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PSY3031 : The Psychology of Teaching and Learning

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Helen St Clair-Thompson
  • 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: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims to provide an advanced knowledge of psychological constructs that may be important in educational settings; focusing on both cognitive constructs (e.g. working memory and executive functions) and non-cognitive constructs (e.g. motivation and personality). Each of these constructs will be considered in terms of its implications for educational practice. The module will therefore aim to answer questions such as “how can teachers reduce the cognitive demands of classroom activities?” and “how can teachers nurture motivation in a way that improves students’ learning?”

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will cover a broad range of topics throughout the module. Theories and research studies concerned with cognitive skills will be presented, for example, referring to working memory, attention, executive functions and intelligence. A range of other individual difference variables will also be described, such as personality, motivation, and resilience. A key focus will be the implications of research findings for practice within teaching and learning. Students will also have the opportunity to research a topic of their own choice in relation to educational interventions, and then prepare a presentation on this topic.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation and completion of coursework essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00Preparation of oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person - Interactive lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching52:0010:00Present in person - seminars to allow for preparation and delivery of oral presentation
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Reading papers on Canvas and completing formative quizzes for each topic
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00Revising and exploring lecture notes and readings
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

One topic will be covered each week, using a range of teaching methods. Scheduled activities will include lectures and seminars. Structured guided learning will involve reading journal articles on each of the main topics and completing some associated tasks (on which feedback will be provided). Independent study will then be required for revising and supplementing lecture materials, and for assessment preparation.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation101A20Present in person individual presentation delivered in seminar sessions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M802000 word essay - the title for which allows a choice of topic
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework essay is an appropriate way to assess student’s knowledge of the relevant cognitive abilities and individual difference variables covered in the module, and also their ability to demonstrate an understanding of how these constructs can inform practice within teaching and learning. Critical evaluation of theories and relevant research studies will also be required in the essays.

The oral presentation is an appropriate method for assessing the intended skill outcomes; the ability to plan and prepare materials for an oral presentation and, deliver a presentation.

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, Stage 3 students may only be offered a resit if an honours degree is not awarded on the first occasion. Failed assessments will be the same format during the August resit period.

Reading Lists