Introduction to Psychology - PSYC3120

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Janet Briggs checkmark-circle


The lectures will give a brief history and overview of the discipline, followed by an examination of different approaches to explaining human behaviour. Different areas of psychology (such as social and cognitive) will be explained and examples of topics in these areas examined as illustrations. The focus will be on the nature of psychology as a discipline, the types of methods and approaches used in psychology, and how it compares and contrasts with other disciplines in the social sciences.

Perspectives examined in the course will include:

- biopsychology ( the nervous system, including structure, functions and effects of damage)
- evolutionary principles and their relevance to behaviour
- behaviourism (principles of learning through conditioning)
- cognitive psychology (e.g. memory, decision-making)
- social psychology (e.g. group membership)
- clinical issues (anxiety disorders)


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Compulsory to: BSc (Hons) Social Sciences

Method of assessment

Essay 2,000 words 37.5%
Report 1,500 words 37.5%
Research Participation 25%

Reassessment methods: Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Reading List (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

- Banyard, P. & Grayson, A. (2008) Introducing Psychological Research: Seventy Studies that Shape Psychology (3rd Ed.) Basingstoke : Palgrave.
- Domjan, M. (2005). The Essentials of Conditioning and Learning. (3rd Edition). Southbank, Vic., Australia; Belmont, CA : Thomson/Wadsworth.
- Gazzaniga, M. & Heatherton, T. (2010). Psychological Science. (3rd edition). London ;New York : W. W. Norton.
- Gleitman, H., Fridlund, A. & Reisberg, D. (2011). Psychology. (8th Edition). New York : Norton & Co.
- Hogg, M.A.& Vaughan, G.M. (2011). Social Psychology. (6th Edition). Harlow: Prentice Hall.
- Kolb, B. & Wishaw, I.Q. (2008). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. (6th Edition). SAGE.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1. Describe the development of psychology as a discipline

8.2. Compare and contrast psychology with the natural and other social sciences

8.3. Compare and contrast different theoretical approaches in psychology

8.4. Understand how psychological research and theory have been applied to specific aspects of human experience and behaviour

8.5. Understand key controversial issues in psychological research and theory

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1. Locate journal articles using e-journals and other on-line sources; recognise reliable and unreliable sources of information online

9.2. Understand the basics of conducting empirical research including the design of studies, data collection and descriptive statistics

9.3. Communicate with others through seminar-based group discussions and problem-based group work

9.4. Organise material and communicate clearly in written essays and reports


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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