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Unit information: Introduction to Psychology in Education in 2018/19

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Unit name Introduction to Psychology in Education
Unit code EDUC10005
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Shelley McKeown Jones
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


At the most basic level, psychology can be defined as the science of mind and behaviour and as such, psychologists are interested in understanding why people behave the way they do. They wish to answer some of the fundamental questions associated with human existence, for example; How do we remember and forget? How malleable is the brain? How can learning be reinforced? What is intelligence? Is personality changeable? Is nature or nurture more important? Why do people behaviour differently in groups?

Psychological theory and research can be applied to better understand the complexities of the relationship between mind/behaviour processes and education, as the cornerstone of modern society and human development.

This unit develops students’ skills in the four main content areas of biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology in the context of their relevance to a wide range of educational contexts and questions. These are the core areas of psychology providing the foundation for students’ degree programmes in psychology as required for accreditation by the professional body, the British Psychological Society. Each of these four areas is covered in turn throughout the unit.

Thus, the aims of the unit are to:

  • engage students in consideration of different types of small-scale research in the foundation areas of psychology;
  • engage in critical thinking and oral presentations linked to the foundation areas;
  • become familiar, and actively engaged, with contemporary methods and techniques for studying psychology;
  • apply these to educational problems.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate that they:

  1. have an understanding of what psychology is, as well as the differences between associated sub-disciplines of the field;
  2. are able to identify how key theoretical approaches in psychology can be applied to education;
  3. are able to debate some of the important contemporary issues dominant in psychology today;
  4. have the ability to summarise key materials and present in both oral and written form;
  5. have an awareness of different research methods used in psychology and how they offer understanding of psychological phenomena.

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of lectures, class discussion, debates and group presentations. Each week the first session will introduce a new core area of psychology through a lecture, as well as class participation and exercises. The second session will follow on how the material taught in the first meeting applies to education. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis.

Assessment Details

ILO 1,2 :Multiple Choice Test (60%)

The multiple choice test will comprise questions drawn from the core text

ILO 2,4,5: Poster (40%)

Students will submit an individual poster addressing an educational issue.

Reading and References

Essential (Core text)

Gross, R. (2015). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour (7th Ed). London: Hodder Education.

Suggestions for recommended and further reading will be made separately through Blackboard