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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 PSYC10004
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Philip Collard
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit covers the four main areas of psychology: biological, cognitive, developmental, and social. These core areas of psychology provide the foundation for your degree programme in psychology as required for accreditation by the professional body, the British Psychological Society.

The aims of the unit are to introduce you to these foundation areas of psychology, to enhance your 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. Describe the major theoretical perspectives taken in biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology.
  2. State the new insights into how the mind (brain) supports a range of key capacities in each of these four areas, including neurophysiological processes, perception, memory, and language, lifespan development, and social interactions.
  3. List the methodologies and techniques used in biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology.
  4. Discuss and evaluate research studies and present material both orally and in poster form.

Teaching details

Weekly lectures, including overview/revision lectures that support assessment.

Tutorials with your Personal Tutor are scheduled approximately every two weeks and link directly with this unit.

Assessment Details

Assessment and Award of Credit:

  • Each of the core areas is examined by coursework (two essays of 1600-words – 40%), 2-hour multiple-choice examination (two exams - 20%), and a 2-hour written examination (40%).
  • Attendance and participation in tutorials is required for the award of credit.
  • A reasonable attempt of all assessment must be made for the award of credit.

Reading and References


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

Recommended and further reading will be made available through Blackboard.