Surrey University Stag


Module code: PSY3119

Module Overview

In this module, students will be introduced to both theoretical and practical aspects of the use of games and experiential methods in psychology. Gamified and experiential learning shows promise for making learning fun, and making complex concepts intuitively meaningful. As such, it has a wide range of applications including areas such as education, reasoning and developmental disorders. Gamified methods can also be used in psychological measurement. Students will explore what makes it desirable to play games, why they can become addictive. They will learn how to design games effectively to facilitate desired learning outcomes.

Module provider


Module Leader

NELSON Jonathan (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: C800

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BSc Psychology Levels 4 and 5 (or equivalent), or permission of module convenor. 

Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Theoretical and practical overview of the use of games in psychology

• Games for measuring the psychology of uncertainty

• Gaming and cognitive enhancement

• Cyber Psychology and custom-designed gaming for studying moral reasoning

• Emotion and the use of adaptive games in education, gender differences in STEM

• Do skills acquired during (video or other) games transfer to other domains or to life (e.g., to sensorimotor abilities)?

• Games and neurodevelopmental disorders. Are games helpful tools for teaching and learning in neurodevelopmentally disordered populations?

• Reward, addiction, and games.

• The gaming industry. How does the gaming industry work? What insights from industry are relevant to psychological research in gaming and vice versa?

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Presentation may be completed individually and/or presented virtually if needed. The specific alternative assessment will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to think creatively, integratively, to read literature with purpose and with a specific goal; and to work together on a project for group presentation.

The summative assessment consists of: Presentation (30%)-- each student will submit a video summary of an assigned reading, targeted at a broad audience. Research proposal (70%)-- students will write an individual theoretically grounded and methodologically sound research proposal that proposes a plan of research and/or experiments to addresses an issue in gamified or experiential learning.

Formative assessment; Feedback-- We will offer formative feedback on the game task idea. A course session (with additional time scheduled as necessary) will be devoted to presentations. The module convenor will provide additional, individualized feedback, as appropriate.

Module aims

  • To give students both theoretical and practical foundations for critically thinking about, and practically developing work, using games and experience-based methodologies in psychological research and education.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss and critically evaluate key theory and research findings relating to use of games and experience-based learning in psychology CK
002 Creatively develop game-based tools for psychological or educational purposes CKPT
003 Present ideas relating to use of games, research and experience-based learning in psychology using oral and written means CKPT
004 Work as part of a team to research gaming methods for educational purposes CKPT
005 Discuss theoretical, practical and ethical considerations in designing games for educational purposes CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: Foster active student engagement with the ideas, independent reading, and most importantly, creative thinking and idea development, in areas of gamified and experiential learning and psychology research, broadly conceived. Most sessions will include approximately one hour of lecture, together with one hour of group activities and class discussion. To encourage student engagement with the assigned (core and supplemental) readings, students will be assigned to briefly present articles at the beginning of most lecture sessions. On the week of the oral presentations additional time will be scheduled to ensure that each group of students can present.

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: PSY3119

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional 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 2023/4 academic year.