This module will examine:
- Perception, with particular emphasis on vision, but also hearing, taste, touch and smell;
- The Psychology of Language, including linguistic theory, speech, parsing, word meaning, and language production
- The Psychology of Reading, including word recognition, theories of eye-movement control, and reading multi-media displays
- Human Memory, covering the basics of encoding, storage and retrieval with particular reference to real-world applications of memory research
- Thinking and Problem Solving, including heuristics, biases, evolutionary perspectives on human rationality, and group decision making
Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
Psychology's historical and conceptual foundations are examined in this module. With respect to the historical and conceptual roots of psychology, the contributions of Ancient Greek, medieval, renaissance, and 19th and 20th-century thinkers are considered with particular emphasis on the relationship between body and mind and the nature of consciousness. At the same time, the scientific status of Psychology is considered in comparison to other social and physical sciences.
Personality and Individual Differences
This module covers the psychological explanations of personality and individual differences, and the relationship between the individual and society will be highlighted. In particular, the major personality theories are considered in detail and the application of these theories to areas such as abnormal psychology and health psychology are discussed. IQ is also covered and evolutionary bases of traits.
This module supports the development of practical and conceptual skills necessary for running experiments in psychology and interpreting data.
- experimental design
- interpretation of summary data
- analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
- implementing experiments with the computer-based user-interface PsychoPy
- writing up appropriate reports
- working independently as well as in groups.
Statistical Methods 4
This module will cover 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. The module will cover ANOVA, post-hoc tests, power, multiple linear regression, factor analysis, the nature of causality and field designs (both experimental and quasi-experimental), ethics, the reliability and validity of measures and field designs, as well as exploring some basic issues in questionnaire design and qualitative methods.
Neuroscience and Behaviour
This module will cover several issues in neuroscience and behaviour that are particularly relevant to understanding the biological bases of psychological functions. Among the topics to be covered are:
- psychobiological explanations of mental disorders
- sexual development and behaviour
- methods of studying neuropsychological processes
- the effects of brain damage on mental functioning including amnesias, agnosias and aphasias
- 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?
Social and Developmental Psychology
This module examine a range of issues in social and developmental psychology including:
- Current issues in social psychology
- 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
- Ontology of mentalising: Development of theory of mind in children
- 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
Empirical Research Project - Psychology (Conversion) MSc
You will undertake an independent research project over the summer. You will be supervised by a research-active academic. This is your opportunity to further your knowledge in a particular area.
Cognition in the Real World
The central theme of this module is to explore how cognition functions in the real world, and to demonstrate the relevance of cognitive psychology to everyday life. In particular, it will address how cognitive models and theories can be applied to tasks that we all perform.
- attention in driving
- memory for emotional events
- spatial navigation
As well covering contemporary cognitive psychology at an advanced level, components of the module will also integrate across other relevant research areas, including developmental psychology and neuropsychology.
This module will introduce you to the concept of abnormal psychology and the application of psychology in clinical settings. The module will illustrate how psychological models are developed and how they are applied in developing interventions. The emphasis will be on examining theory and evaluation of interventions for a number of disorders/clinical issues.
Neuropsychology of Action: The Body in the Brain
This module examines the psychological and neural basis for the planning and control of human action. You will be introduced to scientific research through guided exploration of the neuropsychological bases for human action. You will experience the multi-disciplinary nature of research into human behaviour and, by the end of the module, will understand how a single issue can be addressed from multiple perspectives including: experimental psychology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, and functional brain-imaging.
Understanding Developmental Disorders
This module explores how psychologists study and understand disorders of cognitive development. The course focuses largely on disorders which include impairments in attention, memory and/or executive function. Disorders covered include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, reading disorders and Down Syndrome.
Neuropsychology and Applied Neuroimaging
This module examines the deficits seen in individuals who have suffered brain damage. You will learn about the impairments of language, memory, perception, attention, motor control, executive control and emotion. This module evaluates both the clinical and theoretical aspects of these syndromes. In particular, this module will evaluate the implications regarding how the healthy brain functions.
Cognitive Development and Autism
This module will cover modern versions of nativist and empiricist theories of cognitive development. It will also give an overview of current theories which have been proposed to explain Autism Spectrum Disorder. It will provide an evaluation of these theories using behavioural, clinical and neurophysiological evidence from a range of domains including: Sensory and visual processing; drawing and musical skills (savant skills); social and emotional processing; imitation.
Forensic and Mental Health
The area of forensic mental health is extremely pertinent in both the criminal justice system and mental health services, as well as the integration of the two. It is a growing area of research in psychology and it is a popular area of work for many psychology graduates.
The module will concentrate on offending behaviours, typical categorisation of those who commit crimes or harm themselves, standard interventions for offenders and the neuroscience of offending. It will also cover 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.
This module provides an introduction to the contexts in which educational psychologists operate by examining the historical development of this profession within a set of major legislative and policy contexts, such as the recent drive to increase social inclusion. In particular, successes in, and barriers to, establishing a role as scientist-practitioners in educational settings will be explored.
The module will concentrate on assessment and intervention work with specific populations such as young people who display challenging behaviour in schools, vulnerable adolescents, and bilingual learners. Additionally, it will 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.
Developmental Dyslexia: Psychological and Educational Perspectives
This module explores psychological theories of developmental dyslexia and educational issues pertaining to this pervasive developmental disorder. It examines the cognitive characteristics and educational attainments of pupils with developmental dyslexia and addresses 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 you if you have an interest in developmental, cognitive, and/or educational psychology, and are wishing to pursue a career in child psychology, educational psychology, general teaching practice, and/or special needs education.
Some key questions to be considered are:
- what criteria should be used to diagnose developmental dyslexia?
- does developmental dyslexia reflect delayed or deviant behaviour?
- what are the specific educational issues pertaining to the provision of educational policy and practice for pupils with developmental dyslexia?
- how should pupils with developmental dyslexia be supported in the classroom?
Altruism, Cooperation and Helping
The course will cover theories and models of altruism, cooperation and helping form the perspective of psychology, economics and evolutionary biology. Among the theories examined will be reputation-based, strong-reciprocity, warm-glow and crowding and altruistic punishment from economics; kin selection, reciprocity, coercion, mutualism, cooperative breeding from biology; and empathy, personality, sexual selection and situational constraints from psychology.
You will consider why people sometimes don't help and actively try to benefit from others and apply these models to anti-social behaviour, and how we cooperate to inflict injury on other groups. It will also examine not just models of helping others, but also why people ask for help. You will finally look at how charities implement some of these principles and if they are successful.
The Visual Brain: Evolution, Development, Learning and Adaptation
The central theme of this module is to explore how the architecture and function of the visual brain have been designed and shaped by experiences over a range of timescales.
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.
This module will examine the consequences of evolution, development, learning and adaptation for visual brain function and perception.
Psychology of Ageing and Older People
This module considers how aspects of the brain and mind change with age.
Topics will include:
- perception and cognition
- decision making
- memory and forgetting
- social factors
- executive function
This module 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 reading, you will develop a structured research proposal to address an outstanding question or gap in knowledge.
Optional modules for PGDip Students
Applied Psychology: Road User Behaviour
You will learn road user behaviour from a number of psychological perspectives. Topics will include a critical review of brain scanning studies of driving, the visual skills required for driving, the effects of aging and experience, distraction (from in-car devices such as mobile phones, and from out-of-car objects such as road-side advertisements), and the skill of hazard perception (and whether this can be adequately measured as part of the licensing procedure).
The module will also cover memory for driving events (from every day driving to road traffic accidents), influences of emotion on driving (eg does the aggression-frustration hypothesis explain road rage?), and social and individual differences related to crash risk (eg sensation-seeking and risk propensity).
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. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
This course is offered on a full-time basis only, over 12 months following the academic year from September to September.
You will attend a selection of lecture-based modules to cover the British Psychological Society core areas, and a limited number of more specialised elective modules.
In addition, dedicated seminars are provided for each core module. You will also (subject to satisfactory progress) undertake an independent research project.
Assessment is by written examination at the end of each semester, by practical and research project reports and written assessments.
This course is offered on a full-time basis only, over nine months following the academic year from September to June.
Diploma students attend a selection of lecture-based modules to cover the British Psychological Society core areas, and a limited number of more specialised elective modules. Dedicated seminars are also provided for each core module.
Assessment is by written examination at the end of each semester, by practical and research project reports and written assessments.