PSYCH 399 : Capstone: Communicating Psychology


2024 Semester Two (1245) (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 and working in groups) that will enhance your career pathways or be useful for postgraduate study.

Psych 399 will run as an in-person 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: 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. Integrate theoretical and applied psychological knowledge in relevant activities to demonstrate understanding of diverse psychological material. (Capability 1, 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Critically apply advanced theoretical and applied psychological knowledge and skills to relevant problems. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8)
  3. Find information and use scientific principles and methods to analyse or solve complex problems and seek creative solutions. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8)
  4. Justify and communicate psychological knowledge and ideas in collaborative contexts. (Capability 2, 3, 6 and 7)
  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 6, 7 and 8)
  6. Demonstrate sensitivity and awareness of global, political, cultural, social and environmental issues where the course activities require. (Capability 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Video Introduction to Topic and Planned Contributions 15% Individual Coursework
Blog Post Draft Submission 10% Individual Coursework
Peer Feedback on Blog Post 5% Individual Coursework
Final Group Project Presentation 25% Group Coursework
Final Reflection 15% Individual Coursework
Blog Post Final Submission 15% Individual Coursework
Peer Feedback on Presentations 5% Individual Coursework
Class participation 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Video Introduction to Topic and Planned Contributions
Blog Post Draft Submission
Peer Feedback on Blog Post
Final Group Project Presentation
Final Reflection
Blog Post Final Submission
Peer Feedback on Presentations
Class participation


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:

Key Topics

Possible topics for your project will be determined based on the faculty mentors' areas of expertise. 

Topics from previous years have include: 
  • How psychology can help the community cope with Covid-19 and avoid future pandemics (e.g., compliance, social connection).
  • Is social media a positive and/or negative influence on mental health?
  • Are millennials psychologically different from older generations?
  • How we can use psychology to make better decisions?

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 a total of 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. 

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Psych 399 will run as an in-person course. You are expected to attend the class in person.
  •  Attendance is required at scheduled activities, including course meetings and presentations, which will be held in person.
  • 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.

The reading list will have links to articles, books and online resources. 

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.

Sample recordings from Capstone group presentations in 2023 may be available for review. 

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 25/05/2024 08:06 a.m.