PSYC451-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)

Human Factors - Ergonomics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


An overview of the role of psychology in the field of cognitive ergonomics and human factors.

Why do some products satisfy while others frustrate? What human factors lead to the acceptance and repeated use of new technologies? Designers want their products to be useful, usable, and desirable, organisations want their people to thrive in their work environments, and engineers want their technologies to be safe and error-free.

This course explores these and other issues as it examines the science behind why, and how, people think about, experience, and engage with the ‘artificial’ or human-made world. More particularly, students will learn about the specific human factors (cognitive, emotional, social, and physical) that shape our behaviour—with everything from consumer products to bleeding-edge technologies to the design of workplaces, healthcare, equipment, software, and even AI. Along the way, students will develop foundational knowledge for researching and applying psychological science to a wide range of products and environments—both physical and digital—and in ways that serve human beings more effectively and safely.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will:

1. have gained knowledge regarding the various concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, historical trends and issues at the forefront of modern human factors research.

2. understand and appreciate the wide range of varied applications of human factors.

3. be able to apply the various concepts and theories to real life contexts and environments.

4. be able to understand issues surrounding ethically, theoretically, and methodologically sound human factors research.

5. be able to present theories and research in both oral and written formats.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

Equivalent Courses


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Dwain Allan


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Attendance and participation 10%
Literature review 30%
Essay 30%
Video presentation and handout 30%

Textbooks / Resources

There is no prescribed text for this course. Assigned readings for lectures/labs will be provided online via LEARN.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,079.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing .

All PSYC451 Occurrences

  • PSYC451-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)