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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Psychology (Credit Plus) (PSYL07001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaPsychology Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is for HSS International Foundation Programme students only; it is not available to undergraduate students.

Introduction to Psychology (Credit Plus) is designed to provide students with an introduction to a range of topics in psychology, including social psychology, individual differences, child development, memory, perception, and psychological disorders. Topics will be discussed in the context of classic studies and cutting edge research. The course is designed to enable international students to develop the academic skills required for successful undergraduate study at the University of Edinburgh.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Lifelong Learning - Session 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  10
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 23/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 50, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 48 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

* Identify a number of major research topics within psychology, and understand some of the central issues within these topics;
* Critically assess and evaluate theoretical positions in light of ongoing research;
* Identify key methodologies and understand the advantages/ limitations of various techniques;
* Appreciate the practical and ethical issues in designing a psychological study;
* Understand applications of psychology in the real world.
Assessment Information
Students will produce a 1000 word essay at the end of the course, worth 75% of the course grade.

The remaining 25% will be awarded for research related activities, which will follow British Psychological Society ethical guidelines:

10% lab report based on experiment participation. We will conduct an in class experiment in week 4 of the course, for which students will be asked to write up a short lab report (500 words).

15% data collection exercise. Students will administer a questionnaire to at least 3 other people from outside the class. They will input their data onto a ready made spreadsheet and send this to the tutor who will compile and analyse the group data. We will discuss these results in week 7.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Introduction to Psychology (Credit Plus) is offered as part of the HSS International Foundation Programme, which is designed to bridge the gap for overseas applicants whose national school qualifications do not reach a high enough level to be accepted for University of Edinburgh entry. Offered at the start of the programme, the course and assessment are designed to be accessible to students with a 5.5 IELTS English score. The course is based on the existing Open Studies 'credit plus' model, which combines academic content and study skills elements, helping students develop the academic skills required for successful undergraduate study in the humanities.
Syllabus 1. Introduction: What is psychology?
a. Historical approaches to psychology
b. Current research: questions and methodologies
c. Psychology in everyday life

2. Individual differences (1): Personality
a. Personality traits
b. How do we measure personality?
c. Where does personality come from?

3. Individual differences (2): Intelligence
a. Is there one type of intelligence or many?
b. A case of ethnocentricity? Intelligence testing across cultures
c. Heritability and twin studies

4. Cognitive psychology (1): Remembering and forgetting
a. Types of memory
b. Why do we forget?
c. In class experiment: research participation exercise

5. Cognitive psychology (2): Attention and perception
a. Selective attention: What do we attend to?
b. Perceptual constancies and illusions
c. Recognising faces and words: a specialist mechanism?

6. Social psychology (1): Thinking about others
a. Stereotypes and schemas
b. Biases in social judgement
c. In-groups and out-groups

7. Social psychology (2): Acting around others
a. Conformity and obedience
b. Bystander effect: when don't we act?
c. Pro-social behaviour + discussion of group research findings

8. Child development (1): Language acquisition
a. Nativist theories
b. Statistical learning
c. The role of social interaction in language learning
9. Child development (2): Social development
a. Theory of mind
b. Developing moral judgements
c. Attachment behaviour

10. Mental health (1): Psychiatric disorders
a. Diagnosis and classification
b. Drug-based treatments
c. Case study: schizophrenia

11. Mental health (2): Therapy and coping strategies
a. Types of therapy
b. Coping with stress
c. Essay Q & A

Transferable skills Students will have developed a range of skills crucial for success in undergraduate study. These include: critical thinking, note-taking, distillation of complex ideas, debating skills, essay planning and writing, and data handling.
Reading list Essential
Smith, E., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Frederickson, B. L., & Loftus, G. R., 2009. Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology, 15th ed. Hampshire: Wadsworth.

Carpendale, J. I., & Lewis, C., 2006. How children develop social understanding. Oxford: Blackwell.

Deary, I.J., 2001. Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fox, D., & Prilleltensky, I.,1997. Critical Psychology: An Introduction. London: Sage.

Funder, D.C., 2010. The Personality Puzzle. London: Norton.

Goldstein, E. B., 2008. Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience. Hampshire: Wadsworth.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMrs Anthea Coleman-Chan
Tel: (0131 6)51 1589
Course secretaryDr Caroline Bamford
Tel: (0131 6)50 4322
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