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PS30014: History of psychology

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: ES 20%, EX 80%
Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (ES 20%)
  • Unseen Examination (EX 80%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take PS20167
Learning Outcomes:
* Understand the development of theory.
* Understand the development of methodology.
* Be familiar with the development of critiques.
* Be aware of the relationship between the development of psychology and related fields.
* Be aware of the role of social and historical context in historical accounts and in the acceptance of new ideas.

Aims: To equip the student with an understanding of the History of Psychology and the relationship between a historical perspective and how a field is conceptualised.

* Understands the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, its historical origins, development and limitations. (T/F A)
* 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 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)
* 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)

Content: The function that historical perspective plays in how we think about a field. Key ideas in the history of psychology; their context and roots. How and why such ideas waxed and waned. The predominant and recurrent themes in the history of psychology. Key individuals in psychology, and how their intellectual lives illuminate how ideas are embedded in cultural and historical context.

Programme availability:

PS30014 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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