Module code: PSYM174

Module Overview

This module will introduce the major topics and issues within social psychology, a core psychology discipline. This will be done through a series of lectures and subject-based tutorials, which will provide you with an opportunity to integrate your developing knowledge of social psychology with practical academic skills relating to social research methods. Specifically, we will discuss and evaluate key issues in areas such as cognitive dissonance and attitude change, group processes, prejudice and discrimination, intergroup behaviour, all in relation to humans as social beings.

Module provider

SOL - Psychology

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: 105

Seminar Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 33

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will cover theories and findings related to key topics in social psychology. We will begin with a historical overview and move to conceptual issues in Social Psychology. We will cover topics central to Social Psychology, such as developments in cognitive dissonance, how people behave in groups, prejudice, and cultural psychology.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Recorded Presentation 70
Examination Online MCQ Exam (1 Hour) 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate each of the learning outcomes.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Presentation (70%) 

The recorded presentation assesses the extent to which you have met module outcomes 1-4 by asking to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology in a social psychological research paper. This will also require you to describe the research, and then critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen methodology for answering the research questions. You will have to support your critical points with empirical evidence.

Online MCQ Examination (30%)

The MCQ exam, at the end of the term, assesses the extent to which you have met learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3, by asking you about key aspects of prominent theories, key issues with different techniques and theories and to identify to similarities and differences between different domains of social psychology.

Formative assessment and feedback: 

Formative feedback will be provided in regular synchronous interactive sessions. The feedback will be either group level (e.g., verbal or written feedback given to all students taking the module) or individual (e.g., verbal feedback on a student’s understanding of topic or their critical thinking skills).
Formative feedback will also be provided through weekly online quizzes and guided learning activities, designed to monitor develop learning from the lectures and tutorials.

Module aims

  • To introduce you to the most influential ideas and studies in social psychology.
  • To provide coverage of different theories and methods to study phenomena in the social world.
  • To develop critical thinking skills in relation to social psychological research.
  • To ensure you can demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 A familiarity with the thinking and writing of major social psychological theories and findings. KC
002 A capacity to critically evaluate theoretical perspectives and related empirical evidence. KC
003 The ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methodological approaches to social psychological problems. KCT
004 An understanding of the stages of the social psychological research process and how research questions are formed and addressed in research. 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:

  • Give you familiarity with the theories of foundational social psychologists.

  • Provide you with foundational knowledge needed to describe key theories.

  • Give you an enhanced literacy (including methodological and statistical literacy) of the current research in the field. 

  • Develop a critical understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the major research methods used in social psychology.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Recorded lectures delivering core content, to develop your understanding of key theories and evidence.

  • Synchronous online seminars that include interactive discussions about theories/issues introduced in lectures and reading and provide support and feedback on the coursework assessment.  

  • Guided learning activities each week to develop students’ skills in reading and critically analysing journal articles, identifying research questions, evaluating different social research techniques and argument development .

  • Formative quizzes each week to support and guide students’ learning and understanding of topics. 

  • Independent study, comprised of: reading is provided each week, typically including a textbook chapter or core paper each week, consolidate learning and prepare for assessments.

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: PSYM174

Other information

The School of Psychology 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 you to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:
This module is designed to allow you 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. You will need to think deeply and critically about research in a way that is beyond what you have done so far in their programme. You will therefore need to exhibit resourcefulness, be able to share ideas and experiences both individually and collectively and respond creatively to the task. 
Digital Capabilities: Across the module there are multiple opportunities to develop digital literacy. As with all modules, you are expected to engage with online material and resources via the Edx Canvas platform.
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. You 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 you will be encouraged to apply these understandings to phenomena from your own cultural background.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology (Online) MSc(CORE) 2 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 2025/6 academic year.