On Campus
2 x 0.5-hour online lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour workshop weekly

Distance Online
2 x 0.5-hour online lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour online workshop weekly
1 x 111-hour independent study per semester
Topic description

Thinking critically is important in all university studies and in the workplace. If you want something, being able to think critically will help you get it. In this topic you will study the kinds of thinking mistakes almost everyone is inclined to make and how to avoid them.

Educational aims

This topic aims to teach students about basic concepts and aspects of critical reasoning, such as:

  • The difference between arguments and opinions
  • The structure of arguments
  • The conditions for an argument being valid
  • Common fallacies of reasoning
  • Basic rules of categorical and propositional logic
  • The nature of evidence and what counts as reliable evidence
  • Scientific reasoning
  • Truth relativism
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Discover the value of critical thinking in personal life, at university and in the workplace
  2. Examine a range of cognitive biases and fallacies
  3. Examine the distinction between confirming and disconfirming evidence
  4. Appraise the basic structure of scientific reasoning
  5. Employ elementary statistical concepts

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.