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PSY2003 : Social Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zachary Petzel
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


To provide students with a wide knowledge and understanding of many key research areas of both traditional social psychology and more contemporary developments.

By the end of the module, students should have substantially greater insight into how the psychology of the individual contributes to the social world and how the social world contributes to the psychology of the individual.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students are introduced to some of the major theories, methods, and debates in social psychology. The module exposes students to both classic studies in social psychology, as well as more recently published work, in order to apply a social lens to understanding both the individual and broader societal concerns. Students will be asked to think critically about some of the ‘big’ issues in social psychology, e.g. understanding who we are; prosocial behaviour; and stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. The module will also introduce students to the fundamentals of intergroup and intragroup processes.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading101:0010:00Guided reading and essay writing activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Synchronous online essay writing workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Present in person: qualitative workshop
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity102:0020:00Synchronous online: student led journal club with directed reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:00Independent study, reading, and revision including weekly formative activities
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture materials provide an integrated and structured introduction to research and theory on each topic. Although students will be encouraged to ask questions and open up some level of discussion, the small group sessions will give them a greater opportunity to discuss specific areas of the course material. In the small group sessions, students will be required to discuss and think critically about research findings. The private study time will allow students to carry out in depth review of the information imparted through lecture materials, to consolidate their learning and to generate their own views on the topics. These views can then be followed up with further reading from the extended reading list, and discussed in the small group sessions.
In order to maintain the core learning outcomes of the module that centre on discursive essay writing and theory understanding, an online essay workshop is maintained. Students write a formative mock essay exam and then engage in peer marking using the UG assessment criteria. In addition, in order to meet the learning outcomes for content coverage, weekly formative activities take the form of a student-led journal club with discussion activities. The formative discussion activities can be done in groups or individually via short reflective statements through an online discussion forum.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination901A100MCQs (45), Essay question (1 out of 3, 1000 words); unseen, PIP Inspera invigilated.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

One of the main functions of this module is to provide experience of exam essay writing and discursive argument. Therefore, this module has an unseen essay to ensure that students have sufficient experience of exam writing in preparation for stage 3. The module also shares an essay writing workshop which is run in collaboration with PSY2001 Developmental Psychology. The workshop provides formative feedback on essay writing via peer marking and informal feedback.

The written examination is used to assess: knowledge, independent learning and understanding of material relevant to the module; gathering of information from a variety of sources; understanding and application of theoretical concepts; critical evaluation of arguments and evidence; the ability to communicate effectively in writing; understanding and articulation of critical issues in psychology; the ability for critical thought and original approach. In line with BPS requirements, the MCQ exam tests subject knowledge on a broad range of topics and concepts.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

If the module is failed or deferred students will resit failed or deferred assessments in the same format during the August resit period.

Reading Lists