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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title What is Psychology?
Module Code PY100
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: James Brunton
Semester 2: James Brunton
Autumn: James Brunton
Module TeachersJames Brunton
NFQ level 6 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module provides an introduction to the areas of psychology encountered in later modules: biological; cognitive; developmental; organisational; personality; social. This module also introduces students to the essential study skills that students must attain to succeed at studying psychology at higher education level and beyond. These study skills are the building blocks of learning to "do" psychology, which is as important as learning about psychology.

Learning Outcomes

1. Outline, and describe, key historical and current perspectives in the areas of developmental psychology, personality, biological bases of behaviour, cognitive psychology, and social and organisational psychology
2. Identify, and describe, the main psychological perspectives on, and theories of, human development and personality from birth through the lifespan
3. Describe how biological factors influence behaviour
4. Recount major developments in cognitive psychology, including relevant experimentation and theory in perception, thinking, and memory
5. Describe key concepts and theories in social and organisational psychology, including how the influence of others affects the individual and the group
6. Develop key academic and assessment-writing skills necessary for future studies

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial18Online distance learning tutorials
Online activity60Student-Tutor and Student-Student interaction through online discussion forums and other media
Independent Study297Using self-directed learning resources, textbooks and other resources
Total Workload: 375

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

Part 1: Introducing Psychology

- A Short History of Psychology

- Getting organised, Getting Familiar: Learning Skills for Higher Education

- Approaches to Learning

- Gathering and Recording Information

- Preparing a Presentation

- Learning in Groups

Part 1: Developmental Psychology

- Investigating Development

- Biological Processes

- Cognitive Development

- Language and Development

- Social Development - The Development of the Self

- Theories of Development

Part 1: Assignment Preparation and Writing Skills

- Preparing for Assessment

- Writing Skills - Making a Start

- The Writing Toolkit

- Referencing and Citing Sources

- Planning your Writing

- Writing Assignments

Part 2: Personality Psychology

- Introduction to Individual Differences

- Personality through Introspection - Theories of Kelly and Rogers

- The Psychoanalytic Model of Sigmund Freud

- Psychological Tests

- The Psychometric Model

- The Psychometric Model Applied to Abilities

- The Psychometric Model Applied to Personality

Part 2: Biological Bases of Psychology

- Basics: The Brain

- The Sensori-motor System

- Biological Bases of Behaviour

- The Ageing Brain

- Clinical Neuropsychology

- Chemical bases of behaviour

Part 3: Cognitive Psychology

- Introduction to Human Cognition

- Perception and Action

- Memory

- Mental Representation and Thinking

- Cognition in Action

Part 3: Social & Organisational Psychology

- Social Context of Human Experience and Behaviour

- The Self and Others

- Social Perception

- Social Psychology of Groups in Organisations

Part 4: Summary and Review

- Review (Psychology Orientated Modules)

- Review (Study Skills Orientated Modules)

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentThe first assessment involves the creation of a short piece of academic writing on an applied case study. This task aids you in building up knowledge about psychology and also developing the skills and competencies you need to be a successful higher education learner. The assignment has two parts. First, students submit their assignment and receive feedback. Second, students amend their work on the basis of that feedback and submit it again for marking, along with a statement detailing how they acted on the first-round feedback.30%n/a
Completion of online activityThis assessment brings you your first opportunity within the module to get hands-on experience of a psychological test, and then to discuss this with the others in an online discussion forum.30%n/a
AssignmentThis assessment has two parts. The first involves completing an academic essay on a psychological topic. There is an element of collaborative design of this assessment involving staff and students. The second task is to reflect on the discipline of psychology as an area of study, through the lens of your experience as a first-year student on a psychology programme.40%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

  • Stangor, C. & Walinga, J.: 2018, Introduction to Psychology, 1st Canadian Edition, B.C. Open Textbook Project, British Columbia https://opentextbc.ca/introductiontopsychology/,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BABA in Humanities
BADIPDiploma in Humanities
BAPYBA in Humanities (Psychology Major)
PYDIPDiploma in Humanities (Psychology Major)
SMPPYSingle Module Programme Psychology

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