DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Social Psychology & Contemporary Issues
Module Code PSYC401
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Liz McLoughlin
Semester 2: Liz McLoughlin
Autumn: Liz McLoughlin
Module TeachersLiz McLoughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module aims to extend students understanding of social psychology through its application to social problems facing modern society. It aims to explore current social problems such as crime, conflict and violence, the media and advertising through a social psychological lens and develop students understanding of social psychology as a mechanism for promoting social change.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of critical issues in contemporary social psychology
2. Identify and achieve familiarity with the social psychological perspective on human behaviour
3. Demonstrate advanced levels of explanation for some aspects of human social behaviour
4. Develop oral and written skills in the communication of social psychological concepts
5. Critically consider competing theoretical positions and take a well-reasoned position after careful research and analysis of salient academic material

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Online activity20Asynchronous lectures and other content
Directed learning10Synchronous online discussions
Tutorial6Online based tutorials
Assignment Completion48Preparation for debate and independent assessment preparation
Independent Study41Lecture review and preparation/independent learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Social psychology and contemporary issues
Applying a social psychological perspective to a number of contemporary issues

Social psychology of the environment
Emergence of environmental psychology Climate and human behaviour

Group processes in social psychology
Group behaviour and dynamics Group attitudes, norms and prejudices The social identity approach

Evolutionary perspectives on social psychology
Emergence of evolutionary psychology Relationships and human sexual behaviour Altruism and intergroup conflict

Applying social psychology in everyday life
E.g., the criminal justice system, media and advertising, the workplace

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group project Students will be required to participate in a clashing views debate demonstrating critical analysis and evaluation of a contemporary issue through a social psychological lens40%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Fiske, S.: 0, Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology, Wiley,
  • Fiske, S.: 0, Social cognition From brains to culture, Sage,
  • Aronson, Elliot, Aronson, Joshua: 0, The Social Animal, Worth, New York,
  • Smith, J. R., & Haslam, S. A.(eds.): 0, Social Psychology: Revisiting the classic studies, Sage Publications Ltd,
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Finkel, E. J.: 0, Advanced social psychology: The state of the science., Oxford: Oxford University Press.,
  • Linda Steg, Judith I. M. de Groot, (eds.): 0, Environmental Psychology: An Introduction, Wiley-Blackwell,
  • Van Lange, P. A. M., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T.: 2011, The handbook of theories of social psychology., Sage., Los Angeles Sage.,
  • Kruglanski, A. W. & Higgins, E. T.: 0, Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles, New York: Guilford.,
  • Gough,B., Mc Fadden, M., & Mc Donald, M.: 0, Critical Social Psychology, Palgrave MacMillan,
  • edited by Susan T. Fiske, Daniel T. Gilbert, Gardner Lindzey: 2010, Handbook of social psychology, John Wiley, Hoboken, N.J., 9780470137482
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BPYBSc (Honours) in Psychology

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement