Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Psychology is a fascinating and challenging area of science, devoted to understanding the most complex animals on the planet – us! Through a modularised approach, PSYC1800 will explore three intriguing areas of everyday psychology: sex and sexuality, drug and drug addiction, and criminal psychology

Students will use personal reflection and case studies, and even form part of a mock jury to explore questions and concepts such as: What is sex and sexuality? How does drug use become addictive? Is there such as thing as a criminal mindset?

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Recognise and identify core concepts related to sex and gender; drug use and addiction; and psychopathy and obsessive criminal homicide.

2. Identify key indicators of addiction and barriers to rehabilitation using a case example.

3. Communicate the distinctions between criminal behaviour and obsessive homicide.

4. Evaluate the effectiveness of psychological interventions related to core topics in the course.


1. Sex and sexuality invites the question of how do we understand gender in our modern world? You may think you know how gender is created and how it determines who someone is, but ongoing research shows us that sex, gender and sexuality are not just male/female, masculine/feminine, straight/gay categories but complex continuums of diversity that are partly due to brain and body chemistry and also due to the structure of our society.

2. Drug and drug addiction (and in fact other types of addiction) explores the relationship between chemical and social interactions, and their impact on our susceptibility to addiction. We examine how common drugs work to become addictive and we look at some case studies of successful (and unsuccessful) rehabilitation.

3. Criminal psychology examines the darker side of psychology by investigating those that display extreme behaviours that both horrify and fascinate us: serial killers. To fully understand people driven to compulsive homicide, we look at the dark side of all of us as you form part of a jury in a murder trial. How common are the dark personalities of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Do we all have a touch of these within us?

Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz

Written Assignment: Addiction Case Study

Written Assignment: Criminal Homicide Jury Report

Portfolio: Reflective evaluation of applications of Psychology in real world settings

Contact hours


Online Activity

Online 3 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Self-Directed Learning

Online 7 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.