Year 12 - Psychology Unit 3-4

Year 12 Psychology (Units 3 and 4)

Unit description

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and of human behaviour. Students who study Units 3 and 4 Psychology will learn about a variety of topics, ranging from the brain, consciousness and memory through to learning and mental health. They will also gain skills in research methods as well as the ability to think critically. If you are interested in learning about yourself and others, then Psychology is the subject for you!

Unit 3 Psychology

Outcome 1: Mind, brain and body

In this area of study, students will begin to understand how the mind, brain and body are connected. They will explore what it means to be conscious, and will look at different levels of consciousness, ranging from full awareness and divided attention through to sleep and the state of being unconscious. Students will learn about the brain, and what happens when different parts of the brain are damaged.

Outcome 2:

In this area of study, students will investigate how memory works, and how to improve one’s memory. Theories of forgetting are studied, too. Many fun and interesting experiments and activities occur during this area of the course.

Unit 4 Psychology

Outcome 1: Learning

In this area of study, students will explore the concept of learning. They will begin to understand how we learn, and which parts of the brain are associated with learning. They will also find out about different theories of learning. Again, many fun and exciting experiments and tasks occur during this section of the course.

Outcome 2: Mental Health

In this area of study, students will be able to explore the idea of stress and mental health. Many questions about mental health are addressed, including: What causes mental illness? Why do some people develop a mental illness? How are mental illnesses treated? There are four possible areas to focus on during this unit: Major depression, anxiety (phobias), addictive disorder (gambling) and psychotic disorder (schizophrenia). However, as a class, we will study only one of these areas.

Throughout the year, students will also learn about the research methods involved in Psychology, including ethics, experimental design, reporting conventions and basic statistics.



Textbook: ‘Psychology—VCE Units 3 & 4’, by Grivas and Letch (5th edition)

Student Activity Manual: ‘Nelson Psychology VCE Units 3 & 4 Student Activity Manual’, by Bradley, Kendall and van Iersel


There is an exam at the end of the year that covers content from Units 3 and 4. It is worth 60 per cent of your overall marks for Psychology.


•    There are between three and five SACs each semester for Psychology. They include tests, ERAs (Lab reports) and posters. These SACs make up the remaining 40 per cent of the year’s Psychology marks.

If you wish to do well in this subject, you need to be spending at least three hours each week completing reading tasks, learning activities and general revision.

Info about image

The image shows the symbol for psychology. It represents the second last letter of the Greek alphabet, psi, which is also the first letter of the Greek word psyche, meaning mind or soul. This is where the word psychology comes from.