Psychology of Global Challenges

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
16 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

All major societal challenges have one thing in common: they are all, at least in part, caused by people. This module covers fundamental theoretical frameworks to better understand major societal challenges and psychological solutions to address those challenges.

Here are the kinds of the questions that we will investigate in this module: How can psychology inform our understanding of climate change, gender-based violence, health inequalities, artificial intelligence, and the spread of misinformation? And importantly, what psychological solutions can we offer?

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop students’ understanding of why and how people’s behaviour contributes to major societal challenges, and how psychological knowledge can be leveraged to solving these major challenges.

  • To enable students to develop an understanding of the behaviours that fuel global issues, and the psychological processes that underpin these behaviours.

  • To enable students to critically evaluate the empirical psychological literature on innovative psychological solutions to these major challenges, reflect on their pros and cons and learn about methods to assess how effective these solutions can be.

  • To develop scientific literacy, critical analysis and problem solving skills to address major societal challenges.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Apply the theory and principles of psychology to real-world issues.

  2. Develop a critical understanding of psychological processes that fuel global challenges.

  3. Demonstrate the ability to compare, contrast and integrate diverse psychological findings and approaches to address global challenges.

  4. Develop an understanding of methodological challenges that one faces when applying psychological interventions (e.g., ethical, logistical, methodological, financial).

  5. Demonstrate the ability to problem solve and reason scientifically to analyse complex applied problems and design evidence-based solutions.

Module information

This module will focus on a range of global challenges and for each challenge, we will focus on (i) developing an understanding of the psychological processes that explain or exacerbate the phenomenon, and (ii) explore how psychological science can help to address the issue.

Examples of global challenges we might tackle include climate change, prejudice, misinformation, and radicalisation.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • One coursework drop-in support session.

The lecture will focus on theories and reviewing empirical evidence. Each session will have interactive activities.

The drop-in support session will be a 2-hour in person and online session. Students will be able to come and ask questions or seek feedback from module staff.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Short Reflective Pieces    20% 
Coursework   Applied Essay  29/03/2024  80% 

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
Prof Marie Juanchich, email:
Dr Marie Juanchich



External examiner

Dr John Patrick Rae
Roehampton University
Reader in Psychology
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

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