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

Undergraduate Course: Critical and Discursive Social Psychology (PSYL10134)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course outlines Discursive Social Psychology and Critical Social Psychology. It examines how these approaches have changed our understanding of social psychological topics with reference to empirical studies of self and social identities; gender; prejudiced attitudes; inequality and power; thinking, subjectivity and emotion. It discusses key debates to which these different approaches have given rise.
Course description This course draws on ideas and arguments from other disciplines (such as studies of science, social constructionism, Foucault, and 'the turn to language') to examine the basis and nature of social psychological knowledge, how it affects individuals' lives, the role of language, and assumptions about self that underpin psychological theory and research. We ask whether social constructionism and the analysis of discourse can provide an alternative approach for social psychologists. If so, what kind of discourse analysis? We explore how these different discursive approaches have been used empirically in studies of gender and other identities; attitudes and prejudice talk; power; subjectivity, memory, and emotion. This course includes lectures, in-class and online discussions, and debates about key issues.

Regular class work and formative feedback will help students develop skills in critical analysis, presenting and structuring arguments, understanding, verbal communication, and group work/collaboration. The short coursework assessments and final essay will help to develop further skills in information integration and writing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students who are Psychology majors and in their third or final year at their home university are welcome to take this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  36
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Choice of two out of three mid-course assessments (30%): (i) 500 word essay plan, (ii) 500 word critical summary of an article; (iii) 500 word debate presentation.
3000 word essay (70%)
Feedback Throughout lectures there are group exercises and discussions which provide opportunities for feedback. An essay plan is included as one of the weekly class discussions. Online discussion threads will be set up for each class discussion topic and students and the CO will comment on questions, essay plans, debates and summaries of key articles.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Present informed arguments and debate social psychology¿s methodological and epistemological claims
  2. Be able to discuss social psychology's paradigm, conceptual and moral/political crises, their solutions and further controversies
  3. Be able to describe and discuss discourse analysis studies of a variety of social psychological topics (identities, attitudes, emotions)
  4. Be able to describe and assess efforts to reconceptualise psychological concepts
  5. Be able to apply ideas and arguments from the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, Foucault¿s work, linguistics and the philosophy of language; social constructionism to Social Psychology
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordspsychology; social critical
Course organiserDr Sue Widdicombe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3411
Course secretaryMs Alexandra MacAndrew
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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