Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This interprofessional unit introduces allied health students to psychological theories and constructs that are crucial to working within the allied health professions. Students receive an overview of contemporary perspectives in psychology along with an understanding of the alignment of psychological principles with the allied health professions. Students will cover learning theory, memory and intelligence, motivation and emotion, personality, and health psychology. Additionally, students in this unit will be introduced to the framework and context of interprofessional practice. Understanding of how psychological theories apply to the individual and the importance of working interprofessionally are crucial as this knowledge is required by allied health students when undertaking professional practice placements and across their professional career. 

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 - Comprehend the scientific approach of modern psychology and its principles for the study of the individual (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Demonstrate knowledge of theories of psychology applicable to allied health (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Understand interprofessional practice and its application to the workplace (GA1, GA4, GA5)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively

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

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

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


Topics will include: 

Introduction to psychology. 

  • What is psychology? 
  • Contemporary perspectives on psychology 
  • The fields of psychological practice 
  • The alignment of psychology with allied health practice 
  • Scientific approach to knowledge generation (Research) 


  • Classical conditioning 
  • Pavlov’s model  
  • Unconditioned stimulus (UCS), conditioned stimulus (CS), unconditioned response (UR), & conditioned responses (CR)  
  • Stimulus generalization & discrimination 
  • Extinction 
  • Factors impacting classical conditioning 
  • Operant conditioning 
  • Reinforcement (positive & negative), punishment and extinction 
  • Schedules of reinforcement (continuous vs intermittent, ratio vs schedule) 
  • Context of reinforcement 
  • Types of reinforcers 
  • Categories of reinforcer 
  • Factors influencing reinforcers 
  • Shaping and chaining 
  • Prompting and fading   
  • Cognitive – social theory 
  • Learning & cognition 
  • Observational learning & modelling 

Memory and Intelligence 

  • Intelligence 
  • What is intelligence 
  • Intelligence testing 
  • Categories of Intellectual ability  
  • Intelligence: genetics vs environment 
  • Memory 
  • Encoding, storage and retrieval 
  • Sensory memory 
  • Working memory  
  • Long term memory 

- implicit versus explicit memory 

- declarative versus procedural memory 

- episodic versus semantic memory  

  • Memory deficits 

Motivation and Emotion 


  • What is motivation? 
  • Perspectives on Motivation  
  • Psychodynamic 
  • Behaviourist (eg: Drive-reduction theories) 
  • Cognitive (eg: Goal-setting theories, self-determination theory)  
  • Humanistic (eg: Maslow) 
  • Evolutionary 


  • What is emotion? (emotional displays, cultural influences, regulation) 
  • Perspectives on Emotion 
  • Psychodynamic perspective 
  • Cognitive perspective 
  • Evolutionary 


  • What is personality? 
  • Perspectives of personality 
  • Psychodynamic 
  • Cognitive-social 
  • Trait theories 
  • Humanistic theories 

Social Cognition 

  • What is social cognition? 
  • Biases and stereotypes 
  • Concepts of self 

Health Psychology 

  • Introduction of health psychology 
  • Models of health behaviour 

Interprofessional Education and Practice

  •  Introduction to interprofessional education
  • ·Interprofessional practice in allied health
  • Capabilities for interprofessional practice
  • Application of interprofessional practice in health

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit utilises blended learning with a combination of lectures and face to face tutorials. The blended format allows for the online provision of lecture and resource material focusing on key psychology constructs and the application of these constructs to the field of allied health. Case based scenarios are used to assist the student to understand how key psychological principles apply to the field of allied health. Additionally, students are introduced to interprofessional education and the capabilities underlying interprofessional practice. Tutorials are face to face and comprise small group activities designed for students to engage in interprofessional discussion. Students are encouraged to utilise experiential learning and constructivism to develop their knowledge; exploring the application of psychological principles and the elements of interprofessional practice to allied health.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit students are required to demonstrate their understanding of psychological principles and interprofessional practice and their application to allied health. Assessment has a focus on knowledge demonstration as well as some application of psychological theory and interprofessional ideas and concepts.

Assessments have been developed to ensure that students have understood and retained key psychological and interprofessional concepts with some application of this knowledge. The assessment tasks aim to show students the link between psychology, interprofessional learning, and allied health such that this understanding can be applied to future theoretical and professional practice units.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


To ensure understanding of the scientific approach to psychology and some theories of psychology


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Written task

To assess knowledge of psychology and/or psychological theories 


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9


Examination of psychological and interprofessional knowledge with some knowledge application required.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Gazzaniga, M. S., Heatherton, T., & Halpern. D. (2020). Psychological Science (6th ed.). Norton. 

Gerrig, R., Zimbardo, P., Campbell, A., Cumming , S., & Wilkes, F. (2009). Psychology and life: Australian Edition.: Pearson education Australia. 

Kowalski, L., Burton, D., and Weston, R. (2023). Psychology, 6th Australian and New Zealand Edition (6th ed.). Wiley Global Education Australia.

Weiten, W . (2017). Psychology: Themes and Variations (11th ed.).  Wadsworth: Cengage Learning. 

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