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Unit information: Contemporary Issues in Psychology in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Contemporary Issues in Psychology
Unit code PSYC30016
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Kazanina
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit is designed to highlight selected contemporary issues in psychology. Students select one seminar from a range of topics proposed by the School.

The aims of this unit are to develop students’ critical evaluation skills via the synthesis and oral presentation and discussion of research findings and debate related to important current topics in psychology.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Review the methodological approaches to the study of the respective research topic.
  2. Appraise the application of these approaches in a specific study.
  3. Relate the methodology to broader aspects of psychological enquiry.
  4. Demonstrate the skills necessary for an assessed presentation (oral and poster).
  5. Engage with an oral discussion of the research topic (as the presenter and as an audience member).

Teaching details

Students will receive skills training in critical evaluation of research papers, oral presentation skills, and how to make a scientific poster. Each seminar unit lead will provide an introduction to the overall topic of the course and background needed to understand the scientific papers. Each student will be allocated two scientific papers to present - one as an oral presentation and one as a poster presentation. Small group seminars will take place where students will deliver their oral presentations followed by discussion of research findings. The seminar unit lead will guide student's learning by providing the papers they will read, brief introductions before each set of presentations and wrap-up summaries at the end of the set of presentations. They will also be available for regular drop-in sessions so that students can ask questions and discuss the topic in greater detail.

Assessment Details

One oral presentation (25%), one poster presentation (25%) and one 1000-word research proposal (50%). Attendance and participation in group discussions is mandatory. For each non-attendance at a seminar, students will be expected to submit a 250-word summary of each paper discussed during that seminar (i.e., if four papers were discussed, four 250-word summaries would need to be submitted). These ‘summary documents’ will be marked on a pass/fail basis. Credit will be withheld from students who miss seminars without good reason and who fail the summary documents for non-attendance


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PSYC30016).