Module PPP-4019:
Psychology Disciplinary Elop*

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof John Parkinson

Overall aims and purpose

The primary aim is to provide a unique transdisciplinary experience for our MSc students relevant to all our programmes as well as to enable students to integrate their understanding of the discipline (psychology) from the perspective of other complementary disciplines (such as engineering, architecture, social science). Furthermore, the aim is to provide the knowledge and skills to enable students to enter the workforce with critical transdisciplinary working skills (teamwork, tolerance of uncertainty...) for a modern complex world with wicked problems. NOTE: This module involves up to two field trips for which participating students will be required to cover travel expenses (See the Resources section).

Course content

Transdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration are emerging key competences of tomorrow's professionals - complex real-world problems can only successfully be tackled by such transdisciplinary teams. The elop learning and teaching platform offers the possibility to acquire such experiences in the framework of a graduate program. At the core of the elop program, constructed around an innovation-based transdisciplinary design process, is the development of real projects with actual clients.

Models of team working Introduction to transdisciplinary (TD) science Psychology and its role in TD working Psychology and Design Thinking TD theory TD techniques relevant to psychology TD applications The psychology of wicked problems Methods in TD science

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

Satisfactory understanding of the advantages and disadvantages associated with interdisciplinary research. Satisfactory use of evidence to support the points made. Satisfactory oral presentation skills, demonstrating an understanding of the main elements of the subject area, but with very little critical thinking. Some main points were presented, and the ability to answer questions confidently was demonstrated. Satisfactory development of critical arguments in written assignments, however the arguments presented lacked coherence. Satisfactory use of studies discussed in the seminars to support the points made, but very little evidence of additional reading.


Student provided an adequate response, but answers were largely based on lecture material and essential reading, with no real development of arguments, critical evaluation or evidence of study beyond the basics (basics = lecture material and essential reading). Structure and organisation of material was adequate. Linked to C grade.


Student provided a comprehensive and accurate response, with sound clarity of argument and expression. Distinction-level answers evidenced a depth of insight into material presented in lectures, and relevant further and additional reading. Appropriate critical evaluation of evidence and discussion of material supported all responses. Novel application of psychological understanding to consumer issues was clearly evident (synthesis) throughout response(s), and was relevant, appropriate and interesting. Linked to A grade.


Student provided a comprehensive response. Material was well-organised and well-structured. There was clear evidence of a good understanding of the material, and that a deeper understanding of material presented in lectures had been achieved due to relevant further reading and self-study. There was some evidence of appropriate critical evaluation and discussion, and some evidence of novel synthesis between psychology and the consumer world was presented. Linked to B grade.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of this module students will be able to critically evaluate to role of Design Thinking in psychology, particularly in its application to transdisciplinary approaches.

  2. On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate how psychology can be applied through a transdisciplinary approach in order to analyse and propose solutions to complex real-world (wicked) problems.

  3. On successful completion of this module students will understand and appreciate the value of transdisciplinary science, and transdisciplinary approaches to problem solving in complex situations.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Proposal presentation - kick off week 30
Team presentation - final week 35
Final proposal report 35

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Supervised time in studio/workshop

Team and individual work guided by lecturer - combination of coaching and mentoring.

Private study

Researching alone or with the support of other group members to develop theory and practical ideas.

Practical classes and workshops

Combination of didactic presentation, student presentation and interactive discussion


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • 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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

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.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • 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.
  • Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • 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.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.


Resource implications for students

Applicants interested in undertaking this optional module should be aware that it’s place of delivery rotates and can include at International University campuses (eg Mexico). Specifically, the module includes two 'field trips' to the location where the project is based - these are compulsory. The cost to students undertaking this module may be considerable (up to c£2k if held in Mexico for example) when held away from Bangor though students will be supported to try and access alternative funding sources (eg. Santander travel grants). Contact the module organiser for more information.

Reading list

Will depend specifically on the project each year, and through the students own research.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: