Module code: PSY2016

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 builds directly on your learning of key concepts, methods, and findings on Social Psychology in year 1 (PSY1019). Through successful completion of this module, students will consolidate and extend their understanding of Social Psychological topics including: attitudes and behaviour change, social influence, emotions, prejudice and discrimination of minority groups. 

Module provider


Module Leader

MAZZONE Angela (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 102

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 4

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. 

  • Embodied cognition.

  • Prosocial behaviour

  • Aggression.

  • Modern Prejudice.

  • Dehumanization. 

  • Collective protest and social change.

  • Culture.

  • Future Directions in Social Psychology

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online ONLINE EXAM (60 MINUTES; 4 PAGES) 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:

  • Critical evaluation essay to assess learning outcomes 2-4

  • Exam to assess learning outcomes 1-4

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Feedback on the essay

  • 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
  • To examine the practical applications of social psychology research.
  • To ensure students can demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
004 A capacity to explain how social psychological research can inform real-world problems. KCT
005 An ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methodological and theoretical approaches to social psychological problems KCPT
002 Greater familiarity with the thinking and writing of major social psychological theorists KC
003 An enhanced understanding of the social psychological literature which will deepen knowledge from Year 1. 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.

  • Enable students to develop an enhanced understanding of the current research in the field. This will include an appreciation 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 a capacity to explain and communicate how research questions form and change in social psychology.

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

  • Enable students to build on their critical evaluation skills gained in year 1. 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, through ad-hoc activities in preparation for the first summative assessment.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Tutorials 

  • Use of Surrey Learn discussion board facility.

  • Guided learning via SurreyLearn

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: PSY2016

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 programme. 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.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons)(CORE) 1 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.