Introduction to Applied Psychology

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
07 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA C807 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C812 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C611 Sports and Exercise Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C614 Sports Performance and Coaching (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C817 Psychology with Economics (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is designed to equip students with the skills to put psychological theory into action within professional practice.

The module will cover key psychological theories and consider how these can be used within fields such as forensic psychology, health psychology, sports and exercise psychology, educational psychology, clinical psychology and occupational psychology. These areas of psychology aim to improve and offer solutions to problems associated with human behaviour.

Throughout the module students are encouraged to utilise psychological research in order to assess the effectiveness of applied interventions, this will create transferable analytical skills. Learning on the module will be facilitated with practical applications to enable students to take what they learn and apply it beyond the module content.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. For students to develop a secure understanding of the key psychological theories and approaches that underpin psychological research.
2. To give students the skills to apply psychological concepts to real life problems associated with human behaviour.
3. To develop students’ understanding of how psychological research is conducted.
4. To equip students with the skills to be able to interpret, analyse and apply psychological research.
5. To engage students in utilising research to assess the effectiveness of interventions.
6. To support students to develop communication and employability skills.
7. To enhance students’ interest in psychology and prepare students for undergraduate study in psychology.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module a student will be expected to be able to:

1. Understand key psychological concepts in psychology that underpin the actions taken within professional psychological practice.
2. Recognise and utilise different methodology used in psychological research.
3. Understand how to interpret the findings of psychological research.
4. Apply key psychological concepts to offer solutions to problems associated with human behaviour.
5. Analyse the application of psychological concepts to everyday life.
6. Critically assess the application of psychological concepts; synthesising knowledge of research and/or methodology to support this.
7. Develop written communication skills that enable students to describe clearly psychological theory and its application to practice.
8. Develop oral communication skills that enable students to express how psychological theory is applied to practice.

Module information


The syllabus is intended to introduce students to range of disciplines covered within applied psychology. These may include areas such as: clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, health, neuropsychology, occupational and sports and exercise psychology.

Clinical Psychology: Clinical psychologists deal with a wide range of psychological health problems are involved with both the assessment and treatment of mental health problems. Assessment uses a variety of techniques such as interviews, observation and psychometric testing. Psychological theory is used to develop treatments and to devise an appropriate treatment programme.

Educational Psychology: Educational psychologists are involved with children and young people in education and early years settings. They are involved in the assessment of individuals and will offer consultation, advice and support to teachers, parents and the young person involved; based on psychological principles.

Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychology applies psychological theory to criminal investigation, understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour, and the treatment of those who have committed offences. They are also involved with working in prisons; supporting staff and prisoners to reduce stress and advising parole boards.

Health Psychology: Health psychology uses knowledge of psychology and health to promote general well-being. This includes promoting healthier lifestyles and supporting people who are chronically ill. Health psychologists may also work within the NHS supporting doctors about how to better communicate with their parents.

Occupational Psychology: Occupational psychologists aim to increase the effectiveness of the organisation and improve the job satisfaction of individuals. This includes looking at how people behave at work and may also involve training, designing work environments or organisational development and change.

Sports and Exercise Psychology: Sports and exercise psychologists primarily work with athletes, coaches and referees from amateur to elite level. They use psychological theory to work on improving performance. This can include training athletes from the demands of competition and training. Sports psychologists may also advise coaches on how to build a cohesive team. Exercise psychologists focus on increasing exercise in the general population and consider how to promote the mental health benefits of exercise.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, you will have been offered opportunities:

1. To improve your literacy skills;
2. To develop your IT skills by learning to work in Word and PowerPoint to complete assignments;
3. To develop your ability to apply theory to practice to solve real-world problems;
4. To develop critical thinking skills in the context of psychological research;
5. To enhance your communication skills in class discussions and through group work;
6. The develop your reflective skills through class time dedicated to engaging with feedback on assignments;
7. To develop your personal plan of setting targets and time management to undertake coursework and exam.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competences to study at undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner. This module runs for 22 weeks and is delivered via a weekly 1 x 2-hour lecture, 1 x 1-hour seminar and 1 x 1-hour tutorial. Lecture: 2-hour lecture per week. Lectures will introduce key psychological concepts and consider how these have been applied to solve problems in human behaviour. Research evidence that has investigated these applications will also be covered. Seminars: 1 hour per week. Seminars will allow students to delve further into some of the areas addressed in the lecture. This will involve group discussion, independent work and small group work. Tutorials: 1 hour per week. Students will use these classes to further develop the skills necessary to produce their assessed coursework.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   IA173 - Formative Assessment - In-Class Test    0% 
Coursework   IA173 - In-person, open book (restricted) Moodle test 1    25% 
Coursework   IA173 - In-person, open book (restricted) Moodle test 2    40% 
Practical   IA173 - Group Presentation    35% 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment During tutorial classes students will complete structured activities which will form the basis for their assignments. Feedback will be given during each tutorial class to be incorporated into the submitted assignments. Students will also complete an in-class test in the Autumn Term. This does not count towards the final mark; however, it provides the students with a valuable opportunity to obtain detailed feedback on this piece of work and experience a test in preparation for the first summative assessment. Summative assessment Moodle remote test 1 (1 hour, 25%) - Students will be given some short case studies related to an area of applied psychology. They will apply relevant psychological concepts and research to the case study to explain what is happening. This test will take place during class and under timed conditions, but students will have access to the case studies before the test. ePoster (500 words, 25%) - Students will submit a one page ePoster that covers an area of applied psychology studied. The ePoster will describe a psychological intervention based on one of the topics covered in class and will use psychological research to explain how the intervention utilises psychological concepts. Moodle remote test 2 (1 hour, 25%) - Students will be given examples of psychological research into an area of applied psychology and will be asked to apply critical thinking to this research. In addition, students will critically assess the effectiveness of a proposed psychological intervention, drawing on psychological theory and/or research. This test will take place during class and under timed conditions, but students will have access to the psychological research and intervention before the test. Group presentation (10 minutes, 25%) – Students will work together as a group to design a piece of research into an area of applied psychology of their choosing. This will include devising a hypothesis, identifying the theoretical and research basis that has informed this hypothesis and detailing the methodology that would be used to gather data. Students will also need to consider the potential benefits of their research to the applied area that it is based on. Reassessment strategy Failed coursework - Resubmit a piece of coursework (1,000 words) which will be marked as 100% of the new module mark. The reassessment task will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met. If the group oral presentation has been failed or has not been attempted, students will also be required to submit a pre-recorded individual presentation of no longer than 10 minutes. The weighting will be divided equally between the assignment and the presentation.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mrs Amanda Morris, email: a.j.morris@essex.ac.uk.
Amanda Morris (a.j.morris@essex.ac.uk)
Kate Smith (catsmith@essex.ac.uk or 01206 874564)



External examiner

Dr Austin Tomlinson
University of Birmingham
Available via Moodle
Of 130.7 hours, 110 (84.2%) hours available to students:
17 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
3.7 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.