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PS20108: Cognitive psychology

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
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: ES 33%, EX 67%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (ES 33%)
  • Examination (EX 67%)
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
Description: Aims:
The aims of the unit are as follows
* To familiarise students with current methodological and theoretical issues in cognitive psychology.
* To equip students with an understanding of the principles of cognitive processes.
* To familiarise students with methodological issues in the study of cognition

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this unit students should be able to
* To critically evaluate the role of historical issues and the methods employed to establish cognitive models of human behaviour.
* Be familiar with the main theories and debates in cognitive psychology.
* Be aware of the methods used in research in cognition.
* Be able to utilise concepts and research findings in discussion of cognitive processes


* Understands the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, its historical origins, development and limitations. (T/F A)
* Recognises the inherent variability and diversity of psychological functioning and its significance. (T/F)
* 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/ A)
* Can demonstrate a systematic knowledge of a range of research paradigms, research methods and measurement techniques, including statistical analysis, and be aware of their limitations. (T/F)
* Can reason statistically and use a range of statistical methods with confidence. (T/F)
* Is computer literate and is confident in using word processing, database and statistical software. (T/F)
* Is able to take charge of their own learning, and can reflect and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of future learning. (T/F)

The content of the unit is as follow
* Information processing,
* Problem-solving,
* Reasoning,
* Perception and the representation of knowledge.
* Consciousness, monitoring and attention.
* How we use tools and their relationship to thinking.
* Models of mind-brain relations.
* Problem solving.
* Experts and novices.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PS20108 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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