Module code: PSY0003

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the fundamentals of psychology, and integrates the academic and professional skills relevant to psychology. It provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of core areas of psychology, and associated issues and debates within these areas. Although integrated within the whole programme, a core focus of this module is on the development of key academic skills that will support successful transition to the undergraduate programme.

Module provider


Module Leader

HACK Sarah (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 3

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 80

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 40

Independent Learning Hours: 504

Lecture Hours: 16

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The content for this module will build knowledge and understanding of core areas of Psychology. Indicative content might include (for example):

  • Cognitive Psychology

  • Social Psychology

  • Bio-psychology

  • Personality and Individual Differences

  • Developmental Psychology

  • Approaches and perspectives in Psychology

  • Debates and issues in Psychology

Core transferable skills include:

  • Professionalism, team working

  • Reflection

  • Engagement in feedback

  • Effective note-making

  • Understanding academic integrity, referencing

  • Performing effective literature searches

  • Writing academically

  • Communicating clearly (written and oral)

  • Engaging critically with sources

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay 1 (3 pages) 20
Coursework Essay 2 (3 pages + Reflection) 30
Coursework Reflective Essay (4 pages) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate subject-specific learning and academic skills that will benefit their introduction to Level 4. A range of formative and summative assessments will be set throughout the programme. The formative assessments feed into the summative assessments.

Summative assessment

Students will complete three summative assessments: two academic essays (20% and 30%) and a reflection (50%). These assessments will combine subject-specific learning with academic skills. An example of the focus of the essays is a critique of a topic covered during the year. The academic essays will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychology, and the academic skills necessary for success at undergraduate level. The end-of-year reflection will require students to reflect on their learning and development, and to demonstrate insight into their learning journey. These assessments will build on the learning from formative assessments, combining subject-specific learning with academic skills development.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment will be used to support the summative assessments, and the development of knowledge and understanding, intellectual and cognitive skills. The formative assessments will take the form of (i) essay-related tasks, which will prepare students for the summative essays and (ii) a short reflection on their learning across Semester 1, which will prepare students for the summative end-of year reflection.


Continuous feedback strategies are built into the module to capture students’ experiences, and to support the development of their feedback literacy, and in turn, their development as independent, resourceful and resilient learners. These strategies will be both peer and tutor facilitated and will provide students with opportunities to (i) reflect upon and discuss learning, (ii) articulate reflective practice through their writing, (iii) develop their interpersonal skills, as well as encouraging engagement and supporting the development of communication skills.


Module aims

  • Introduce students to a range of psychological topics and academic skills to prepare students for access into a psychology degree programme.
  • Develop key and transferable skills that will help in the assimilation of knowledge and develop autonomy in learning.
  • Develop cognitive skills that allow for critical thinking, problem solving and analysis of data and information.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the basics of psychology K
002 Demonstrate an awareness of methodological and ethical issues in psychology KCPT
003 Evaluate the research approaches and investigative strategies used within psychology KCPT
004 Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours that support lifelong learning CPT
005 Demonstrate skills in communication, interpersonal skills and reflection PT
006 Work individually and as part of a team PT
007 Demonstrate confidence and self-awareness in becoming an independent learner T
008 Assess own capabilities against given criteria CT

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:

  • Enhance students’ learning experience

  • Encourage active student engagement

  • Create the ability to study independently with support


During the course a number of learning and teaching methods may be used, including:

  • Lectures

  • Interactive workshops

  • Flipped learning

  • Revision and feedback tutorials

  • Independent study and self-directed learning

  • Guided group/team work

  • Reflective learning

  • Peer evaluation

Using a range of learning and teaching methods will support the students in achieving the learning outcomes. For example, through lectures students will be able to gain knowledge and understanding of the different core areas of psychology, and reflective learning will enable students to develop attitudes and behaviours that support lifelong 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: PSY0003

Other information

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the International Engagement Office email:


Surrey Curriculum Framework

In line with Surrey's Curriculum Framework this programme is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes in the following ways:

Digital Capabilities: Throughout the module students learn to navigate and use SurreyLearn, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. They are also introduced to other digital resources and software, to support their development as independent learners. A key focus of the module is on developing academic skills, to ensure students develop a strong foundation ahead of joining the undergraduate programme. They are therefore introduced to, and required to use, specific digital techniques, including online searching, using search mechanisms including Google Scholar and the university’s search engine, SurreySearch.  Students are also required to engage with a variety of digital media, for example, Teams, Zoom, Padlets, Wakelets, Google Jamboard. In addition, students will be required to use cloud/file sharing platforms such as GoogleDocs, SharePoint when working collaboratively. Module assessments require students to draw on their experience of using a wide range of digital platforms and resources. In line with university policy, assessments are submitted through SurreyLearn.

Employability: A key skill which underpins psychology as a discipline and hence particularly this year-long module is a focus on developing the ability to critically evaluate evidence and to discuss the appropriate application of knowledge within the limitations of the research design and data collection methods. Thus specific transferable skills developed that are utilised in many areas of employment include the ability to evaluate sources, to critically engage with material, and to evaluate data. In addition, the tasks and assessments undertaken within this module are specifically chosen to prepare students for the assessments they will take on the undergraduate programme, but also to prepare them for tasks they might undertake as psychologists, or in other forms of employment. For example, students are required to develop an academic argument in academic essays, and also to write reflectively, a skill required in many practitioner-based fields.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: A key issue explored within the module is that of ethnocentrism within Psychology, the tendency for universal assumptions to be made, inappropriately, from culturally-specific research. Students are introduced to the concept of WEIRD Psychology (research conducted by, and using participants from, Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic societies), and the associated notion of the ‘missing 95%’, the proportion of the world population not represented in psychological literature. In addition, attention is drawn to examples of research conducted by Black psychologists, for example classic research into racial identification by Clark and Clark (1947), as well as more contemporary research, for example that of Professor Keon West. Students are also introduced to ways of addressing ethnocentrism, for example by avoiding making claims of universality and conducting cross-cultural research.

Resourcefulness and resilience: The key aim of the programme is to support the development of students in their journey to becoming resourceful, resilient and independent learners. Over the course of this year-long module students are introduced to a range of academic skills and positive psychology interventions to support (i) their development as learners and (ii) their overall resilience. A key theme is the importance of wellbeing and resilience for academic achievement, as well as for us all as individuals. The module adopts an ‘embed, but foreground’ approach to the development of academic skills, where key academic skills are clearly identified, with opportunities for developing the skills embedded within psychological content. Opportunities to develop these skills are mapped both within and between modules, and chronologically across the academic year. Teaching and learning activities, and assessments (formative and summative) have been developed to enable students opportunities to develop and demonstrate their capabilities in a ‘learning spiral’ format.  Students are also introduced to a range of psychological interventions so that they will have a repertoire of positive psychology skills and knowledge related to personal and academic resilience. Students are required to reflect on their learning journey in relation to these areas in an end of year summative assessment, thus encouraging engagement with this material. In addition, the timing of the module assessments is carefully planned to enable opportunities for students to reflect on formative and prior summative assessments, both within the module and between modules. This ensures students have the opportunity to process and to act on feedback, further strengthening their development as independent learners. Further, students have a dedicated session on engaging with feedback, in which strategies for dealing with the emotional impact of feedback are discussed alongside engaging with feedback effectively.  

Sustainability: A key focus of the module is encouraging students to engage with the question ‘So what?’, to develop knowledge and understanding of how psychological research findings may be applied in ethically, socially and environmentally responsible ways. The focus on the application of research promotes the importance of research as a means to support the development of a more sustainable future society. In addition, a key theme of the module is the ethics of research and as students are introduced to both classic and contemporary psychological research, they gain insight into the history of ethics within psychology and the importance of sustainable research.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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 2025/6 academic year.