Social Psychology

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
21 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA 63C2 Psychological Studies,
BA 63C3 Psychological Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA 63C4 Psychological Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA C801 Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA C802 Psychology,
BA C807 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BA C810 Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C800 Psychology,
BSC C800JS Psychology,
BSC C800NS Psychology,
BSC C803 Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C811 Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C812 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C806 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C808 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience,
BSC C809 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Placement Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
MSCIC999 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience,
MSCICA98 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Placement Year),
MSCICA99 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C814 Psychology with Economics,
BSC C815 Psychology with Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C816 Psychology with Economics (Including Placement Year),
BSC C817 Psychology with Economics (Including Foundation Year),
MSCIC998 Psychology with Advanced Research Methods,
MSCICB98 Psychology with Advanced Research Methods (Including Placement Year),
MSCICB99 Psychology with Advanced Research Methods (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C680 Sport and Exercise Psychology,
BSC C681 Sport and Exercise Psychology (including Year Abroad),
BSC C682 Sport and Exercise Psychology (including Placement Year)

Module description

The module covers a broad range of key research areas in social psychology.

What are the processes relevant to how we perceive other individuals? How can we explain and understand factors relating to social influence, such as conformity and obedience to authority? What is 'the self' and what are the social processes that help us to develop a sense of our unique individuality? What attracts people to each other and how can we understand why some close relationships persist while others end?

These are just some of the interesting questions that we will explore in this module, relying on historic and contemporary research from social psychologists around the world.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To study a range of social psychology theory and research.

  • To address core theories of social behaviour and social information processing.

  • To provide students with a clear understanding of the topics social psychologists are interested in and their approach to their study.

Each of the topics will be covered in sufficient depth for you to be able to appreciate classical social psychological theories and findings as the foundation of this empirical discipline, alongside more modern approaches and models of human behaviour.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the major theories and principal areas of research in social psychology.

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of major empirical tests of the theories in social psychology.

  3. Understand how theory and research in social psychology might explain current issues in society.

These outcomes will be assessed by essay coursework and by the exam.

Module information

The lectures will introduce students to the broad approaches and methods used in social psychology.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Weekly 2-hour lectures, normally with a short break at the halfway point, for ten weeks.

There is also a Moodle page devoted to the class that allows for further clarification, as needed. Handouts containing notes and diagrams from the lecture slides will be uploaded to the Moodle page online, prior to the lectures.

Lectures start on the hour. Please arrive promptly to avoid disrupting the class. You are welcome to ask questions during class if there is anything that is unclear.


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   Press Release    100% 
Exam  Main exam: Remote, Open Book, 120 minutes during January 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: Remote, Open Book, 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

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
25% 75%


Coursework Exam
25% 75%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Paul Hanel, email: email:



External examiner

Dr John Patrick Rae
Roehampton University
Reader in Psychology
Prof Joanne Hudson
Swansea University
Available via Moodle
Of 8 hours, 8 (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

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

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