Module code: PSY1017

Module Overview

This module will provide an introduction to the major topics and issues within cognitive psychology.  This will be done through a series of lectures and research based seminars, which will provide the student with an opportunity to integrate their developing knowledge of cognitive psychology with practical skills relating to cognitive research methods.

Module provider


Module Leader

NELSON Jonathan (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 124

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 4

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

All other Level 1 Psychology modules are co-requisites.

Module content


The weekly lectures will cover theories and findings related to the following general topic areas:
Methods in cognitive psychology

Attention and selection

Memory and learning


Concepts and categories

Thinking and problem solving



In addition to the programme of weekly lectures students will be required to attend two research based seminars, which will provide them with an opportunity to integrate their developing knowledge of cognitive psychology with practical research skills.  In the first seminar we will introduce students to the research area, explain the design of the current experiment and collect the data. In the second seminar we will enter and analyse the data, discuss the results and the implications of our findings and provide guidance on how to write the findings in the form of a scientific poster.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that:

1.         They can systematically describe key theoretical accounts of, attention, memory, creativity, problem solving and language (K).

2.         They can critically evaluate these theoretical perspectives and the empirical evidence that tests them (C).

3.         They are able to critically discuss the implications of key findings relating to attention, memory, creativity, problem solving and language (C, K).

4.         They poses the relevant skills and knowledge to be able to synthesise different perspectives to provide a broader understanding of attention, memory, creativity, problem solving and language (C, K, T).

5.         They are able to discuss the appropriate methods used to investigate attention, memory, creativity, problem solving and language, and put these into practice in their own experiments (K, P).

Key: C-Cognitive/Analytical; K-Subject Knowledge; T-Transferable Skills; P- Professional/ Practical skills

Summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         One 60 minute unseen MCQ exam to be sat during the formal semester exam period (50%)

·         One scientific poster presentation to be submitted during semester 2 (50%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will participate in regular interactive discussions within lecture sessions that involve group-level or individual formative feedback (e.g., on their understanding of a topic or their ability to critically evaluate a theory). 

Module aims

  • The aim of the module is to introduce the student to the most important topics and issues within cognitive psychology.  The module will require the student to integrate this knowledge with a practical understanding of research methods and techniques used within cognitive psychology

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 At the end of the module, it is hoped that students will be able to show evidence of an understanding of the major topics and issues within cognitive psychology.  This broad base of knowledge can then be built upon by the more substantive treatment provided in Year 2 

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include: Lectures, research-based seminars and independent student reading.

  • Lectures (2 hour lecture per week x 11 weeks)

  • Lectures will include class discussion and electronic voting

  • Research-based seminars (2 hour seminars x 2 weeks)

  • A dedicated SurreyLearn site, where the reading list, handouts from the lectures, relevant links and workshop materials will be available

  • Readings will be set each week, including relevant chapters in the required text book and further readings such as journals articles. The essential readings will ensure a thorough understanding of the topic, and the recommended readings will provide further detail using specific examples.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY1017

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2019/0 academic year.