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PSYC100 Foundations of Psychology and PSYC101 Applications of Psychology

Teaching organisation

3 contact hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit offers students the opportunity to explore an area of applied psychology that is aligned with a major area of psychological research and professional practice. It provides students with opportunities to engage with theory and research in the particular context of organisations and the people who work within them.

As an applied area of psychology, this unit allows students to develop an understanding of the impact of research in workplaces, the insights research can offer in this psychologically complex environment, and the way in which these workplaces create opportunities to explore psychological functioning. This unit is primarily concerned with human individual and social behaviour - how it is influenced by, and in turn influences, organisations.

The aim of this unit, therefore, is to provide foundational knowledge of the key topics within organisational psychology. Students will be introduced to the important role psychology can play in organisations and how psychological principles can be applied to improve outcomes for organisations and their key stakeholders, including employees, clients and customers.

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 - define key organisational psychology concepts (GA5);

LO2 - describe and evaluate the processes involved in employee selection, hiring, training, motivation and performance from an organisational psychology perspective (GA4, GA5);

LO3 - identify the psychological features of workplaces, workplace processes, and leadership (GA5, GA6);

LO4 - critically evaluate organisational psychology research and theory (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9);

LO5 - using organisational psychology research and theory, identify and analyse critical issues in the workplace and present these insights in language appropriate for a non-psychological audience (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9).

Graduate attributes

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: 

  • defining and designing professional roles 
  • employees and their performance 
  • leaders and leadership 
  • group behaviour 
  • organisational functioning 
  • Understanding the context of organisational psychology 
  • Individuals and groups and their functioning within organisations 
  • employee motivations and individual differences 
  • workplace attitudes and values 
  • occupational stress 
  • teams, leadership and communication 
  • Organisational functioning  
  • structures, cultures, climates and change 
  • job design and employee selection, evaluation and development 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include a range of in-class and online activities such as active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered over 12 weeks. This range of strategies will provide you with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of competency in the application of theory and research within an applied context. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. You will be expected to take responsibility for your learning and to participate actively within group activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable you to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessments provided in this unit create opportunities for you to apply organisational psychology theory to a specific organisational issue to identify underlying organisational psychology concepts and to utilise current research to offer solutions and recommendations to resolve this issue. As well, a written exam will enable you to demonstrate their understanding of concepts, knowledge, processes and theory related to organisational psychology and presented through lectures and tutorials.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Corporate Report Part A –  

You will describe an organisational issue and identify the applicability of organisational psychology concepts. This task enables you to demonstrate your understanding of organisational psychology theory in a real world context.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Corporate Report Part B –  

Building on from Part A, you will apply organisational psychology theory to analyse an organisational issue and draw upon relevant theory and empirical findings to make appropriate recommendations. This task provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to apply the principles of organisational theory and current research to offer recommendations in an applied context.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Final exam (2 hours) –  

This task will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the course content.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Aamodt, M.G. (2013). Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. 

Kalliath, T., Brough, P., Manimala, M. J., Siu, O.-L., Parker, S. K. (2014). Organisational behaviour: A Psychological perspective for the Asia-Pacific. (2nd Ed). MrGraw-Hill Education: North Ryde, NSW.

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