshops where a topic is introduced and relevant empirical articles (which have been allocated in advance) are discussed in class. The discussions are guided by the lecturer so that they focus on the issues that are relevant to the development of the target learning outcomes. This format is chosen as it is the ideal approach to facilitate critical thinking and oral communication skills and because it fosters the role of the student as an active participant in a fundamental part of the research enterprise. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit all of the assessment tasks. In addition to this, students must obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50% to pass the unit.  

To allow you to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes, assessment in this unit will involve written and oral presentation tasks. The written assessments will include (a) an essay that critically analyses one or more research studies, and (b) a research study proposal. Students will also do an oral presentation, the topic of which will be assigned by the lecturer. . In combination, these tasks will enable you to demonstrate your ability to critically analyse and synthesise research, and to identify appropriate research methodology to test hypotheses.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


you will critically analyse empirical evidence and present your critique as an essay. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5 

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10 

 Research proposal:  

you will demonstrate your ability to identify a research question and to apply your knowledge of the methodological approaches in the area to test said question. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, 

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Oral presentation:  

you will demonstrate your ability to analyse, synthesize and present information in an oral format.  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 

Brain and Cognition 

Experimental Brain Research 

Trends in Cognitive Science 

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 

Journal of Experimental Psychology 

Cognitive Psychology 


Psychological Bulletin 

Psychological Review 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs