Introduction to Psychology

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
06 August 2020


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)

Module description

Psychology is a broad subject, containing many disciplines. This module is designed to give an overview of these different core disciplines, encouraging students to explore how these different areas are informed by theory and research. The module will cover a range of classic and contemporary pieces of psychological research, exploring the methods adopted by psychologists to investigate the human mind and behaviour

Through this module, students are encouraged to think critically about the theories and research studies that are covered and begin to consider how psychological findings apply to everyday life. This module will look at theory and research in areas such as cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, biopsychology and social psychology. Along with psychological theories we also introduce basic research skills, creating transferable analytical skills and/or preparation for entry to a psychology (or related) degree.

Module aims

The overall aim of the module is to provide an understanding of the basic theoretical perspectives across the core disciplines and the associated research that has tested theoretical assumptions . A key theme running through the module is application of these theories in terms of research outcomes, critical evaluation and interpretation.

The aims of the module are:

1. Knowledge Base in Psychology

To provide an introduction to psychological concepts, theories and research findings

To study psychological perspectives and applications

2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

To provide students with the abilities to explore and understand the relationship between psychological findings and everyday life

To develop skills of analysis, interpretation, application and evaluation

3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

To provide students with an understanding of the ethical and moral considerations applicable to psychological research

To create an understanding of the range and limitations of current and historical theory and practice

4. Communication

To develop writing, oral and interpersonal communication skills

Module learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

1. Knowledge Base in Psychology

1. 1. Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology

1. 2. Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains

1. 3. Describe applications of psychology

2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

2. 1. Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena

2. 2. Demonstrate literacy in psychological concepts

2. 3. Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving

2. 4. Interpret and conduct basic psychological research

3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

3. 1. Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry

3. 2. Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice

3. 3. Build and enhance interpersonal skills

4. Communication

4. 1. Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes

4. 2. Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes

4. 3. Interact effectively with others

Module information


The syllabus is intended to introduce students to the core psychological disciplines, providing a good basic knowledge of the various theoretical positions and research methods skills including topics such as;

Debates in Psychology – Considering the wider philosophical debates that inform psychological research

Physiological Psychology - The biological basis of behaviour, for example the influence of the brain, neurotransmitters and hormones on behaviour

Cognitive Psychology - The mental processes that guide human behaviour, for example memory, language, thought, perception

Developmental Psychology - How people grow and change over their lifetime, for example attachment, cognition, parenting

Individual Differences - The psychology of the person, for example motivation, intelligence, personality

Social Psychology - The effects of social interactions on the person, for example the influence of others, relationships, group processes

Research Methods in Psychology – How psychologists design research and the different methodological considerations they need to make


Weighting: 60% coursework and 40% examination

Pass mark: 40%

Formative assessment

One 500 word essay - The formative assessment does not count towards the final module mark, however, it provides the students with a valuable opportunity to obtain detailed feedback on this piece of work which is submitted in the Autumn term

Summative assessment

Coursework (60%)

Essay (1,000 words, 25%) - Students will submit an essay on a topic from within the syllabus

Two in-class multiple-choice tests (16.67% each, 33.34% in total) - multiple-choice tests are often used in psychology to assess the breadth of students' knowledge and understanding of the concepts and theories learned during each term

Lab Report (33.33%) - The students will produce a 1,500 word Laboratory Report. As is standardly used within Psychology, containing an Abstract, Introduction, Methods, and Results sections

Participation mark (8.33%) - Participation will be assessed through the completion of summary worksheets that are set weekly for homework. At the end of the year, five weeks will be selected at random and a mark awarded based on how many of the five weeks are completed (1% for each completed, 0.5% where partially complete and/or corrections required)

Exam (40%)

Essay Style Exam (40%)

The final exam consists of a 2 hour essay based exam. Questions will cover a selection of the topics taught during the module and students will be required to answer two questions

Reassessment strategy

Failed Exam

Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with existing coursework mark to create a new module aggregate

Failed Coursework

Resubmit a 1,250-word assignment and resit a Multiple Choice test which will be re-aggregated with existing exam mark to create a new module aggregate

The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met

Failed Exam and Coursework

Resit the exam, resubmit a 1,250-word assignment and resit a Multiple Choice test which are aggregated to create a new module aggregate

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 to you via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

This module is delivered using a ‘blended’ approach that involves a range of teaching methods. There will be four hours of directed teaching and learning per week over 22 weeks and each week’s instruction will consist of a mixture of live ‘synchronous’ and recorded ‘asynchronous’ delivery. In addition, there will be an expectation that students undertake the guided set-reading and research necessary for their modules.

Asynchronous Delivery

The asynchronous aspects of the delivery are an evolution of the traditional University lecture and primarily focus on the sharing of academic theory and concepts to ensure students develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the discipline and cultivate an appreciation of relevant and current research in the subject area. This material will be made available to students via Moodle and will usually include essential and further reading, pre-recorded knowledge casts and some online, interactive activities that can be undertaken independently. Unlike traditional, timetabled lectures, the asynchronous aspects of the blended delivery provide students with the freedom and flexibility to learn at their own time, pace and convenience, each week. To ensure students can take advantage of this flexibility, materials will be released to the students in good time. In order for the students to benefit the most from the timetabled seminars, it is essential that students complete the necessary directed and guided learning before the event.

Synchronous Delivery

The synchronous elements of the teaching and learning will follow the structure of traditional university seminars. These may be delivered either face to face, on campus, or remotely via electronic means. The seminars provide students the opportunity to apply, and reflect upon what they have learned from the asynchronous delivery and guided study, and aim to bring the knowledge and understanding ‘to life’ by relating it to current issues and practice. In seminars students will develop skills of application, analysis and problem solving through a variety of activities including quizzes, problem scenarios and essay-style questions. Whether students are attending seminars remotely, or on campus, these will be scheduled at a weekly set-time, for the duration of the module and will appear in the timetable.


  • Eysenck, Michael W. (©2018) Simply psychology, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • (©2019) Psychology, Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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 Weighting
Coursework   Multiple Choice Questions Test 1     
Coursework   Multiple Choice Questions Test 2      
Coursework   Participation Marks    16.67% 
Coursework   Formative - 750 Word Essay    25.00% 
Coursework   Essay     
Coursework   Lab Report     

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 (am19933@essex.ac.uk)
Kate Smith (catsmith@essex.ac.uk or 01206 874564)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 284 hours, 198 (69.7%) hours available to students:
86 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

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

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