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Unit information: Foundations of Psychology in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Foundations of Psychology
Unit code PSYC10004
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Damian
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Unit Information

This unit covers the four main areas of psychology: biological, cognitive, developmental, and social. These core areas of psychology provide the foundation for your degree programme in psychology as required for accreditation by the professional body, the British Psychological Society.

The aims of the unit are to introduce you to these foundation areas of psychology, to enhance your critical thinking and oral presentation skills in these areas, and to become familiar with contemporary methods and techniques for studying psychology.

Your learning on this unit

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Describe the major theoretical perspectives taken in biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology.
  2. State the new insights into how the mind (brain) supports a range of key capacities in each of these four areas, including neurophysiological processes, perception, memory, and language, lifespan development, and social interactions.
  3. List the methodologies and techniques used in biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology.

How you will learn

At the start of each week, the self-paced asynchronous material will be provided (in bite-sized pieces where appropriate) along with 1) clear guidance on pre-reading (or pre-class activities), 2) lecture content itself, and 3) engagement activities. The teaching for each week will conclude with a live synchronous session where feedback will be provided and questions from students answered. Additional content will be delivered in tutorials.

How you will be assessed

Assessment and Award of Credit:

Each of the core areas is examined by coursework (two essays of 1600-words - 40%), multiple-choice examinations (20%), and a timed assessment where students answer 2 out of 4 questions (40%).

Attendance and participation in tutorials is required for the award of credit.

A reasonable attempt of all assessment must be made for the award of credit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PSYC10004).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.