module specification

PC4052 - Personality (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Personality
Module level Certificate (04)
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
Unseen Examination 50%   Written exam
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon
Summer studies North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The aims of this module are to allow students to:
(1) be aware of and understand some classic and contemporary theories and models of personality in their historical and cultural context.
(2) understand how theory and research in this domain can help explain individual behaviour in everyday life.
(3) think critically about different theories and assessment methods in personality psychology.
(4) be aware of ethical considerations in research on personality.

This knowledge and understanding will help students’ employment skills by enabling them to appreciate the different perspectives that are needed to fully understand individual behaviour in everyday life. The module develops students’ critical understanding of some key principles underlying psychological research (e.g., ethical principles and the historical and cultural specificity of research in personality psychology) that will facilitate progression to modules at levels 5 and 6. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.


Topics will be drawn from: psychodynamic theories; humanistic theories; trait theories; behaviourist theories; biological basis of personality traits; personality and emotions; state motivation and motivational traits; needs, motives, personal strivings and goals; creativity; research ethics.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 4

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 where appropriate.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will understand and be able to evaluate and discuss:
1. Classic and contemporary explanations of how personality characteristics are acquired and the role of nature and the environment in their development.
2. How personality can be investigated from different perspectives using different method and applied to everyday situations.
3. The scientific and empirical basis of key concepts and assumptions in personality psychology.
4. Ethical considerations associated with this branch of psychology.

Assessment strategy

A multiple-choice test will address the breadth of material covered in the module up to that point. An unseen exam with assess students’ depth of knowledge and understanding of core topics in personality psychology. Formative assessments and constructive feedback provided 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 aggregate grade of 40% across the two assessments to pass the module.


Maltby, J. Day, L. & MacAskill, A. (2017) Personality, individual differences and intelligence (4th edition). Harlow: Prentice Hall [Core]
Pervin, L.A. & Cervone, D. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th edition). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.