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Module BIC-0020:
Psychology 1

Module Facts

Run by Marketing: Bangor International College

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Laura McKenzie

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to the main theoretical approaches to Psychology and considers its historical development as a field of study. Students are made aware of key ideas and concepts. The areas on which this module focuses are Social, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology. Research methods and related ethical considerations are introduced.

Course content

Students are introduced to the historical development of the study of Psychology and become familiar with a range of approaches, cognitive, behavioural, psychodynamic, biological/medical and evolutionary. Three particular areas are then studied. Within social psychology the main focus is on anti-social behaviour, especially aggression. The main social-psychological theories of aggression are taught, for example, social learning theory and relative deprivation, and consideration is given to the effect of environmental stressors on aggressive behaviour, for example, noise, temperature and crowding. Media influences on behaviour are also covered. In considering Cognitive Psychology the focus is on human memory and the nature and structure of memory, including capacity, duration and encoding in short and long term memory are covered.

Three models of memory are considered – the multi-store model, the working memory model and levels of processing. The topic area concludes in considering reconstructive memory and work on relation to eye witness testimony. Developmental Psychology covers the developmental theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, including the key stages of each, their key developmental concepts and an evaluation of how each may be applied to education. Students consider methods commonly used in undertaking research in Psychology and the ethical questions these raise.

Assessment Criteria


Excellent (A- to A*) (70-100%) Student has demonstrated consistent engagement with all topics and issues studied in the module and attained a grade which shows the ability to study effectively at undergraduate degree level


Good (C- to B+) (50-69%) Student has demonstrated a sound, basic knowledge of most of the topics and issues covered in the module and achieved a grade showing clear suitability for study at undergraduate degree level.


Threshold (D- to D+) (40-49%) Student has shown sufficient grasp of some of the topics studied to have achieved the lowest level of pass which allows progression onto an undergraduate degree programme

Learning outcomes

    1. Analyse and evaluate psychological theories relevant to the specific areas studied, Social, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology
    1. Demonstrate an awareness of the specialised language, terminology and concepts of the subject.
    1. Explain how a study of Psychology can be applied to the resolution of problems for individuals or society, for example, determination of factors leading to anti-social behaviour or causing difficulties with learning
    1. Demonstrate their knowledge of the main theoretical approaches to the study of Psychology and of the subject’s development over time
    1. Describe commonly applied research methods and review ethical issues raised by them

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Coursework essay 30
Final exam 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Students will be encouraged to develop their study skills and independent learning. They will be encouraged to expand on ideas and theories covered in class through directed research activities and guidance in module guides with regards to their assignments

Practical classes and workshops

Students will receive 5 contact hours per week in small class lessons. The teacher will cover the key theories and concepts through presentation and lecture style delivery and these will be discussed analysed and examined by students in small groups performing directed tasks that could involve seminars, presentations and group work


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Apply a range of perspectives to the analysis of legal and social issues including global issues.
  1. Written communication via coursework essay
  2. Examination techniques
  3. Selection and evaluation of material from a wide range of sources
  4. Basic research skills


Resource implications for students

Students will be required to purchase a Core Textbook

Reading list

Core: Cardwell, Clark and Meldrum Psychology for A Level Harper Collins


Martin, N., Carlson, N. and Buskist, W. (2006) Psychology 3rd edition, Harlow: Pearson Curran, J. and Gurevitch, M. (2005) Mass Media and Society 4th edition, London: Hodder Arnold Hollway, H., Lucey, H. and Phoenix, A. (2007) Social psychology matters Maidenhead, Open University Press

Courses including this module