Biopsychology I

Biological psychology (or biopsychology) is the study of the nervous system and behaviour. Study this course to learn about brain anatomy, bodily chemicals and hormones, and how different physiological systems influence our behaviour.

Course Code: BPS108
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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STIMULATE YOUR INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY

Biopsychology is a fascinating subject which will provide students with an insight into the workings of the human brain. This subject combines biological explanations of behaviour with psychological ones to try and answer fundamental questions like how do we move, think, develop language and experience senses, and what happens when we sleep or experience other altered states of consciousness.   

START WORKING TOWARDS YOUR FUTURE

This in-depth course will further your understanding of human psychology and health with scientific insights into the body-mind relationship. Therefore, it is of particular interest to those who have studied or want to study psychology, as well as to health practitioners. 

  • Some people study this for professional development -health professionals, fitness and sports professionals, counsellors, psychologists, etc
  • Others study out of personal interest
  • 100 hours, self paced, start anytime

 

STUDENT COMMENTS

 "I am beginning to understand how the brain works, and it is opening up a whole new dimension! It's fantastic." Yvonne Munshi, South Africa, Biopsychology student.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found ACS to be wonderful in all aspects"
D. Kenyon, ACS Biopsychology student


What is Biopsychology?

Biopsychology is also known as “Physiological Psychology”, “Psychobiology” or “Biological Psychology”.

Physiology is the study of the way living organisms function. It can encompass the way things move, chemical and bodily processes, growth, atrophy, and anything else that supports or causes physical or chemical changes to occur within the body. Therefore, it differs from anatomy, which is the study of the physical structure of the body.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Types of external and internal stimuli, mind-body debate, introduction to the nervous system.
  2. The senses
    • Sensory input, sensory perception, description of the major senses.
  3. The Nervous System
    • Description of the neurons, the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, including the autonomic nervous system.
  4. The Endocrine System
    • Effect of hormones on behaviour and physiology, association of endocrine system and nervous system, connection between external and internal stimuli.
  5. Stress
    • Types of stressors, physical affects of stress, personality & stress.
  6. Emotions
    • Homeostasis, eating disorders, physiological responses to emotions, theories of emotion.
  7. Consciousness
    • Degrees of consciousness, awareness & attention, altered states of consciousness.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain what is meant by the mind-body debate and consider various theories.
  • Explain how different people can perceive the same stimulus in different ways, due to biological differences between them.
  • Explain how the condition and functioning of the nervous system can affect the psychology of an individual.
  • Explain the function of sensory and motor neurons.
  • Explain the functioning of the cerebellum, the hypothalamus and the thalamus.
  • Identify which brain structures are present in the limbic system, and their main functions.
  • Explain how dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine act as neurotransmitters.
  • Explain how the condition and functioning of the endocrine system can affect the psychology of an individual.
  • Describe the relationship between psychological stress and the physical response of the body.
  • Discuss the relationship between emotions and the physical nature of the body.
  • Discuss the relationship between consciousness and the physical nature of the body.
  • Describe the effect of three psychoactive drugs on the Central Nervous System.
  • Explain how the autonomic nervous system works in terms of its sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions.

Mind and Body 


There are obvious, observable or measurable associations between the physiology and the psychology of a person. For example, the mind and emotions can be affected by chemical processes caused by different foods, such as the soothing effects of bananas and carbohydrates. Intake of other substances, such as alcohol or other drugs, can affect the psychological state of a person. On the other hand, emotions can cause physiological responses. For instance, when people become stressed, their blood vessels may contract and the heart rate may increase. It has also been shown that focusing on positive thoughts such as love, appreciation or gratitude can cause immediate improvement in immune system function and regulate heart rhythm.

 

Mind over body is not always possible. The body also influences the mind and much of what we consider basic human behaviour.  Learn to describe ways in which human psychology and human physiology influence each other and our behaviour.


What Really Determines Sex?

Sex is determined by sex chromosomes. XX produces a female, XY a male. Males are produced by the action of a gene on the Y chromosome that contains the code for the production of a protein called H-Y antigen – this causes the development of the gonads to testes. If there is no testicular hormone, the Mullerian system (embryonic precursors to female reproductive organs) will develop female sex organs and the Wolffian system (embryonic precursors to male reproductive organs) will fail to develop. That is, in the embryo, there are “potential” reproductive organs waiting to develop, but without the correct hormone, they will not develop into the correct organs. There is a condition called Turner’s Syndrome. People with Turner’s Syndrome have only one sex chromosome – the X chromosome – so instead of XX or XY, they are XO. The ovum that gives rise to an individual with Turner’s Syndrome has been fertilised by a sperm that has lost its Y chromosome. As the Y chromosome is not present, the H-Y antigen is not produced, so the testes do not develop. As only one X chromosome is present, the ovaries do not develop. However, even though they have no gonads at all, people with Turner’s Syndrome develop into females with normal female internal sex organs.

Sexual maturity occurs when the hypothalamus begins to secrete gonadotrophin releasing hormone, which stimulates the secretion of follicle stimulating hormone and lutenizing hormone by the anterior pituitary gland. These hormones stimulate the gonads to secrete their hormones and cause the body to develop secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, pubic hair.

What This Course Can Do For You

Biopsychology brings together biology and psychology. Understanding where the physical structures in the brain are located and how they are involved in the way we experience the world around us is the goal of this course. Graduates will learn about how messages are transmitted inside the brain and body, the role of chemicals and hormones, and the detection and interpretation of sensory information. This type of knowledge helps students to piece together their understanding of other areas of psychology.

This course may be studied by itself or as part of a certificate or higher level course. The course will be most interest to those working in or planning to work in:

  • Psychology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Biological sciences
  • Health sciences
  • Health professionals

 

ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

Principal John Mason is a member of the ANZMH. ACS Students are invited to join


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

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This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist.
B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE.
Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc.
25 years industry experience in writing,





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Sarah Pirecki

BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

Jade Sciascia

B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Prof.Ed, Cert Food Hygiene.

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

Melissa Leistra

Bachelor Education, Masters Human Nutrition

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

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