PSYCH 303 : Cognitive Science


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Provides an introduction to cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience. Topics covered include: visual and auditory perception, attention, memory, thinking and problem-solving. Participation in the laboratory component of this course is compulsory.

Course Overview

This is a more in depth study of Cognitive Psychology that follows on from PSYCH 201. This course covers theories, models and applications of cognitive psychology. Coverage includes sensory science, perception, memory, attention, language and motor control. Consideration will also be given to connections with cognate areas, such as cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence, and students will be introduced to research methods in cognitive science.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II in Psychology and 15 points from STATS 100-125

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the basic challenge of cognitive science: to explain how minds work. Some people call this 'reverse-engineering' the mind. (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8)
  2. Cover in depth the multitude of distinct functions that are part of cognition. For example perception, memory, attention, thinking, language use, object identification, etc. (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  3. Describe to varying degrees of detail important models and theories of specific aspects of cognition, along with the data that support them. These models are often circumscribed, dealing with specific cognitive abilities (mental imagery, word recognition, attention, etc.) and often have their own research methods. (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Expand their knowledge of the research methodology used in cognitive science. Students will be introduced to methods commonly used in psychophysics, experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  5. Indentify research opportunities in cognitive science. There is much that is yet to be understood, and many real-world applications of cognitive science that are yet to be established. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 40% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam
To be eligible for plussage students must:
  1. Attend all SIX of the laboratory sessions, or have a valid exemption logged with the lecturer.
  2. Submit all three lab assignments via Canvas, no later than ONE WEEK after the submission deadline. Exceptions to this rule may be approved if you have been granted an extension.
  3. Receive an overall passing grade in your course work (at least 20/40 based on the value of the assignments).


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in. For each week of this course, you can expect 3  hours of lectures, a 2-hour laboratory tutorial, 2 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or preparation for the final examination.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is required at scheduled activities, including labs/tutorials, to receive credit for components of the course.
  • Lectures will be available as recordings but these should be viewed as material for review purposes and attendance in person is expected and encouraged. Other learning activities, including labs, will not be available as recordings.
  • The course will not include live online events.
  • Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Recommended text:
  • Eysenck, M.W. & Keane, M.T. (2015). Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook (Seventh Edition). London: Psychology Press.
This book is available from the UoA Library as an e-book.

Additional learning resources for this course will be made available via Canvas.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Feedback this year was positive and no major changes were suggested.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 08/11/2023 09:07 a.m.