You will study the following core modules as well as an independent research project.
Examine a wide range of topics including:
- perception, with emphasis on vision but also hearing, taste, touch and smell
- the psychology of language
- the psychology of reading
- human memory
- thinking and problem solving
Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
Examine the historical and conceptual roots of psychology.
Explore the contributions of ancient greek, medieval, renaissance, and 19th and 20th century thinkers with emphasis on the relationship between body and mind and the nature of consciousness.
You will also consider the scientific status of psychology in comparison to other social and physical sciences.
Neuroscience and Behaviour
Explore several issues in neuroscience and behaviour that are relevant to understanding the biological bases of psychological functions including:
- psychobiological explanations of mental disorders
- sexual development and behaviour
- methods of studying neuropsychological processes
- the effects of brain damage on mental functioning
- introduction to classical and instrumental conditioning
- theories of associative learning and memory
- what forgetting might tell us about learning
- topics in comparative cognition and cognitive abilities
- can animals do anything apart from conditioning?
Personality and Individual Differences
Explore the psychological explanations of personality and individual differences and the relationship between the individual and society
You will study the major personality theories in detail and the application of these to areas such as abnormal psychology, criminal behaviour and health.
You will also gain an insight into IQ and the evolutionary bases of traits.
Develop your practical skills in running experiments including:
- experimental design
- interpretation summary data and inferential statistics
- 'building' experiments with the computer-based user-interface, PsychoPy
Small groups will work on supervisor-guided projects.
Social and Developmental Psychology
Examine issues in social and developmental psychology including:
- social cognition and social thinking
- persuasive communication and attitude change
- social Influence
- conformity and obedience
- group decision making and behaviour change culture
- intergroup behaviour
- prejudice and discrimination
- perceptions and motivations
- evolution of mentalising and theory of mind
- mindblind: autism spectrum disorder
- phylogeny: the mental world of Apes
- development of synaesthesia
- language acquisition
- adult perceptual development: sensory substitution and augmentation
- conceptual development: colour cognition
- reading and spelling development
Study the basic concepts and assumptions with respect to univariate and multivariate statistics, as well as issues relating to field studies, ethics, the reliability and validity issues as well as basic qualitative techniques.
You will undertake an independent research project over the summer.
You must also choose an additional 20 credits worth of modules from the third year modules we offer.
They typically include the following options (subject to timetabling constraints and module prerequisites).
Altruism, Cooperation and Helping
Explore theories and models of altruism, cooperation and helping form the perspective of psychology, economics and evolutionary biology.
Examine theories from:
- economics - reputation based, strong-reciprocity, warm-glow and crowding and altruistic punishment
- biology - kin selection, reciprocity, coercion, mutualism, cooperative breeding
- psychology - empathy, personality, sexual selection and situational constraints
Consider why people sometimes dont help and actively try to benefit from others (e.g., Free-riding) and apply these models to anti-social behaviour, and how we cooperate to inflict injury on other groups.
You will also examine why people ask for help and finally, how charities implement some of these principles and if they are successful.
Psychology of Ageing and Older People
Discover how aspects of the brain and mind change with age.
- perception and cognition
- decision making
- memory and forgetting
- social factors
- executive function
The lectures will outline the major theories of ageing and draw on evidence from behavioural experiments, large scale studies, meta-analyses, brain imaging and studies in animals.
After your own reading, you will develop a structured research proposal to address an outstanding question or gap in knowledge.
An introduction to the concept of abnormal psychology and the application of psychology in clinical settings.
Discovery how psychological models are developed and how they are applied in developing interventions.
The module will emphasise examining theory and evaluation of interventions for a number of disorders/clinical issues.
Developmental Dyslexia: Psychological and Educational Perspectives
Explore psychological theories of developmental dyslexia and educational issues.
Examine the cognitive characteristics and educational attainments of pupils with developmental dyslexia and address the ways in which individual educational needs might be met at both the classroom and whole school level.
This module should be of interest to students with an interest in developmental, cognitive, and/or educational psychology, and those wishing to pursue a career in child psychology, educational psychology, general teaching practice, and/or special needs education.
Gain an insight into the contexts in which educational psychologists operate by examining the historical development of this profession.
Explore successes in, and barriers to, establishing a role as scientist-practitioners in educational settings.
Focus on assessment and intervention work with specific populations such as young people who display challenging behaviour in schools, vulnerable adolescents, and bilingual learners.
Examine psychological approaches to group work with teachers and pupils as well as the application of system theory in helping transform aspects of schools and other organisations.
Forensic and Mental Health
The area of forensic mental health is a growing area of research in psychology and is pertinent in both the criminal justice system and mental health services, and the integration of the two.
In this module you will study:
- offending behaviours
- typical categorisation of those who commit crimes or harm themselves
- standard interventions for offenders
- the neuroscience of offending
You will also explore the current research on specific offending behaviours, and examine the role of the criminal justice system and health service in dealing with individuals who offend.
Understanding Developmental Disorders
Explore how psychologists study and understand disorders of cognitive development.
This module focuses on disorders which include impairments in attention, memory and/or executive function.
Disorders covered include:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- reading disorders
- down syndrome
Cognition in the Real World
Discover how cognition functions in the real world, and the relevance of cognitive psychology to everyday life.
You will explore how cognitive models and theories can be applied to tasks that we all perform.
Topics include attention in driving, memory for emotional events, and spatial navigation.
Neuropsychology and Applied Neuroimaging
Examine the deficits seen in individuals who have suffered brain damage.
Learn about the impairments of language, memory, perception, attention, motor control, executive control and emotion.
Evaluate the clinical and theoretical aspects of these syndromes and in particular the implications regarding how the healthy brain functions.
Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology
Gain an understanding of the mechanisms of learning and memory in human and non-human animals, and an analysis of pathological conditions involving these systems.
You will study topics including perceptual learning, the contextual and attentional modulation of learning and behaviour as well as more neuroscientifically focused topics such as the role of the hippocampus in memory.
Clinical topics include the acquisition of phobias, memory discords, the psychological side effects of cancer treatment, and depression.
Neuropsychology of action: The body in the brain
Examine the psychological and neural basis for the planning and control of human action.
You will be introduced to scientific research, through a guided exploration of the neuropsychological bases for human action.
Experience the multi-disciplinary nature of research into human behaviour, and discover how a single issue can be addressed from multiple perspectives including experimental psychology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, and functional brain-imaging.
The Visual Brain: Evolution, Development, Learning and Adaptation
Explore how the architecture and function of the visual brain has been designed and shaped by experiences over a range of timescales.
The innate properties of the eye and visual brain that are present at birth have been designed over millions of years of evolution. The brain continues to physically change its structure and function within a lifetime (brain plasticity). Over the years of development, brain plasticity is the driving force for the maturation of different visual brain functions.
Even well into adulthood, plasticity is retained in the form of learning, which can optimise performance for certain visual tasks and be exploited for therapeutic uses.
Examine the consequences of evolution, development, learning and adaptation for visual brain function and perception.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.