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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Theoretical Issues & Approaches in Psychology
Module Code PSYC404
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Simon Dunne
Semester 2: Simon Dunne
Autumn: Simon Dunne
Module TeachersSimon Dunne
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

The aim of this module is to provide an advanced and in-depth coverage of key issues, methods and approaches in Psychology. Beginning the semester with an overview of fundamental and philosophical assumptions underpinning contemporary psychology, each lecture thereafter will deal with a particular area of Psychology. Empirical research and theoretical frameworks will be presented as part of a critical review of each area of interest; and each lecture will close with a critical appraisal of current psychological thinking on the issue.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe and outline the theoretical issue(s) for chosen topics
2. Identify and summarise confirming and disconfirming empirical evidence of key arguments for chosen topics
3. Critically evaluate empirical confirming and disconfirming evidence of key arguments for chosen topics

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture2211 x 2-hour Lectures (interactive)
Independent Study103No Description
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

Theoretical issues and approaches in psychology: Historical development and current thinking

Methods of theoretical psychology

Indicative topics of enquiry (subject to change):
The nature of science and scientific investigation; Contemporary perspectives on individual differences; Key perspectives on lifespan development; Biological basis of cognition and behaviour; Social determinants of behaviour; Applied behaviour analysis, psychology and ethics

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment0% Examination Weight100%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
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

  • Hughes, Brian: 2018, Psychology in Crisis, Macmillan Education UK, 1352003007
  • Hughes, Brian: 2016, Rethinking Psychology: Good science, bad science, pseudoscience, 9781137303943
  • Marc Brysbaert and Kathy Rastle: 2013, Historical and Conceptual Issues in Psychology, 2nd, Pearson, 9780273743675
  • Bem, Sasha and Looren de Jong, Huib: 2013, Theoretical issues in psychology, 3rd, Thousand Oaks; Sage Publications, 9780857029782
  • Jarvis, M: 2006, Theoretical Approaches in Psychology, Taylor & Francis, London, 9780203976241
  • Kukla, A.: 2001, Methods of Theoretical Psychology, MIT Press, Cambridge,
  • Zero Books: 0, Psychology and Capitalism, 9781782796541
  • Liss, M., Richmond, K., Erchull, M.J.: 0, Psychology of Women & Gender, 9780393667134
  • Sloan, T.: 2000, Critical Psychology: Voices for change, 9780333794531
  • Martin Farrell: 2014, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Psychology, Cambridge University Press, 9780521184809
  • Robert J. Sternberg,Diane F. Halpern: 2020, Critical Thinking in Psychology, Cambridge University Press, 9781108739528
Other Resources

55246, Website, Psychogenie, 2018, Theoretical perspectives in psychology, https://psychologenie.com/theoretical-perspectives-of-psychology,
Key readings will be supplemented by core module materials such as journal articles and on-line resources.
Programme or List of Programmes
BPYBSc (Honours) in Psychology

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