INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY - 2018/9

Module code: PSYM137

Module Overview

The MSc module will introduce students to some of the key questions which currently
guide research and practice in environmental psychology. The course addresses issues around architectural psychology
as well as global and local environmental problems facing our world today. It provides an insight into the psychology of
environment-behaviour issues focusing on built (residential, work and public) and natural environments. The main focus of
the course will be to provide an insight into the research and theory development to date and to familiarise students with the practical and multidisciplinary nature of the field.
By the end of the course students should have an advanced understanding of the nature and scope of some of the
principal theoretical and methodological developments in this area of research and an understanding of the application of
psychological theory and concepts to an important area of everyday life.

Module provider

Psychology

Module Leader

WYLES K Dr (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C810

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 50

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.

Module content

The module will largely address two topics in environment-behaviour research
1. Architectural psychology and environmental design. This includes topics such as environmental
aesthetics, environmental cognition and wayfinding and environmental stress.
2. The Psychology of sustainable development. This includes topics such as: perceptions of climate change,
understanding pro-environmental behaviours, attitudes and values.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2,000 word essay 50
Examination 60 MINUTE EXAMINATION 50

Alternative Assessment

Alternative essay and exam

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:
Assessment 1: Essay – analysing an existing environment
-Their ability to analyse physical environments using environmental psychology methods
-Their knowledge of environmental psychology theories and research evidence
-Their ability to consider the practical impact of research
-Their ability to formulate a coherent argument for an academic and non-academic audience
Assessment 2: Exam
-Their knowledge of environmental psychology theories, methods and research evidence
-Their ability to critically evaluate the quantity and quality of evidence in psychology
-Their ability to provide practical solutions to environmental problems based on environmental psychology theories and evidence

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
1) 6 page essay 50% (approximately week 6)
In which students are asked to describe a specific environment and analyse the positive and negative aspects of
this environment drawing on environmental psychology methods, theories and evidence.
2) 60 min exam – 50% (during winter exam period)
In which students answer 1 essay question (out of a possible 3) focusing on environmental sustainability

Formative assessment and feedback
Students will be given formative feedback in class throughout the module. In particular via the in class exercises where students will work in small group to conduct a range of tasks including the analysis of the university campus, an evaluation of the usefulness of different environmental psychology methods to examine certain behaviours, discussions of proposed interventions to address an environmental problem.

Module aims

  • Provide students with an understanding of the major theoretical formulations and models in the area of environmental
    psychology in order to provide a conceptual underpinning to inform their approach to research and practice
  • Provide students with a knowledge of individual, organisational and social aspects of approaches to environmental
    psychology

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyse physical environments using environmental psychology methods C
002 Provide practical solutions to environmental problems drawing on environmental psychology theories and evidence C
003 Critically evaluate the quantity and quality of evidence in psychology C
004 Demonstrate an awareness of environmental psychology theories and research evidence in the field of architectural psychology K
005 Demonstrate an awareness of environmental psychology theories, methods and research evidence in the area of environmental sustainabillity K
006 Able to consider the practical impact of research T
007 Able to conduct research and consultancy work on environment-behaviour issues P
008 Formulate a coherent argument for an academic and non-academic audience P
009 Consider the practical implications of research P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Give students an overview of major theoretical formulations in environment-behaviour issues.
Provide students with an insight into the history of environment-behaviour research
Critically engage with the literature and evidence of environment-behaviour issues
Enable students to analyse physical environments drawing on environmental psychology theory
and methods
Provide students with an understanding of how psychology can contribute to understanding and
tackling environmental issues
The learning and teaching methods include:
Lectures (1 hour a week for 11 weeks)
In class discussions and group work (1 hour a week for 11 weeks)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/psym137

Other information

None

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Social Psychology MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Research Methods in Psychology MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Psychology MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.