Critical Thinking - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP2 , SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2 , Sem3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (25%) , Assignment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as PHI120 Critical Thinking.

This unit aims to teach the fundamentals of critical thinking and reasoning. Students will learn how to construct, analyse and critically evaluate arguments, how to detect common fallacies in reasoning and how to think logically and creatively. We teach these skills by developing practical techniques for the evaluation of reasoning, and applying them to arguments from business, law, science, politics, philosophy and the media. Critical thinking skills are invaluable across all disciplines, and will benefit you in academic contexts and in life beyond university.

This unit is part of the Humanities Pathway.

OUA Pathways recommends the best units to start your studies, even if you're not sure which course you want to do. Each pathway includes four units based on your area of interest, plus the option to study preparatory units for free (PREP03 Preparing for University Learning Intensive and PREP04 Preparing for Academic Writing). Once you complete your recommended path you'll be able to choose from a range of courses in your area of interest. Plus, each of the units you complete through OUA Pathways can also be credited towards your chosen course.

Learn more about OUA Pathways.

By the completion of this unit student will learn:

  1. how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form
  2. about different types of reasoning, such as deductive and inductive reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each
  3. to apply your critical analysis skills to real arguments from a variety of contexts, and to recognise the generalisability of these skills, and their applicability to other disciplines
  4. to develop critical analysis skills
  5. to develop problem-solving skills
  6. to develop creative writing skills.
  • Assignment 1 (25%)
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Participation (15%)
  • Quizzes (30%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PHI120 — Critical Thinking
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction - What is critical thinking and why do we need it?
2What are arguments?
3Standardisation and reconstruction of arguments
4Deductive arguments
5Inductive arguments
6Critical Thinking and the Human Mind
7"Automatic" thinking and critical reasoning
8The power of language and image
9Fallacies and pseudo-reasoning
10Putting it all together

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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