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PS20109: Social psychology: traditional and critical approaches

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2017/8
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you are advised to take PS10086
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of the unit are as follows
* To enable students to understand the relationship between individual, social and cultural psychological processes.
* To familiarise students with research on the individual in the social context.
* To provide understanding of the major theoretical debates and recent developments in social psychology.
* To critically evaluate the role of historical issues in the development of research concerning social psychology

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of this unit the students will:
* Be aware of key studies in social psychology.
* Be familiar with how psychologists approach the student of communication and the social construction of meaning.
* Understand the main theoretical debates about the relationship between the individual and the social and cultural context.


* Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, its historical origins, development and limitations. (T/F A)
* Recognise the inherent variability and diversity of psychological functioning and I ts significance. (T/F A)
* Can demonstrate systematic knowledge and critical understanding of a range of influences on psychological functioning, how they are conceptualised across the core areas, and how they interrelate.
* The core knowledge domains within psychology include (i) research methods, (ii) biological psychology, (iii) cognitive psychology, (iv) individual differences, (v) developmental psychology and (vi) social psychology. In addition to these core areas it is expected that students will gain knowledge of conceptual and historical perspectives in psychology. (T/F A)
* Has detailed knowledge of several specialised areas and/or applications, some of which are at the cutting edge of research in the discipline. (T/F)
* Can reason scientifically, understand the role of evidence and make critical judgements about arguments in psychology. (T/F A)
* Can adopt multiple perspectives and systematically analyse the relationships between them. (T/F A)
* Can detect meaningful patterns in behaviour and experience and evaluate their significance. (T/F A)
* Can communicate ideas and research findings both effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means. (T/F A)
* Can solve problems by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions and evaluating outcomes. (T/F A)
* Is sensitive to and can react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal factors in groups and teams. (T/F)
* Can undertake self-directed study and project management in order to meet desired objectives. (T/F)

The content of the unit is as follows
* Language as dialogue and social negotiation.
* Rhetoric and discourse: how we persuade, argue, negotiate and interpret.
* Construction of meaning.
* The role of metaphor and narrative.
* Communication processes.
* Effective and ineffective communication.
* The relationships between individual schemas, representations and lay theories, and social and cultural repertoires.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PS20109 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • UHED-AFB12 : BA(Hons) Education with Psychology (Year 2)
  • UHED-AKB12 : BA(Hons) Education with Psychology with Professional Placement (Year 2)

PS20109 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AFB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AAB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AKB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UHPL-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB14 : BSc(Hons) Applied Social Studies (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 2)