Module code: PSYM093

Module Overview

Social Psychology investigates how our cognitions (thought processes), affective states (feelings and emotions) and behaviours are related to the social world. This module will introduce you to key concepts, theories, methods, and findings in Social Psychology. The course covers core BPS curriculum in social psychology. Through successful completion of this module, students will develop an understanding of Social Psychological topics including: attitudes and behaviours change, social influence, emotions, prejudice and discrimination of minority groups.  



Module provider


Module Leader

HOPKINS-DOYLE Aife (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 101

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 5

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Lectures (Indicative content)

  • Recent History of Social Psychology.

  • Developments in cognitive dissonance

  • Social memory.

  • Embodiment

  • Prosocial behaviour

  • Aggression.

  • Modern Prejudice.

  • Dehumanization.

  • Collective protest and social change.

  • Cultural psychology.

  • Future Directions in Social Psychology.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CRITICAL ESSAY (2000 WORDS) 50
Examination Online ONLINE EXAM (90 MINUTES) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  1. Critical evaluation essay

  2. Exam

Through successful completion of both assignments students will demonstrate that they have mastered all learning outcomes. The first summative assessment focuses more on assessing LOs 2-4 and is more narrow in scope. The second summative assessment assess LOs 1-5, and asks students to integrate all of the knowledge (e.g., theoretical, historical, methodological) and skills (critical analysis, scientific writing, argumentation) they have developed across the course to answer short-answer exam questions on Social Psychology.

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Feedback on the essay (summative assessment 1)

  • Verbal feedback in tutorials and lectures

Module aims

  • To provide students with coverage of different theories and methods to study phenomena in the social world.
  • To help students foster their critical thinking in relation to social psychological research, and to communicate this through scientific writing.
  • To examine practical applications of social psychology research in the real-world.
  • To ensure students can demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 A familiarity with the thinking and writing of major social psychological theorists KC
005 The capacity to explain how research questions form and change in social psychology KC
003 The capacity to explain how social psychological research can practically inform real-world problems. KC
004 The ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methodological and theoretical approaches to social psychological problems, and to communicate this through scientific writing. KCT
002 An understanding of the stages of the social psychological research process KC

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 ensure that students achieve the module’s learning outcomes and develop competencies in the corresponding aspects of the curriculum framework, specifically employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience.

Specifically, through the lectures, tutorials, and in-class activities (group discussions, polls) we aim to

  • Give students first-hand experience with the thinking and writing of foundational social psychologists. This will be delivered through lectures, guided learning, and independent reading and assessment preparation.

  • Enable students to develop an enhanced understanding of the current research in the field. This will include an appreciation methodologies/theories in social psychology but also of how social groups, contexts and cultures influence our psychological experience. This will help students develop their global and cultural capabilities.

  • Enable students to develop the capacity to explain and communicate how research questions form and change in social psychology. This will be facilitated through lectures, tutorials and guided learning.

  • Provide students with an opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the major research methods/theories used in psychology

  • Enable students to build on their critical evaluation skills gained in their undergraduate degree and develop these in application to Social Psychological research. Critical analysis is a key transferable ability that will increase employability. This ability will be fostered via tutorials, group discussions and activities, and through their independent work in preparation for their first summative assessment.

  • Develop and demonstrate their scientific writing, which is a professional skill that will be very relevant for their dissertation as well as any future employment. This will be particularly fostered in the tutorials, and through preparation for the first and second summative assessment.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures 

  • Tutorials 

  • Use of SurreyLearn discussion board

  • Guided learning


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: PSYM093

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience.

This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The assessment strategy, and indeed the out-of-class preparation that precedes it, is designed to challenge, and stretch student capabilities. Students will need to think deeply and critically about research in a way that is beyond what they have done so far in their previous studies. Students will therefore need to exhibit resourcefulness, be able to share ideas and experiences both individually and collectively and respond creatively to the task posed to them.

Employability: The assessment strategy and independent learning required for successful completion of the assessments will give students the opportunity to develop their academic writing and argumentation skills. Specifically, students will need to critically appraise empirical research clearly and convincingly. The ability to express yourself succinctly and unambiguously is a key transferrable skill for employability.

Digital Capabilities: Across the module there are multiple opportunities to develop digital literacy. As with all modules, students are expected to engage with online material and resources via SurreyLearn. Beyond this, students are expected to engage with other digital learning tools including polleverywhere and menti.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: The module content is designed to showcase the diverse understandings of social psychology both across cultures and how this has changed over time. Students will develop an appreciation of how social psychological knowledge can be limited to a specific cultural context, and similarly that the changing nature of social attitudes and beliefs means that some knowledge is of its time. We will discuss real world examples of this, and students will be encouraged to apply these understandings to phenomena from their own cultural background. Students are encouraged to share such insights with the class during discussion activities/Q&As.   

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology (Conversion) MSc(CORE) 1 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% 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.