module specification

PC3000 - Key Studies that Shaped Psychology (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Key Studies that Shaped Psychology
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Essay 1 (500 words)
Coursework 25%   Essay 2 (500 words)
Coursework 25%   Essay 3 (500 words)
Coursework 25%   Essay 4 (500 words)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The aims of the module are to (1) introduce some of the key studies that helped generate the fundamental paradigms and concepts in psychology; (2) consider the historical and cultural context of those studies; (3) provide knowledge and understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches within psychology; (3) foster independent learning by initiating student-led tasks; and (4) develop key skills relevant to pursuing further academic study of psychology. These outcomes will facilitate progression to level 4 of the BSc Psychology.


Topics include: an introduction to psychology and its main sub-disciplines (biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, personality, and social psychology); key studies from across the broad discipline of psychology; theoretical and methodological approaches within psychology.

Learning Outcome LO 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The learning objectives will be achieved through a combination of lectures and interactive workshops and seminars (81 hours), supplementary guided web-based learning (100 hours), and self-managed independent study (119 hours). Students will be encouraged and guided to reflect on their learning throughout the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:
1. Be able to describe and interpret key studies in psychology
2. Have knowledge of different theoretical and methodological approaches in psychology
3. Understand the importance of ethics in research design
4. Be able to present a cogent account of psychological concepts and arguments based on empirical evidence

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment will be via four short coursework assignments (500 words each, with each counting for 25%). Formative assessment will be via web-based exercises and seminar work. To pass the module students must achieve a minimum aggregate grade of 40%.


Davey, G. (2008). Complete psychology (2nd edition). Oxon: Routledge.
Martin, G. N., Carlson, M. R., & Buskist, W. (2013). Psychology (5th edition). London: Pearson.