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Foundations of Psychology

  • Module code: PS4002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 4
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: N/A
  • Co-requisites: N/A

Summary

This module introduces students to theories and ideas of psychological science in core areas of research. This module allows students to acquire a broad foundation of knowledge of these core areas, as well as many specialist sub-areas of psychology (e.g., biological psychology, learning, sensory and perceptual processes, memory, thought and knowledge, language, social, developmental, neuropsychology, individual differences, clinical).

Aims

  • To introduce and provide a broad foundation of knowledge of core areas of psychology;
  • To present the scientific and conceptual foundations of psychology;
  • To develop key study skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Describe the key theories of psychological science in core areas of research including biological, social, developmental, cognitive, among others;
  • Discuss the scientific and conceptual foundations of psychology;
  • Develop scientific writing skills and format text and references using the APA style guidelines  and have a good awareness of key skills needed for studying psychology. 

Curriculum content

The curriculum content will include an introduction to the foundations of psychological science, such as;

  • Psychology as a science
  • Evolutionary and Genetic Influences on Behaviour
  • The Brain and the Nervous System
  • Sensation
  • Perception
  • Consciousness
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Thinking
  • Language
  • Intelligence
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality
  • Psychopathology
  • Treatment of Mental Disorders
  • Writing an essay
  • Preparing for a permitted materials examination
  • Skills: studying, writing, note taking, plagiarism, referencing, library skills.
  • Employability, PDP, writing a C.V., using CASE

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be delivered through 22 two hour interactive lectures, which will introduce topics and provide a structure for the students reading.  These interactive lectures will vary in the form they take, according to the set topic but typically core material will be presented in the first hour and practical exercises or discussions relating to the core material in the second hour. The practical exercises may comprise of group discussions, discussions of key articles, debates or use of video material, as well as keynote lectures.

In addition, students will be given 6 two-hour seminars over the course of the module. These will be used to foster in-class discussions, to give feedback and advice on homework assignments in preparation for the examination, to discuss key topics, and to deliver PDP materials including interactive sessions on academic writing, plagiarism, essay writing, and note taking. Some of the seminars will relate closely to the examination topics, to provide the students with further opportunities to discuss core material that will assist them in the examination (for example reading a key article, or discussing a theory).

At the end of the module, there will be an undergraduate poster event, where students will work in groups to design and write a poster about a key topic or area of psychology. These posters will be displayed for the entire cohort, and students will also be expected to answer questions on the poster content. The subject matter for the poster will also relate to the topic that they chose for their essay. Personal tutors will work with small groups of students to give on-going guidance and support over choosing a topic, writing an essay and designing and writing a poster.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures 44
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminars 12
Guided independent study Independent study 244
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to enable students to gain a broad foundation of knowledge of core areas of psychology. It also seeks to enable them to develop key study skills that will provide a core basis for their degrees such as essay writing, note taking, APA referencing, plagiarism, and preparing for examinations.

Learning will be assessed via three points of assessment;

  • A poster (10%)
  • A 1000 word essay (40%). The mark for the poster will be a group mark.
  • An essay draft (10%) outlining key structure and arguments
  • A one-hour permitted materials examination (40%) composed of short essay questions.

Completing the the poster, and essaywill enable students to understand the key theories of psychology, and the different approaches and methods that are used in different areas of psychology such as social, developmental, evolutionary or cognitive psychology. Collectively these assessments will also allow students to demonstrate their academic writing skills for psychology, and the ability to use their information to write in different formats (an essay and poster). Students will gain a practical understanding of APA referencing and the study skills needed for psychology. Feed forward feedback will enable students to receive feedback on their thinking and ideas about their essays, in order to improve their writing for the poster.

In the second teaching block, completing a one hour permitted materials exam will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned about the scientific and conceptual foundations of psychology, and the historical development of psychology as a scientific discipline. Importantly, students will be permitted to take 4 sheets of A4 paper containing their notes into the examination room. This will assist them in learning how to synthesise information, and write clear and concise notes. Students will have the opportunity to practice writing for the permitted materials examination exam in one of the seminars.

 

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Describe the key theories of psychological science in core areas of research including biological, social, developmental, cognitive, among others Formatively through seminar activities and summatively through essay, essay draft and poster
Discuss the scientific and conceptual foundations of psychology, and the historical development of psychology as a scientific discipline Formatively through seminar activities and summatively through exam
Develop scientific writing skills and format text and references using the APA style guidelines and have a good awareness of key skills needed for studying psychology Formatively through seminar activities and summatively through essay, essay draft and poster

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Poster 10
CWK 1000 Word Essay 50
EXWR one-hour permitted materials examination 40
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Gleitman, H., Gross, J. & Reisberg, D. (2010). Psychology (8th ed.). US: W.W. Norton and Co inc.

Passer, M., Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., & Vliek, M. (2012). Psychology. The science of mind and behaviour. (2nd ed.). UK: McGraw-Hill.

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