Psychology Units 1 and 2


In this subject, you will get to study the contribution that psychological research has made to an understanding of the human brain and its functions. This will be done by examining the development of different psychological models and theories used to predict and explain the development of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
You will also look at why individuals and groups behave in specific ways.
As part of this study, you will perform self-directed investigations in both Units 1 and 2 and apply what you have learnt.

Who is it for?

Do you enjoy:

  • knowing more about people
  • learning how psychologists understand people
  • learning how people function and interact in the modern world?

Do you want to:

  • find answers to your own questions, design ways of finding those answers, and conduct experiments to find those answers?
  • go out into the community to find answers and gather data?

Would you like to go on to:

  • work with people, follow a course of study that can lead to higher degrees in many different fields?
  • a career in professional psychology or psychological research?

Do you want to learn about:

  • how people have come to understand human behaviour?
  • why people do what they do?
  • how the brain functions?

What do you do?

Activities you will engage in include:

  • reading and evaluating both contemporary and classical research
  • watch weekly videos relating to the course content
  • completing weekly quizzes which give you immediate feedback
  • conducting a self-directed investigation in both Units 1 and 2.

What skills do you need?

  • you need to enjoy reading about psychological experiments and be able to critically analyse those experiments.
  • you need to be able to collate results and understand how to graph and interpret data
  • you should have a solid background in literacy and the ability to interpret written information.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop skills including:

  • analytical thinking and understanding the report writing format in psychological research
  • understanding research methodology
  • conducting effective research and how to interpret the results, how to use statistics and explore and apply ethical issues
  • the ability to write in a clear, scientific manner
  • the ability to critically evaluate research and draw evidence-based conclusions
  • the ability to define and understand psychological key terms and concepts.




You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.The following textbook is required: Grivas, J. (2017) Psychology VCE Units 1 and 2 (8th edition) Jacaranda.

The following textbook is recommended: VCE Psychology Research Methods Workbook (second edition) (Kristy Kendall).

Things to think about

Successful students have a solid background in written literacy and a grasp of number manipulation and data analysis. You are expected to dedicate 5 to 6 hours a week to study and be in regular contact with their teacher. You are also expected to regularly participate in the online environment including forum posts, reading weekly announcements and participating in online lessons where possible.

Things you can do now

Take a look at the VCAA Psychology website and familiarise yourself with the study design and assessment criteria for Psychology Units 1 and 2.

Whilst not compulsory it is also recommended that you get supplementary text: Kendall, K. VCE Psychology Research Methods Workbook (1st Ed.).

Research methods are a key component through Units 1 to 4 and this book can also be used in Year 12. Complete the activities and review your answers from the back of the workbook.

Check out these crash course videos below as they give a great overview into some of the topics we will be covering.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.

Things to have a look at

Intro to Psychology

What does psychology mean? Where does it come from? Hank Green gives you a 10, minute introduction to one of the more tricky sciences and talks about some of the big names in the development of the field.

Meet Your Master

In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, we get to meet the brain and explore all the wonderful things it is responsible for.

Psychological Research

So how do we apply the scientific method to psychological research? Lots of ways, but Hank Green specifically talks about case studies, naturalistic observation, surveys and interviews, and experimentation.