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Unit information: Foundations of Psychology in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

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 Foundations of Psychology
Unit code LANG00033
Credit points 20
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mrs. Elizabeth Allen
Open unit status Not open

IELTS minimum 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5 in writing and 4.5 in all other components or equivalent



School/department Centre for Academic Language and Development
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of the fundamental principles of psychology and will cover three core areas: social, cognitive and developmental psychology.

The aims of the unit are to introduce students to these foundation areas of psychology, to enhance their critical thinking and oral presentation skills in these areas, and to become familiar with contemporary methods and techniques for studying psychology.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the major theoretical perspectives taken in social, cognitive and developmental psychology.
  2. Describe the methodologies and techniques used in social, cognitive and developmental psychology.
  3. Discuss and evaluate research studies and present material both orally and in written form.

Teaching details

There will be fortnightly lectures on the core topics followed by fortnightly discussion about the practical application of the topics. In addition, there will be fortnightly research methods lectures followed by tutorials for group-based activities which will be increasingly project related.


1hr lecture on core topics x 12

1hr tutorial on core topics x 12

1hr research methods lecture x 12

1hr tutorial on applying research methods x 12

Assessment Details

Formative Assessment

Hypothesis creation task (400 words)

Presentation of research topic (10 mins)

Summative Assessment

Multiple-choice exam covering topics from Term 1 (1hr): 25% (ILOs 1, 3)

Research report on a conducted experiment (1500 words): 50% (ILOs 2, 3)

Short essay exam covering topics from Term 2 (1hr): 25% (ILOs 1,3)

Reading and References

Essential Reading

Schacter, D. L., Gilbert, D. T., Wegner, D. M., & Hood, B. M. (2015). Psychology (2ndEuropean ed.) UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

Further Reading

A-Level Psychology: AQA Year 1 & 2 Complete Revision & Practice. CGP A-Level Psychology