module specification

PC4005 - Study Skills and Introductory Biopsychology (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Study Skills and Introductory Biopsychology
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20% 40 Reflective log
Practical Examination 20% 40 Presentation
Coursework 10% 40 Research participation log
Coursework 25% 40 Essay (max 1000 words)
Unseen Examination 25% 40 MCQ
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North Tuesday Afternoon
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically, this module aims to
• Develop students’ ability to study and learn at HE level.
• Enable students to reflect upon and develop their abilities in oral and written communication, selecting, analysing and evaluating information, and interpersonal relationship management.
• Support students in understanding and creating a profile of personal and professional skills, attributes and achievements
• Give students the opportunity to experience and make use of peer support.

As such, the student skills element of this module encourages students to develop practical, intellectual and interpersonal skills that are of use in many employment settings, and also provides students with a toolkit of intellectual and practical academic skills which will assist their progression to modules at levels 5 & 6.

Aims for Biological Psychology module:
• Provide an introduction to the fundamentals of biological psychology.
• Provide a framework for evaluating biological research methods, ideas and theories.
• Introduce the use of data from both humans and animals
• encourage independent learning through developing library skills and the ability to provide evidence and to support or refute ideas


This module orientates students to HE study and allows students the opportunity to practise and develop their academic and transferrable professional skills in psychology.

Study skills
The syllabus supports students to settle in to university life: to get to know their peer group, learn about University resources and develop other personal skills such as organisation.  LO1,LO2
Students will learn to improve their reading and note-taking strategies, writing skills, research skills and presentation skills. LO1,LO3,LO4
Students will practise identifying skills learned at university and how these are useful to employers.  LO2
Students will take part in a research participation scheme LO4

Topics will be drawn from introducing the nervous system and endocrine system, neuronal communications, neuroanatomy, biological research methodology, behavioural and molecular genetics, vision, the biological bases of the senses etc. LO5,LO6,LO7

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered through a variety of teaching and learning methods. A combination of group and individual activities will take place within a framework of lectures, seminars and workshops.

Study skills: key material will be delivered through lecture sessions plus practical exercises during lectures and workshops, offering students the opportunity to develop their understanding of the topics and reflect upon how their new understanding could be applied to their own academic and personal development.  Guided independent study opportunities (e.g., reading, websites) will be offered via WebLearn. Students are also expected to engage in private study around the topics covered in this part of the module.

Biological Psychology:
A combination of lectures, group seminars & individual tutorials will be selectively used, according to the students’ preferences.  Supplementary guided learning via WebLearn and self-managed private study will be provided when suitable.

For PDP development, students will be exposed to the full discipline of biological psychology. During this time, the different careers within the field of biological psychology will be discussed. During seminars students will have the opportunity to discuss potential careers within the area and seek advice from lecturers.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Study skills
1. Apply study techniques, skills and strategies to help their learning and written work.
2. Identify transferable skills learned at University
3. Identify their oral presentation skills and identify areas for improvement
4. Demonstrate experience of psychological research

Biological Psychology
5. Practice and develop their oral and written communication skills, and skills in identifying, selecting and analysing information.
6. Provide knowledge of the nervous system and its influence on human behaviour.
7. Conduct literature reviews including the use of journal articles and specialist texts rather than just general texts, evaluating theories and communicating this within a word limit in order to enhance editorial transferable skills.

Assessment strategy

Study skills: A Reflective log on study skills (20%), a presentation (20%) and a research participation log in which students reflect on their participation in 3 or more studies (a study = 1 Hours).

Biological Psychology: Essay – Max 1000 words (25%), MCQ (25%). Formative assessment in & after class for self-reflect learning progress.


Study Skills
Parson, V. (2018). Study and Communication Skills for Psychology (2nd Ed). Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Biological Psychology
Chandler, C., (2015) Psychobiology. Chichester, Wiley Blackwell.

Carlson, N. R. (2009). Physiology of behaviour (10th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education.

Pinel, J. P. J. (2010). Biopsychology (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.