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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

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

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis 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.
Course description 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

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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 1
Timetable Timetable
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 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 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.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify a number of major research topics within psychology, and understand some of the central issues within these topics;
  2. Critically assess and evaluate theoretical positions in light of ongoing research;
  3. Identify key methodologies and understand the advantages/ limitations of various techniques;
  4. Appreciate the practical and ethical issues in designing a psychological study;
  5. Understand applications of psychology in the real world.
Reading List
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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and 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.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Kate Mchugh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1589
Course secretaryMr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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