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PSY1007 : History of Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Barbara-Anne Robertson
  • Other Staff: Professor Vicki Bruce
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims
•to describe different approaches that have been taken historically to answering questions about the human mind, and the different kinds of answers that have been forthcoming;
•to integrate material from other modules taught in Stage 1 by focussing on topics that resonate with other Stage 1 modules;

The module content
•highlights developments from ancient Greek philosophy through to the establishment of experimental psychology in the late 19th century, and the growth and changes in the discipline in the 20th century.
•describes the history of psychology within the context of the history of scientific investigation more generally.

Outline Of Syllabus

An historical approach is taken to areas already familiar from other modules studied at Stage 1. We trace historical and contemporary developments in the study of visual perception, cognition, cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. We outline the history of the nature-nurture debate, the impact of evolutionary theory, and historical approaches to intelligence and personality.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion124:0024:00Preparing for and completing the end of module examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Present in Person lecture
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials61:006:00Non-sync online, e.g short recordings formative activities e.g discussion points and problem solving
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Preparing for and completing the practice essay
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00PIP. Working in small groups to discuss classic paper and develop presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00PIP Class based video and live, interactive discussions sessions (2 video/2 exam prep)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity25:0010:00Critically analysing key texts and developing group presentations.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study103:3035:00Background reading around lectures each week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk41:004:00Synchronous online Q&A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will describe how psychology emerged as a discipline from earlier philosophical and scientific investigation, and will outline some of the main methods that have advanced modern psychology.
Lecture materials are used to impart core knowledge of these historical developments. Additional classroom and small group sessions enable the students to discuss or think about some of the topics in more detail. The sessions will include demonstrations and discussions, video material, and/or in depth study of readings to illustrate principles from the lectures. The aims of the additional sessions will be (1) to guide reading for the module (2) to help consolidate the taught material (3) to provide practice in addressing exam questions and (4) to develop oral and group discussion skills. Skills outcomes are addressed by group-work to develop a presentation about, key papers, individuals or events, and sample exam questions based on the material will be set for students to practice writing an exam essay to time in the formative assessment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A90scheduled examination -– choose 2 from 5 questions.
Oral Presentation52M10Group presentation. 10 mins max. All group members get the same mark,
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written Examination2MIn-class practice examination - 1 from 2 questions
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Rationale and relationship of assessment methods to learning outcomes:
The exam essay will assess the knowledge outcomes but also help students develop the skill of writing exam essays. The formative essay examination allows students to experience completing an essay in exam conditions, helping them to better prepare for the main examination. Working in groups during small group teaching to develop a presentation focused on particular papers will help contribute to both knowledge and skills outcomes.

Reading Lists