Module
descriptions

for BSc (Hons) Psychology

Year 1

Research Methods I

This module provides an introduction to Research Methods, Statistics and Experimental design and also includes sessions on note-taking, preparation, library and online resource usage and referencing. These lectures/classes acquaint students with different areas and methods of research and the practical use of computers in applying the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, as well as acquiring IT and research relevant study skills such as report writing.

It will provide students with the necessary basic statistics and research skills and information to apply and evaluate statistical, empirical and qualitative procedure at beginner’s level. It will introduce students to terminology and theory, lab report procedure and format, as well as general studies skills required for successful study at this level - this includes areas such as time management, note-taking, assimilation of information, how to read a journal article, and as such plays a vital role in PDP (Personal Development Planning).

 

Individual Differences and Society

Students are introduced to a cross section of areas of interest within Social Psychology, an essential component of any Psychology BSc Programme. This module covers selected social psychology issues and factors relevant to the individual within society, both theoretical and practical. Individual behaviour (and difference/variation) occurs in a social setting; the module examines aspects of social influence such as conformity, attitude formation, persuasion, and concepts relevant to the ‘self’. Further to this the module will focus on personality theories and the development and debate relating to IQ testing.

As such this module forms a basis on which other modules will build - across the full range of Psychology. In particular, the module forms the basis of Applying Social psychology in year two, and lays the ground-knowledge for social psychology related options and topics through the rest of the programme. It also makes use of real life examples so that students can directly appreciate the value of Psychology as a discipline to understanding human action and interaction.

The aim of the module is to develop students’ understanding of, and enthusiasm for, Psychology by introducing them to several different topics and approaches, as well as the gradual introduction of theory. At this level it is also fundamental to the student’s development to apply new skills in researching and preparing independent study and assessments/course work. In doing so the students will come to understand several fundamental principles underlying the behaviour of individuals and the behaviour of individuals in group or social settings.

 

Lifespan 1

This module aims to provide an account of the age-related changes across the human lifespan, namely the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of the person from conception, through adolescence and early adulthood to late adulthood and old age. In developing an understanding of the lifespan perspective, the intricate interaction between biology, environment and culture and related issues is emphasized. In addition, particular attention will be paid to optimal aging, to physical and psychological conditions often affecting individuals in adulthood, and theories on the person-environment interaction as well as issues relating to care facilities. Importantly, cognitive development will be explored alongside a consideration of issues pertaining to work and leisure, grand-parenthood, retirement and death.

 

Research Methods 2

This module builds on the content of Research Methods 1. As such the student’s progress, following a revision period, onto more detailed SPSS and EDS skills and put these into practice in further lab reports. Research methods are spread across the full year rather than being concentrated into one term so that students acquire familiarity and confidence in this area through continual exposure to the material.

The aims are that students should hone the skills they already have and build new ones through lectures, practical classes and group work. They should also continue to familiarise themselves with the variety that experimental design and research have to offer by introduction to observation techniques and further qualitative approaches as well as quantitative empirical ones.

 

Biological and Cognitive Psychology

Familiarisation with basic cognitive and biological and biopsychological processes and concepts is essential for any Psychology student. Consequently this module forms a very important core section of the module. The fundamentals of these two areas are presented in such a way as to make the material accessible and to support learning through specific tutorials.

The biological bases of psychological processes will be examined and students introduced to the relationships between brain mechanisms and behavioural and cognitive processes. Genetic and evolutionary themes will also be introduced. A conceptual overview of Cognitive Psychology will serve to present the issues that are central to human information processing. Examples and landmark research will serve to illustrate these issues and processes.

 

Conceptual and Historic Issues in Psychology

This module is an important component of a modern Psychology degree and its aim is to encourage students to engage with current, cultural and historic/philosophic topics relevant to Psychology today and in the context of its history.

The module begins with an overview of the history of Psychology and the emergence of Psychology as an independent discipline in the nineteenth century. The material will also include elements of Philosophy and students will be encouraged to think about the impact of various philosophical approaches on Psychology during its development and on modern Psychology today. Students will also be encouraged to familiarise themselves with the historic development of Psychology as an independent discipline.

The module will also consider the role of Psychology as a ‘science’ and introduce elements from Karl Popper (falsification), Lakatos and Feyerabend. The module introduces a range of conceptual areas of debate that will encourage the students to engage in discussions of these areas and real and unsupported dichotomies (e.g. determinism vs. free will; nature vs. nurture; what is consciousness; linguistic relativism).

Finally, students will engage with various cross-cultural aspects of Psychology, such as the different approaches to mental health.

 

Global Perspectives

This is a University-wide common module, which facilitates interpersonal, intercultural and cross-disciplinary learning for all first year students enrolled on Regent’s validated degree programmes. The module introduces a range of ideas and ways of thinking based around the University’s values, reflected in its learning outcomes. It encourages students to interact with the broader University community, both socially and academically, asking them to cross the physical and intellectual borders of their degree programmes. Global Perspectives aims to increase self-awareness and prepares students for their subsequent studies by familiarising them with the resources available to meet their lifelong learning needs.

 

Year 2

 

Research Methods 3

The module aims to consolidate the learning from Research Methods 1 & 2, and to prepare students for the mini project in the next Research Methods module. This module will introduce more advanced statistical parametric techniques. In this module students are also encouraged to reflect on their own development and the progress made in this and other areas related to the empirical side of Psychology.

The module will at first review ANOVA and other final elements from Research Methods 2 in the previous semester. As such it will also provide students with the opportunity to practice experimental design and rehearse the necessary skills for completion of a short mini-project.

 

Biological and Evolutionary Psychology

The module introduces students to the study of biological psychology and evolutionary psychology. A change to the module title is requested to better reflect this content.

 

Applied Cognitive Psychology

The cognitive psychology module in Year 1 introduces the abstract mental processes involved in our daily functioning such as memory, language and perception. However, most of our everyday life activities are usually comprised of more complex skills. Building on the cognitive psychology taught at year 1, this module focuses on more advanced and specialized topics of cognitive psychology via their application in real life. This will give students a taste of problems faced by cognitive psychologists while also reinforcing the important theoretical aspects of the subject area.

The main emphasis is on translating theories into practice and the concept that real world problems also drive the development of theories in cognitive psychology. A wide spectrum of cognitive theories will be applied including memory, learning, perception, recognition, attention, language, judgement and decision-making. Students will benefit particularly from having seminar talks from a number of invited guest speakers who are practicing psychologists; each talk will be closely related to the lecture of the same week.
The module aims to demonstrate the importance of basic scientific research in cognitive psychology and to stimulate and develop ideas for possible final year projects.

 

History and Concepts in Therapies and Counselling Psychology

The inclusion of a module devoted to this area is one of the unique factors of this programme; traditional scientific Psychology often ignores the counselling or therapeutic alternatives. In this module students will be introduced to fundamental concepts in relation to Counselling Psychology as well as having the opportunity to develop an understanding of issues pertinent to psychotherapeutic and counselling approaches. The aim is that students should – if they wish - have gathered enough information about the variety of ‘psychologies’ available to be able to formulate an informed argument with regard to these particular approaches

This module aims to familiarise students of Psychology with counselling and therapeutic principles so that they may have an awareness of the full range of what is commonly held together by the umbrella term ‘Psychology’ as used in common parlance. The inclusive and non-judgemental nature of the module is continued in this module where students can gain an introductory understanding of the counselling and therapy practices that are presently available in Britain today and the theoretical ideas underlying these different approaches, whilst at the same time being encouraged to evaluate these approaches from a scientific point of view.

 

Research Methods 4 – Mini Project

The module aims to consolidate students’ learning in the areas of research methods, statistics and experimental design by requiring students to undertake a research project as a group. Students will use the experience of producing a short mini-project as a method for not only providing the necessary experience prior to producing their final year project but also to encourage an assessment of students’ own abilities as independent learners and researchers. The mini-project as such also forms an important milestone in the students’ reflection of their own personal development and potential as an active learner.

The aim of the module is to apply acquired theoretical and practical skills by designing and conducting research, and analysing data, as a group of researchers. Students write up the research independently and individually. The module is designed help students decide not only the topic of their final year project but also the type of investigation and method they wish to pursue.

 

Applied Social Psychology

The rationale here is to not only build on the topics introduced in the year 1 module, but to take an even more applied approach in doing so and also to demonstrate the extent of social psychological theory, practice and its uses. The first section of the module focuses on individual/group processes; the latter section on social relationships and the physical environment theory is backed up by examples of social psychological factors in action by way of examples and discussion focusing on individual, interpersonal and group processes. The aim is also to present a varied menu of topics to demonstrate the wide range of Social Psychology and its application in practical real world settings.

 

Lifespan 2

This module follows on from Life Span 1 but addresses human life span from other perspectives, thus broadening the students’ understanding of human development from cradle to grave. Development across Life Span is a key area for the understanding of human actions and motivations, and is relevant to all other areas of Psychology.

To familiarise students with psychologically relevant issues relevant to human life from conception to old age. Includes discussion of the methods for studying development and important theories and placing these in a modern 21st century context.

 

Psychopathology

The rationale for the inclusion of this option is that it offers the possibility for students who are interested in the pathological side of psychology to follow this interest. It also prepares the way for those wishing to choose health psychology in the final year and who are particularly interested in the nature of disorder or individual difference in mental health.

The module aims to facilitate an understanding of some personality theories and the classification of the major psychological disorders. The module will focus particularly on schizophrenia, the anxiety disorder spectrum, but not only, as it will also consider the biological factors and models presumed to underlie psychopathology.

 

Psychology of Sport, Performance and Expertise

The module aims to introduce and familiarise students with some fundamental concepts and issues within the range of psychology of sport and performance. This is an applied form of Psychology and so forms part of the psychosocial emphasis of the degree as a whole on psychology that is directly linked to everyday experience.

The module also contains a strong performance related element in that dancers and musicians are considered, but also that actually ‘doing’ is performing under almost any circumstance. The aim is to demonstrate the relevance of this particular area of psychology to real life application.

The module begins by looking at the nature of talent and expertise in such varied fields as chess playing and wine tasting. It then goes on to examine the work of Ericson and other major theorists and examine the theory of deliberate practice. Thereafter the module turns its attention to motivation both extrinsic and intrinsic and thence sports. Team building, coach-athlete relationships are just two of the areas examined. The module also considers aspects of sport and performance psychology particularly relevant to stage performers such as dancers, for example stage fright or the effects on injury.

 

Psychology of Humour

This module aims to introduce students to the scientific study of humour. The study of humour relates to aspects of social, cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary psychology. Humour is an integral part of human interaction and relates to such topics as friendship and social interaction, sex differences and status, verbal and non-verbal communication, mate choice and attractiveness, and health and wellbeing. In this elective, students will critically evaluate the theories which have been offered to explain the sense of humour, understand different types of humour and their hypothesised functions, and critically consider humour study methodology.

 

Psychology of Motivation

Introduction on various motivated behaviours studied in psychology.

 

Psychology of Religion and Belief: Gods, Myths and Miracles

This module aims to introduce students to psychological theories and research findings related to the understanding of phenomena associated with religious belief (both organised and traditional), superstition, spirituality and practice. It aims to encourage an understanding of the psychological processes, and behaviours involved; the terms ‘religion’ and ‘religiosity’ will be applied in the widest sense in relation to a full range of belief systems and how these relate to the individual and society, ranging from the shamanistic through to organised world religions, superstition, religious experience and how these impact on every day behaviour and interaction.

 

Year 3

 

Research Project

The research project is an intrinsic part of any BSc qualification in Psychology; as such, it forms a core module of this programme. It is the culmination of the students’ degree and enables students to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired over the last years. Stu-dents either choose or are allocated to a project supervisor.

The project is the summation of the programme as a whole and as a summative achievement necessarily requires the student to reflect on their own learning, progress and achievement across the Degree.
This substantial piece of independent empirical work gives students the opportunity to engage with a particular area of interest in considerable depth. A project of this nature is important for several reasons. Successfully completing such a piece of independent work will help students develop the skills needed to become a competent individual researcher. In addition it will equip students with further insight into how psychological research is conducted and in doing so also prepares them for postgraduate study in psychology.

In producing a successful design, gaining ethical approval, gathering and analysing data and producing the final report of robust empirical research students will complete a critical review of relevant literature, have developed a specific and realistic original research question, demonstrate their analytical and SPSS skills (if applicable) and gain experience of presenting their own work to their peers and staff.

 

Positive Psychology

Psychology has long been concerned with concepts of pathology in the human psyche but Positive Psychology seeks to redress the balance and understand life satisfaction, happiness and contentment in contemporary living. This module will examine how rising affluence does not necessarily account for increased life satisfaction in developed countries and how we can come to understand how psychological elements can positively contribute to individual subjective well-being. However, the module also moves to the societal/group level and examines how societies are able flourish with active citizenship, positive social well-being and individuals who engage in their community. Barriers to achieving subjective well-being and the flourishing society are also presented as students are expected to critically assess elements of the Positive Psychology movement.


The overall aim of the module is to introduce students to the field of Positive Psychology and to allow students to develop a deep understanding of current issues that Positive Psychology is concerned with. The specific aims are therefore to develop an understanding of the historical and theoretical underpinnings of Positive Psychology as well as presenting major topic areas in positive Psychology. A further aim in this module is to aid students in developing a critical understanding of how Positive Psychology is applied at an individual, as well as at societal/group level.

 

Cultural Psychology

This course aims to introduce not only the major areas in which cross cultural variations have been observed in behaviour and thinking but also to the methodologies employed in uncovering them, as well as encouraging an understanding of the issues related to universality and cultural variability in behaviour, perception and motivation.


The module introduces the importance of a cultural, social and communicative context for the understanding of human behaviour and experience and will allow students to appreciate the way in which psychological processes and perceptions may differ across cultures.

 

Health Psychology

Issues pertaining to longevity and lifestyle present society with considerable challenges. Health psychology is one of the growing psycho-social areas that many professions and official bodies now engage with. As such it is a key issue for the 21st century and as an academic area of interest fits well with other options offered in the programme such as positive psychology. It also builds on issues prominent in social and developmental psychology as presented in the first two years, or for those who chose the psychopathology option at the previous level. Health is also a topic in the Foundation year as a key example of applied psychology and so this option builds a continuity and unity across the full breadth of the module.

Health Psychology is concerned with the study of psychological processes in health, illness and health care. This module aims to give an overview of the discipline and introduce students to general psychological processes, which have particular relevance in health settings and promotion. In addition, students will be able to examine a number of current topics of re-search in Health Psychology, since this is an area that is growing and developing. A thorough analysis of each main topic will be undertaken, and a considerable amount of directed reading will be required, as students are encouraged to engage with specific topics of interest.

 

Psychology of Fashion

London is a world centre for fashion, publishing, film and British culture has embraced these aspects along with the celebrity cult and the fascination with the famous and beautiful. The module builds on social topics addressed in the programme, and also issues relating to personality and well -being if we consider the down side or possible consequences of fashion, fame and beauty, and also cognitive processes. As such the module exemplifies the progressive nature of the type of the programme as a whole. Fashion, beauty and celebrity create a fascinating triumvirate of topics and consequently an examination of the psycho-social pro-cesses at work in these areas presents itself as innovative and exciting.


The module begins with facilitating a familiarity and understanding of how psychologists have sought to explain beauty and attractiveness, as well as body modification and adornment and how superficially what is consider attractive or ‘normal’ has changed. This requires the student understand face processing and the various theoretical approaches to beauty as well as up to date integrated theories for attractiveness. The aim is also to encourage students to engage with appearance in a wide sense including facial disfiguration and body issues, including cosmetic surgery addiction or the use of the body as “art”. Students will be expected to have an appreciation of the different types of explanations put forward for dress and adornment including tattooing and piercing and how these practices, including fetish wear, have moved from sub culture to main stream, as well as the role of music videos and pop divas.


To consider the different approaches to and explanations for the fashion cycle and process and how this has been accounted for in psycho-social terms both historically and currently and to gain a familiarity with the concept of fashion and dress as non-verbal communication and symbolic interaction. The marketing of fashion, and the motivations of the wearer: self-worth, role adoption, luxury and fake good purchase. Impression management and the study of effects of appearance on others as well as the wearer or buyer will be examined.
Finally the aims of the fame component are to examine the nature of fame and why humans appear to need idols, and how they can determine beauty standards and function as role models.

 

Forensic Psychology

Forensic and Criminal Psychology involves the application of psychological knowledge to the legal and criminal justice system. The module describes and assesses the theories, models, empirical research generated by psychology to understand criminal behaviour and the pro-cesses involved in the criminal justice system.


Forensic elements of the module will examine how psychology can provide information to aid legal decision making as well as highlighting processes involved in criminal investigations, custodial procedures and subsequently, the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. Criminological aspects of the module will examine the understanding of crime and criminal behaviour embedded in social contexts. Students will be expected to understand and appreciate the role professional psychologists play in contemporary legal and criminal justice systems.


The module will allow students to develop a deep understanding of current topics and issues in this branch of the discipline.

 

Psychology of Sexuality and Gender

This module builds on the areas touched on in social, developmental and bio-psychological sessions hitherto in the degree. Matters relating to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and the advent of “out” psychology where gay lesbian and transgender issues are no longer demonised or automatically pathologised, are becoming increasingly popular. As a module it fits well with Health psychology, Psychology of Film and Theatre and indeed Psychology of fashion, fame and identity.


To facilitate a familiarity and understanding of biological and psycho-social gender and identity, as well as to examine theories and different approaches to sexuality, intimate relation-ships and behaviours and motivations across social groups, age groups and cultures. To enable students to engage with issues such as gender transition, homophobia, sexism, sex workers and risk taking, safe sex and abstinence campaigns as well as sex education. Other focus areas are heterocentrism, paraphilias/fetish, erotomania and pornography. The module will also examine the use of sex in advertising and what has been called the ”pornification” of urban space through imagery and the media.


As a purely coursework based module students will examine and research in depth particular areas of their own interest.

 

Counselling Psychology

This module will provide an introduction to the field of Counselling Psychology and is an ideal option for students who are considering taking postgraduate studies in this field. Students will be acquainted with the basic philosophical, theoretical and practical foundations of Counsel-ling Psychology and will have the opportunity to explore some of the key areas that comprise the postgraduate training of counselling psychologists.