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Unit information: Cognitive Psychology in 2017/18

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Cognitive Psychology
Unit code PSYC20002
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1B (weeks 7 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Nick Scott-Samuel
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This unit develops your knowledge of how humans and other biological systems behave on the basis of information from the environment (perception) and from past experience (memory).

The aims of this unit are to build on Year 1 Cognitive Psychology and the theories of memory and perception (particularly vision) drawing on evidence from behavioural experiments and neuroscience. It is structured around a number of key themes, taking an information-processing view of how photons arriving at the retina are turned into biologically relevant information.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Describe the topic and methodological approaches to the study of perception and memory, including perception of spatial form, colour, depth and motion; and semantic memory, episodic memory, working memory and procedural memory.
  2. Explain the application of these approaches to the study of specific areas of psychological science.
  3. Identify these methodologies in other areas of psychological science.
  4. Appraise the conceptual and historical issues in cognitive psychology and how they relate to other areas of psychological science.
  5. Demonstrate the skills necessary to stage a seminar-based presentation.

Teaching details

Lectures, revision session, and seminars (presenting at one of the seminars).

Assessment Details

One 1600-word essay (20%); one oral presentation (20%) and one 2-hour written exam (60%).

Reading and References

Essential: None


Mather, G. (any edition). Foundations of perception. Hove and New York: Psychology Press.

or any other textbook you feel happy with (a list of possibilities will be provided in the first lecture)

Baddeley, A., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2009). Memory. Hove: Psychology Press.

Additional recommended and further reading will be made available through Blackboard