Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module PPP-2012:
Cognitive Psychology

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Stephanie Baines

Overall aims and purpose

This module will provide an overview of psychological theories and research in perception and higher-order cognitive processes within the field of Cognitive Psychology. The aim of this course is to provide the student with an appreciation of the cognitive approach and an opportunity to investigate some of the core areas of cognitive psychology: visual and auditory perception, language processing, focused attention, memory systems and decision-making. Applications of cognitive principles to real-life situations, such as studying for exams and courtroom eyewitness testimony will also be examined.

Course content

Intro to Cognitive Psychology // Visual Perception // Auditory Perception // Selective Attention & Theories of Attention // Learning & Memory // Intro to Language & Speech Processing // Decision-making

Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments.


Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.


Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes involved in language production and speech processing (Language & Speech Processing)

  2. Outline the characteristics of selective attention and evaluate the major theories of attention (Attention)

  3. Evaluate the major theories of the principle memory systems and discuss how memory research has contributed to the improvement of memory and the accuracy of eye-witness testimonies (Memory)

  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the cognitive approach and explain how psychological research is conducted from a cognitive perspective

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of visual information processing with a focus on object perception (Visual Perception).

  6. Demonstrate an understanding of auditory information processing with a focus on speech perception (Auditory Perception).

  7. Demonstrate an understanding of how we make decisions and the way in which these decisions can be influenced (Decision-making)

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Final Exam 50
Written assignment, including essay Written Assignment 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Two hour lecture each week. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, each week two hour's worth of content will be released in the form of multiple short podcasts, which students can view whenever they prefer.

Private study 78

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
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • 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

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.


Reading list

Core textbook

Ashcraft, M. H., & Radvansky, G. A. (2010). Cognition (5th Edition International). NJ, US: Pearson Education. ISBN 10: 0-13-508168-8 ISBN 13: 978-0-13-508168

Alternative textbooks

Baddeley. A, D. (1999). Essentials of Human Memory (1st Edition). Hove, England: Psychology Press. ISBN 0863775454 (pbk.) 0863775446 Alternative core textbook for the topic of Memory

Goldstein, E.B. (1999). Sensation and Perception (5th Edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. ISBN 0534346804 (alk. paper) Alternative core textbook for the topic of Perception

Styles, E. A. (1997). The Psychology of Attention (2nd Edition). Hove UK: Psychology Press. ISBN 0863774652 (PBK) 0863774644 Alternative core textbook for the topic of Attention

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: