Psychology (PSYC) 402

Biological Psychology (Revision 6)

PSYC 402 Course website

Revision 6 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science. Course can also be used to fulfill Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: A senior high school level biology course (or an introductory university biology course) and a course in introductory psychology (or animal behaviour) are recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

PSYC 402 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Psychology 402 examines the relationship between the brain and behaviour. The course explores the biological basis of behaviour, learning, memory, language, and thinking, as well as disorders that arise from nervous system malfunctioning.


  • Unit 1: The Major Issues
  • Unit 2: Nerve Cells and Nerve Impulses
  • Unit 3: Synapses
  • Unit 4: Anatomy of the Nervous System
  • Unit 5: Development and Plasticity of the Brain
  • Unit 6: Vision
  • Unit 7: The Other Sensory Systems
  • Unit 8: Movement
  • Unit 9: Wakefulness and Sleep
  • Unit 10: Internal Regulation
  • Unit 11: Reproductive Behaviours
  • Unit 12: Emotional Behaviours
  • Unit 13: The Biology of Learning and Memory
  • Unit 14: Cognitive Functions
  • Unit 15: Mood Disorders and Schizophrenia


To receive credit for PSYC 402, you must complete all of the course assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on the final examination, and at least “D” (50 percent) for the course composite grade. The weighting of assignments is as follows:

5 Quizzes Term Paper Final Exam Total
25% 35% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Kalat, J. W. (2009). Biological Psychology (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Other Materials

The online course materials include a student manual, workbook, and study guide. These can be accessed from the Moodle course page.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 402 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D”(50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, July 21, 2010.

View previous syllabus