Political Psychology - PSYC8600

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Hannah Zibell checkmark-circle


This module provides an opportunity to study at an advanced level the literature on political psychology. The module will stress how psychology and political science in combination can serve to analyse and explain political processes. Emphasis will be placed on applying theoretical models and empirical findings to the analysis of real-world problems. Topics that will be addressed include political ideology, social justice and inequality, political engagement and extremism, political leadership and perceptions of government and authority. This module relies heavily on student participation and discussion.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 34
Private study hours: 166
Total study hours: 200


Compulsory for:
MSc Political Psychology : POLPSY:MSC-T

Optional for:
MSc in Group Processes and Intergroup Relations : GRPPRO:MSC-T
MSc Research Methods in Psychology : RMPSY:MSC-T
MSc Social and Applied Psychology : SOCAPSY:MSC-T
MA Programmes in the School of Politics and International Relations

Method of assessment

Long Essay 4,000 words 80%
Short Essay 1,000 words 20%

Reassessment methods: Like for Like.

Indicative reading

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

Huddy, L., Sears, D.O., & Levy, J.S. (Eds.) (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology (2nd Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Jost, J. T., & Sidanius, J. (Eds.) (2004). Political Psychology: Key readings. New York: Psychology Press.

Jost, J.T., Kay, A.C., & Thorisdottir, H. (Eds.) (2009). Social and psychological bases of ideology and system justification. New York: Oxford University Press.

A list of carefully selected empirical articles from leading journals in the fields of social/personality psychology and political science will be provided.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

8.1 Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the core domains of political psychology, including core conceptual, historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of political psychology;

8.2 Demonstrate the intellectual skill of critical reflection when considering the diversity of theoretical and empirical perspectives that underpin the study of psychology of political processes;

8.3 Demonstrate the skill to synthesise literature and research in psychology and political science;

8.4 Show key intellectual skills when critically evaluating theoretical and empirical literature on political psychology;

8.5 Demonstrate the skill to apply the theoretical models to real-life social contexts;

8.6 Demonstrate the transferable skills to communicate and evaluate analyses of political psychology in speech and writing;

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

9.1 Demonstrate writing, reading and oral skills to present and interpret material with evidence of the use of relevant literature;

9.2 Show the ability to critically evaluate the quality of theory and method in published research and of peers;

9.3 Demonstrate the ability to express opinions, argue rationally and engage in critical thinking both orally and in the written form


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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