Module Identifier PS10120  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Kathryn Bullen  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Kathryn Bullen, Mrs Bethany R Ap Huw  
Course delivery Lecture   18 x 1 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 x 1 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1 x essay outline (500-750 words)  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2000 word essay  30%
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Supplementary Assessment Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module. For further clarification please contact the Academic Administrator in the Department of International Politics 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key distinctions and relationships between sub-disciplines in   psychology.
2. Identify the differences between reductionist and biopsychosocial perspectives in psychology.
3. Critically assess the contribution of different psychological perspectives to the understanding of human behaviour.
4. Examine and evaluate the application of basic concepts to a range of applied areas of psychology.
5. Critically evaluate the controversies of psychological research and practice and the contribution of psychology to contemporary society.
6. Demonstrate how their understanding of psychology can support their own development as self-directed learners.


This module provides an introduction to psychology for the non-specialist and assumes no prior knowledge of psychology. It provides students with an overview of the evolution of psychology as a discipline, the sub-disciplines within psychology and a range of applications of psychology. The module both stands alone as an introduction to the subject and provides students with a knowledge base for future study.

Brief description

The module examines the emergence of psychology as a discipline from its roots in philosophy and biology. The development of the subject is charted against the wider demands of social, political and cultural change. The main sub-disciplines within psychology are examined with particular attention to social, developmental and individual differences (personality, intelligence, mental health). The biological underpinnings of psychology are also outlined. Basic theory leads into application and the ways in which psychology informs both theory and practice in the areas of health, education, forensic and cross-cultural psychology.


- Psychology as a pure and applied discipline.
- Key figures in psychology.
- Sub-disciplines in psychology: social, developmental, individual differences, cognitive, biological.
- Applications grounded in sub-disciplines.
- Psychology and education.
- Psychology and health/mental health.
- Psychology and forensic practice.
- The contribution of psychology to learning.
- Controversies in psychology.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider case studies; reason logically; apply theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.  
Research skills The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student┬┐s ability to work alone can be undertaken  
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the facilitator and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students┬┐ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.  
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module  
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and PsychLit).  
Application of Number Not directly applicable although students will be introduced to the key concepts of statistical analysis through the examination of research designs.  
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills  
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and research publications presented on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Assessment of scientific methods in psychology. - Differentiation between quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry. - Demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches. - Appreciation of the nature of ethical research in the social sciences.  


This module is at CQFW Level 4