Introduction to Psychology

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
09 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA P300 Communications and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA C807 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C812 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (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 candidates to see the wider impact of psychology. 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. Understanding psychological theories and perspectives offers insight into many other academic subjects, such as biology, philosophy, sociology, linguistics, sports science and health studies.

Through this module, students are encouraged to think about and apply this understanding to psychological findings and everyday life. This module will look at theory and research in areas such as cognition, development, individual differences, physiological 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. 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

On successful completion of the module a student should be able to:

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;

Physiological Psychology - The biological basis of behaviour
Sensation and Perception - How our brain creates our reality
Cognitive Psychology - The mental processes that guide human behaviour
Applied Psychology – Some of the careers open to you as a psychologist
Developmental Psychology - How people grow and change over their lifetime
Individual Differences - The psychology of the person
Social Psychology - The effects of social interactions on the person
Research Methods in Psychology


Formative assessment

- One 750 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 week 7.

Summative assessment


- Essay (1,000 words, 30%) - Students will submit an essay on a topic from within the syllabus
- Two in-class multiple-choice tests (10% each, 20% 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 (40%) - 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 (10%) - Participation will be assessed through a variety of on-line or in-class exercises and quizzes, and the quality of engagement with in-class discussions and activities.


- Essay Style Exam – 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 2.

Reassessment strategy

Failed unit of assessment - Reassessment requirement

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

This module will be delivered via: - a two hour weekly lecture - a one hour weekly seminar - a one hour weekly research methods class The lectures cover the core material, and the seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the topics and learn additional skills necessary in psychology. The research methods class covers the research methodologies that psychologists use to collect and analyse experimental data. A research project will be produced during these classes.


  • 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 16.67%
Coursework Multiple Choice Questions Test 2 16.67%
Coursework Participation Marks 8.33%
Coursework Formative - 750 Word Essay 13/11/2019 0%
Coursework Essay 12/02/2020 25.00%
Coursework Lab Report 22/04/2020 33.33%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
60% 40%


Coursework Exam
60% 40%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Jordi Asher (jashera@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, 258 (90.8%) hours available to students:
26 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

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