Online course in Health & Psychology

Introduction to Psychology: Biological Psychology

Understand the link between behaviour and human biology, and learn how genes and the environment influence our behaviour.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 6 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $84 Find out more
This course is part of the Introduction to Psychology program, which will enable you to explore psychology with the option to start a Graduate Diploma in psychology.

Explore the intriguing world of biological psychology

On this course, you’ll explore a fascinating branch of psychology, which looks at the connection between behaviour and human biological functions, in particular, the nervous system.

You’ll examine the role that genetics, heredity, genetic disorders, the nervous system and the brain and spinal cord plays in shaping our bodies and behaviour.

You’ll also investigate the role that neurotransmitters and heritable diseases play in our behaviour and you’ll leave the course with your own unique perspectives on some of the most biological psychology research.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MATTHEW E.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsMUNDY PHD: What is the connection between behaviour and human biological function and our nervous system? Is it nature, or is it nurture? Just how do our genes and the environment shape our behaviour? Hi. I'm Matthew Mundy, and I'm the Director of Education for the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University in Australia. In this course, you'll explore the intriguing world of biological psychology. You'll be introduced to genetics and learn about heredity and genetic disorders, the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, and examine the important contribution these components make to our bodies and behaviour.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsYou'll also investigate the role that neurotransmitters and heritable diseases play in our behaviour and learn about some of the most recent advances made in this fascinating branch of psychology. This introductory course is designed for everyone, regardless of experience or background. However, learners who have already completed a bachelor degree in a discipline other than psychology and who are interested in expanding their science and research skills would be able to receive additional benefits from completing this course. No prior study of psychology is required or expected. The great thing about this course is it is part of a set of courses that create a for-credit pathway into Monash University's fully online Graduate Diploma of Psychology.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 secondsThat means learners who successfully complete the full set of courses and who are accepted into the Graduate Diploma of Psychology will receive one unit of academic credit. So if you want to learn more about the connection between behaviour and human biological functions, and you're ready to complete a set of courses that prepare you to enter a fully online course by a school of psychological sciences that's ranked among the best in the world, then I encourage you to join us in this course.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to genetics
  • Heredity and genetic disorders
  • Specific genetic disorders
  • The nervous system
  • The brain and spinal cord

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the role of genes in normal behaviour.
  • Interpret examples of heritable diseases affecting behaviour (e.g. Fragile X syndrome).
  • Assess the critical importance of the environment in shaping behaviour.
  • Identify the major divisions of the nervous system and major neural systems.
  • Identify neural system cell types and describe their functions, including how resting potential becomes an action potential.
  • Compare the role of synapses in communication within the nervous system.
  • Explain the roles of neurotransmitters in behaviour.
  • Identify the endocrine system, the major glands and the role of hormones in regulating bodily functions.

Who is the course for?

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.

Complete this course, then the program

This course is part of the Introduction to Psychology Program, based on the first unit of Monash University’s fully online Graduate Diploma of Psychology (GDP).

Learners who successfully complete the seven courses in the Program and who are accepted into the Graduate Diploma of Psychology will receive one unit of academic credit.

Who will you learn with?

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy

I am Associate Professor and Director of Education for the School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Australia. My research is in the cognitive neuroscience of memory and perception.

Who developed the course?

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

Free
$0

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks

Upgrade
$84

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible
New

Unlimited (New!)
$239 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.