Module
descriptions

for Liberal Studies (Psychology)

First year modules

PSY4A1 Introducing Psychology

This module revisits some areas touched on at level 3 and expands on them in more depth, along with introducing students to a wider range of material and issues within psychology thus creating a foundation from which the student might progress to more advanced, specialized courses. Topics include aggression, the biological basis of behaviour, human development, adjustment and mental health, social behaviour and issues related to health and well-being.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY42 Conceptual and Historical Aspects of Psychology

The module seeks to provide students with an understanding of the historical and philosophical context in which psychology developed as an academic discipline. Students will be introduced to early psychological thought, from ancient times through to the scientific revolution and beyond. The influence of prominent philosophers, physicians and physiologists throughout the ages will be discussed. Moreover, the module will cover the key individuals and events that contributed to each of the major schools of thought in 20th century psychology (e.g. humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive, behaviourist, biological, evolutionary), and students will be encouraged to engage in critical evaluation of the main theories, assumptions and methods of each of these schools of thought. Throughout the course, a range of conceptual/philosophical areas of debate will be considered, and students will have the opportunity to discuss these issues and consider opposing views. Finally the students will engage with contemporary issues and controversies in psychology and consider the ways in which psychology might progress in the future.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY4A3 Personality and Individual Differences

This module introduces students to two essential components of the discipline of psychology personality and individual differences. The module will describe, evaluate, and give a flavour of some of the debate in personality theory – it will consider what personality is, and will present all major personality theories from the views of the Ancient Greeks to psychoanalytic theory to trait theory, situationism and the current accepted model, the Big Five.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY4A4 Introduction to Psychological Research Methods I

As the scientific study of behaviour, psychology involves research methods and statistical analyses. Students beginning the first-year of a degree are likely to have had, at most, only minimal experience in these areas. Therefore, this module aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of both areas by progressively building their knowledge at a manageable pace.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY5A3 Introduction to Psychological Research Methods II

As the material covered in research methods is progressive, Introduction to Psychological Research Methods II aims to build on the content of Introduction to Psychological Research Methods I. As such, Week 1 is comprised of a refresher of the main topics covered in the previous module, including the concepts and terms relating to research designs, as well as the theory underlying significance testing, in particular the t-test.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY4A5 Psychology of Child and Adult Development

This module aims to provide an overview of the psychology of human development, including child and adult cognitive, social and emotional development.

It will take a chronological perspective and explore development from conception through to the school years, into adolescence and early adulthood. It will then explore development further throughout the lifespan, into adulthood, middle and old age. It will focus on the development of the brain, cognitive abilities, social skills, gender and identity and emotional development.

Core module for Psychology majors.

Second year modules

PSY5A1 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. Fashion, beauty and celebrity create a fascinating triumvirate of topics and consequently an examination of the psycho-social processes at work in these areas presents itself as innovative and exciting.

Core module for Political Science majors.

PSY5A2 Abnormal Psychology

This module aims to provide an understanding of the characteristics, classification, biological, psychological and social aetiology (causes) and treatments associated with a range of psychological disorders. The first part of module will aim to provide students with an introduction to abnormal psychology; general theoretical perspectives will be discussed as well as issues related to assessment and diagnosis. Thereafter, the module aims to take a critical approach to describing and evaluating the diagnostic criteria, prognosis and treatment models and outcomes for anxiety disorders, including phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, mood disorders including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Core module for Political Science majors.

PSY5A4 Social Psychology

The field of psychology aims to understand and predict individual behaviour. Social Psychology specifically focuses on how social and environmental factors influence the individual’s (and the group’s) behaviour.

Core module for Political Science majors.

PSY5A5 Biological and Cognitive Psychology

This module will introduce students to the key aspects of two of the largest, oldest and most important branches in psychology- biological and cognitive psychology.

Biological Psychology is the study of the body in relation to behaviour, primarily (although not exclusively) the study of the brain and the nervous system. Cognitive Psychology is the study of mental life, memory and decision-making and involves the study of remembering, recall, encoding, face recognition, forgetting, attention in theoretical and applied (e.g. eyewitness testimony; lie detection) contexts.

Core module for Political Science majors.

Third year modules

PSY6A6 Sexuality and Gender

This module focusses on issues and debates concerning the concepts of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY6A7 Cultural Psychology

This module aims to introduce students to the psychological processes in which cross-cultural variations have been observed, in addition to the variety of methodologies employed in uncovering them. Another objective is to promote an understanding of the issues related to universality and cultural variability in behaviour, perception and emotion. Indeed, students will be encouraged to challenge accepted ethnocentric explanations, interpretations, classifications and versions of human behaviour and expression.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY6A8 Evolutionary Psychology

The module provides an introduction to a relatively new branch of psychology concerned with explaining cognition and behaviour in terms of Darwin’s evolutionary theories of natural and sexual selection. It considers how evolution has organised the human brain and how the behaviour of animals and humans are shaped by the same evolutionary forces. It also considers how culture originates and cultural differences emerge. In addition, the module provides evolutionary explanations for the cognition and behaviours associated with such phenomena as mating, aggression, sexual conflict, and parenting.

Core module for Psychology majors.

PSY6A9 Applied Psychology

This module introduces students to the fundamental concepts and issues in applied psychology: the study of the application of psychological principles and research in an applied context. It will introduce students to the main areas of applied psychology and will focus on individual areas of practice and research. To ensure the module is up-to-date, responsive to student needs, and capitalises on the experience and expertise of staff, the module will offer introductions to a range of applied areas and these will vary.

Core module for Psychology majors.

Major Capstone (Dissertation)

The purpose of this module is to bring together the breadth of a Liberal Arts student’s learning and experience to bear on a major project. Starting from the student’s major area of study the project will reach out to incorporate elements from the totality of learning on the programme and the realisation of the breadth that a Liberal Arts graduate has achieved. The Capstone can take the form of a reflective practice-based project or a traditional written dissertation subject to meeting the word-length equivalencies below. The Capstone will run over two semesters and will be supervised by a minimum of one supervisor although two may be allocated depending on the nature of the work.