What's Love Got To Do With It? Understanding Romantic Relationships.

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
13 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Romantic relationships are a fundamental part of the human experience. This module will take a scientific approach to understanding relationships.

This module will examine how relationships form, what binds them together, and what might lead to their dissolution. We will discuss how much of "me" we bring into our relationships compared to how much relationships change our sense of self. Finally, we will discuss what makes relationships such an important area of study: how they impact and influence our lives.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide an in-depth overview of relationship science.

  • To explain and interpret systematic research which means discussing findings that may not necessarily reflect views that people have about relationships based on past experience.

  • To enhance critical thinking about this important part of human psychology.

  • To give students the opportunity to express their own insights into this topic.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Understand the difference between lay theories (e.g., pop-psychology) and empirically based tests of relationship theories.

  2. Describe the different ways in which romantic relationships shape and are shaped by self-concepts and situational factors.

  3. Discuss topics and theories related to relationship research and their implications for psychology, the self, and society.

  4. Be actively engaged in learning.

Module information

This module includes three types of coursework due throughout the term: Learning Goals Assessment, Online Discussion Forum; and, Relationship Advice Column.

The learning goal assessments include three short assessments due at the beginning, middle, and end of term. Students are asked to identify their goals at the beginning of term, reflect on their progress, and reflect on their goal attainment at the end of term.

The online discussion forum includes a total of 5 question prompts that change fortnightly. Students are randomly assigned to a team at the beginning of term with whom they discuss the question prompt and associated readings and lecture content.

The relationship advice column is a single paper that asks students to respond to a question prompt set by the instructor. The tone of the paper should be accessible to a general audience but students must draw on a combination of the materials presented in class, assigned readings, and their own external research. This assessment provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the module content, as well as develop their scientific communication skills.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.

The lectures will consist of an introduction to each topic of the module. Lectures will be interspersed with brief videos highlighting specific topics or issues discussed in class. Lectures may also include break-out sessions where students will have the opportunity to discuss the assigned readings in small groups, and as a class.


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

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
Dr Veronica Lamarche, email:
Dr Veronica Lamarche



External examiner

Dr Paula Miles
University of St Andrews
Director of Teaching, Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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