Introduction to Psychology

Home Admissions Course Guide Introduction to Psychology

This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.


Introduction to Psychology

Welcome to PSYC A228 Introduction to Psychology! This is a ten-credit DL undergraduate course within the Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSSC), Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours (BSSCH), Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology Studies (BSSCPS) and Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Psychology Studies (BSSCHPS) programmes.

This course intends to introduce the scientific study of psychology, and establish a solid foundation for further exploration in psychology. It broadly covers the major concepts, theories, theoretical approaches, and empirical findings in different areas of specialisation. It also demonstrates the applications of psychology in our daily contexts.

This course will be delivered in a custom textbook format, supplemented by a Study Guide, online multimedia components, and face-to-face sessions.


Course aims

PSYC A228 Introduction to Psychology aims to provide you with a critical understanding of the:

  • major concepts and theories of psychology;
  • major theoretical approaches of psychology;
  • research of psychology;
  • applications of psychology in daily contexts; and
  • current development and debates in psychology.

Course learning outcomes

Upon the completion of PSYC A228 Introduction to Psychology, you should be able to:

  • explain basic concepts and theories of psychology;
  • outline the methods and findings of basic psychological research;
  • compare and contrast the major theoretical approaches of psychology, and examine their significance and limitations;
  • apply basic concepts and theories of psychology in daily contexts; and
  • examine the current development and/or debates in psychology.

In this custom textbook approach, different learning modules have been carefully selected by the course team from two leading psychology textbooks and organised into a single volume specifically designed for PSYC A228 students. By incorporating the latest editions of book chapters, exercises and self-tests, the custom textbook will provide you with comprehensive coverage of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives and real-world applications in psychology.

In addition to the custom textbook, you will be working through the course using an HKMU- produced Study Guide. The Study Guide leads you along your study pathway unit by unit, providing commentary on each textbook chapter and supplementary self-learning and self- assessment opportunities.

The third main point of reference for learning resources during the course is HKMU's Online Learning Environment (OLE). There, you will have access to multimedia materials such as the introductory video, and you will be able to discuss topics with other students and your tutor on the course discussion board. This course is further supported by regular face-to-face meetings in the form of tutorials and day schools.


Introductory video

To start off, you should watch the introductory video for the course in the ePub version of this Course Guide or on the OLE. Then turn to the Study Guide for further guidance through the course.


The custom textbook

The title of the custom textbook is PSYC A228 Introduction to Psychology. The chapters are selected from the following textbooks:

  • King, L. A. (2020). The science of psychology: An appreciative view (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Feldman, R. (2020). Understanding psychology (15th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

The Study Guide will indicate at which point you should read each chapter of the custom textbook.


The Study Guide

The Study Guide sets out your study pathway through the custom textbook and other course learning resources. It serves as a guide to the textbook chapters, helping you to organise major ideas with tools like tables and diagrams. It also contains activities and self-tests to facilitate your learning and revision. You'll therefore need to keep it by your side as you work through the course.

The Study Guide is divided into ten units. The titles of the units and the custom textbook chapters they will cover are set out in the following table.


UnitCustom textbook chapters
Introduction: Basic concepts and research methods in psychology
Module 1: Ch.1 What is psychology?
Module 2: Ch.2 Psychology's scientific method
Biological perspectives in psychology: The brain and senses
Module 1: Ch.3 Biological foundations of behaviour
Module 2: Ch.4 Sensation and perception
Ch.6 Learning
Ch.7 Memory
Lifespan development
Ch.12 Development
Motivation and emotion
Ch.10 Motivation and emotion
Ch.12 Personality
Social psychology
Ch.17 Social psychology
Stress, coping, and well-being
Ch.14 Health psychology: Stress, coping, and well-being
Psychological disorders and therapies
Module 1: Ch.15 Psychological disorders
Module 2: Ch.16 therapies


E-Library E-Reserve readings

In the Study Guide, you may be instructed to read articles in the E-Library E-Reserve. To read these items, go to the University's E-Library homepage and click on 'E-Reserve'. Log in, click 'Accept/Agree' on the Copyright Restrictions page, fill in the 'Course Code' box, and click 'Search'. Alternatively, you may access the readings via a hyperlink in the online course materials.


The Online Learning Environment (OLE)

This course is supported by HKMU's Online Learning Environment (OLE). You will find course materials and the latest course information on the OLE. You can also communicate with your tutor, the Course Coordinator and classmates through the OLE discussion board.


Face-to-face support

You will be supported throughout the course by regular face-to-face meetings in the form of tutorials and day schools. Regular tutorials will be arranged to highlight the key concepts of the units whilst three day schools will be held around the beginning, middle and end of the course. Details of the dates and times of these sessions can be found in the Course Schedules page of the OLE.



This course is designed to enable you to move easily from the stated objectives, through the study units to the assignments. During the course, you will have your progress assessed both formally (through summative assessment) and informally (through formative assessment).

  • Formative assessment includes various self-assessment activities (e.g. self-tests, activities, and online discussions) that you will undertake while working through the study units. These activities allow you to develop and monitor your own progress.
  • Summative assessment consists of five assignments.


Your performance is assessed by continuous assessment, taking up 100% of course grade.

There are five assignments for the course. The best four scores out of the five assignments will be counted towards your course grade (i.e. 4 x 25% = 100%). You will be expected to apply concepts and techniques acquired during the course when completing assignments.

  • Assignment 1, worth 25%, evaluates materials covered in Units 1 and 2.
  • Assignment 2, worth 25%, evaluates materials covered in Units 3 and 4.
  • Assignment 3, worth 25%, evaluates materials covered in Units 5 and 6.
  • Assignment 4, worth 25%, evaluates materials covered in Units 7 and 8.
  • Assignment 5, worth 25%, evaluates materials covered in Units 9 and 10.

How to submit assignments

You must use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) to prepare the assignments. The Assignment File gives you details on how to present and submit your assignments. Please refer to the OLE Assignments → General Information section. Please also read the Student Handbook for HKMU's policy on late assignments.

Assignments must reach your tutor by the due date shown on the presentation schedule (available on the OLE). If, for some good reason, you are unable to submit your assignment on time, you should, before the due date, ask your tutor or Course Coordinator for permission to submit it late. In general, you are expected to submit your assignments via the OLE. Assignments will be returned to you, marked and with commentary, as soon as possible.

Please note that there is no extension of the due date for the final assignment. For more information, please refer to your Student Handbook.


Course overview

The following table gives a general overview of the course structure. It suggests the amount of time you should allow for completing units and provides a broad schedule for you to plan your work. This estimation includes time for reading the units and custom textbook, completing activities, self-tests and assignments, and attending tutorials and day schools.


UnitTitleNo. of weeksAssignment
1Introduction: Basic concepts and research methods in psychology4 
2Biological perspectives in psychology: The brain and senses5Assignment 1
4Memory3Assignment 2
5Lifespan development4 
6Motivation and emotion3Assignment 3
8Social psychology3Assignment 4
9Stress, coping, and well-being3 
10Psychological disorders and therapies5Assignment 5

PSYC A228 aims to introduce the scientific study of psychology and provides a solid foundation for your further exploration in the subject. The units in this course cover the major concepts, theories, theoretical approaches, and empirical findings from different areas of specialisation, including biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, health psychology and clinical psychology. After finishing this course, you may be amazed by how psychology contributes to our understanding of the human mind and behaviours. This course opens the door for you to better understand yourself and others by applying the knowledge you will gain.

Coming soon