PSYCH 399 : Capstone: Communicating Psychology


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on communicating psychological ideas and research using different media (e.g., podcast, short film, print media, symposia, grant proposals). Students will be required to work in groups, but to also engage in individual activities to demonstrate their own understanding of the topics explored by them and others in this course.

Course Overview

The student-led Capstone provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate and display the knowledge that you have developed throughout your degree. Our Capstone course differs from traditional “taught” classes and is an innovative course that offers flexibility for you to investigate areas that interest you.

The Capstone will create an opportunity for you to engage in self-directed and small-group learning, guided by an academic staff member, who will mentor your progress through the course. You will have the opportunity to develop beneficial skills (e.g., giving oral presentations, working in groups) which will enhance your career pathways, and also allow you to develop useful skills for postgraduate study.

Your involvement in the inaugural Capstone will also create an opportunity for you to contribute alongside academic staff to the further development of the course.

Psych 399 will run as a hybrid in-person and online course.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage III in Psychology and 15 points from STATS 100-125

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Integrate theoretical and applied psychological knowledge in relevant activities to demonstrate understanding of diverse psychological material. (Capability 1)
  2. Critically apply advanced theoretical and applied psychological knowledge and skills to relevant problems. (Capability 2)
  3. Find information and use scientific principles and methods to analyse or solve complex problems and seek creative solutions. (Capability 3)
  4. Justify and communicate psychological knowledge and ideas in collaborative contexts. (Capability 4)
  5. Seek and reflect on performance feedback to identify learning opportunities and areas for self-improvements and where relevant instigate the process for others. (Capability 5)
  6. Demonstrate sensitivity and awareness of global, political, cultural, social and environmental issues where the course activities require. (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Video Introduction to Topic and Planned Contributions 15% Individual Coursework
Blog Post/Magazine Article 25% Individual Coursework
Peer Feedback on Blog Post / Magazine Article 5% Individual Coursework
Reflection Logs 20% Individual Coursework
Final Group Project Presentation 25% Group Coursework
Final Reflection 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Video Introduction to Topic and Planned Contributions
Blog Post/Magazine Article
Peer Feedback on Blog Post / Magazine Article
Reflection Logs
Final Group Project Presentation
Final Reflection

Key Topics

Possible topics for your project may include but are not limited to:
  • How psychology can help us successfully date (e.g., attracting good mates, online dating).
  • How psychology can help the community cope with Covid-19 and avoid future pandemics (e.g., compliance).
  • Is social media a positive and/or negative influence on mental health?
  • How psychology can help us socially connect when we are physically distant.
  • Are millennials psychologically different from older generations?
  • How will artificial intelligence affect our close relationships?
Open  to other topics within personality and social psychology, but Dr Jessica Maxwell's particular expertise is romantic relationships & sexuality, including attachment, casual relationships, and beliefs about sex.

Learning Resources

There is no required course book / text book for this course. 

Special Requirements

Students must complete all coursework. 

Workload Expectations

This course is a 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 this course, you can expect 12 hours of contact with other students and / or academic staff, 60 hours self-directed learning (i.e., reading and thinking about the content etc.) and  78 hours  of individual or group work on coursework preparation. 

Digital 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.


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.

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 against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

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 at

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.

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.

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 03/07/2020 11:24 a.m.