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Psychology is a broad discipline that incorporates both the scientific study of human behaviour through biological, psychological and social perspectives and the systematic application of this knowledge to personal and social circumstances in everyday life. VCE psychology allows students to explore how people think, feel and behave through a biopsychosocial approach. The four main broad questions asked in VCE psychology are, How are behaviour and mental processes shaped? How do external factors influence behaviour and mental processes? How does experience affect behaviour and mental processes? How is wellbeing developed and maintained?

Unit 1     Introduction to Psychology

In this unit, students investigate the structure and functioning of the human brain and the role it plays in the overall functioning of the human nervous system. Students explore brain plasticity and the influence that brain damage may have on a person’s psychological functioning. They consider the complex nature of psychological development, including situations where psychological development may not occur as expected. Students examine the contribution that classical and contemporary studies have made to an understanding of the human brain and its functions, and to the development of different psychological models and theories used to predict and explain the development of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Unit 2     Self and Others

In this unit, students investigate how perception of stimuli enables a person to interact with the world around them and how their perception of stimuli can be distorted. They evaluate the role social cognition plays in a person’s attitudes, perception of themselves and relationships with others. Students explore a variety of factors and contexts that can influence the behaviour of an individual and groups. They examine the contribution that classical and contemporary research has made to the understanding of human perception and why individuals and groups behave in specific ways.

Unit 3     The Conscious Self

This unit will focus on how the nervous system enables psychological functioning by examining the different branches of the nervous system and how they enable a person to integrate, coordinate and respond to external and internal stimuli. Students will also examine how biological, psychological and social factors influence nervous system functioning. Unit 3 will also focus on how people learn and remember. Memory and learning are core components of human identity and students will look at the neural basis of memory and learning and examine the factors that influence learning new behaviours and the storage and retention of information in memory.

Unit 4     Brain, Behaviour and Experience

This unit will examine how levels of consciousness affect mental processes and behaviours by focusing on the relationship between consciousness and thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Students will consider the nature and importance of sleep and analyse the effects of sleep disturbances. Unit 4 will also focus on what influences mental wellbeing and analyse what it means to be mentally healthy. Students will apply a biopsychosocial framework to analyse mental health and mental disorder. Phobias will be used to examine how biological, psychological and social factors are involved in both the development and management of a mental disorder.        

Career Options

Career Counselling, Neuropsychology, Child Psychology, Organisational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Research, Counselling Psychology, Social Work, Educational Psychology, Sports Psychology, Family Therapy, Teacher, Forensic Psychology.

NOTE: VCE Psychology offered in the Wednesday block is a condensed version of the Unit 1 & 2 course. Students are encouraged to undertake Unit 1 & 2 VCE Psychology in the normal blocks and only elect the VCE (Wed) Psychology is they are unable to elect it within their normal blocks.