module specification

PC5056 - Individual Differences (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Individual Differences
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   MCQ
Coursework 50%   Written coursework (1500 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

The module introduces students to classic and contemporary theories and research in topics related to personality, intelligence, and psychometrics. The aims of this module are to provide students with an understanding of:
• key theories and models of personality, intelligence, and individual differences in their historical and cultural context;
• how these areas can be scientifically and ethically investigated using appropriate research methodologies (psychometrics);
• how knowledge of individual differences can be ethically applied to the ‘real-world’ and their relevance to a range of settings.
This will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of this branch of psychology, which will be beneficial in future work and training. The module also fosters skills in the development of psychological assessment, academic argument and critical evaluation.

Prior learning requirements

Any introductory psychology module


Topics will be drawn from: personality and its assessment; psychometrics; individual differences; personality disorders; intelligence and its assessment; research ethics.

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. Supplementary guided learning via weblearn and self-managed private study will be provided when suitable.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. understand and evaluate key theories and modules of personality, intelligence and individual differences in their historical and cultural context and the extent to which they provide a comprehensive account of human behaviour.
2. apply theory and methodology to real world settings and appreciate the potential strengths, limitations, and ethical implications of different methods of psychological research and assessment.
3. critically evaluate key concepts and theories of individual differences and debate the comparative merits of different types of explanation and methodology.

Assessment strategy

A multiple-choice test will address the breadth of material covered in the module. A coursework assignment with a choice of topics will assess students’ depth of knowledge and understanding of core topics in individual differences. Formative assessments and constructive feedback throughout the module will allow students to develop their knowledge and understanding and help to prepare them for the summative assessments. Students must obtain a minimum average grade of 40% from the two assessments to pass the module.


Maltby, J. Day, L. & MacAskill, A. (2018) Personality, individual differences and intelligence. 4th Edition. Prentice Hall(core)
Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2013). Personality and individual differences (2nd edition). Blackwell

Rust, J., Kosinski, M., & Stillwell, D. (2020). Modern psychometrics: The science of psychological assessment (4th edition). Routledge