Introductory Psychology 2


This module introduces key areas of psychology that align with the BPS curriculum (individual differences, developmental psychology, and biological psychology) and continues education in research methods used in the scientific study of behaviour. The theoretical underpinnings of core areas are explored and set in an applied framework to help students understand how psychology research can be used to address real-world problems facing modern societies.


This module introduces the conceptual framework of psychology through the medium of research in various specialist areas of enquiry. The module places emphasis on appreciating the link between scientific study in psychology and understanding issues in the 'real world'. Students are exposed to three core areas of psychology and will gain an understanding how to conduct research in these areas; specifically, students will learn how experiments are designed, run, analysed and reported in the various domains covered in the module. There will be direct reference to how knowledge gained relates to acquisition of intellectual skills required by a psychologist and the attainment of Abertay Attributes. Students will develop expertise in Blackboard, SPSS and Pebble pad as learning tools.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Understand theoretical debates and evaluate competing theories within the domains of personality, intelligence, developmental and biological psychology.

2.  Demonstrate a knowledge of empirical evidence related to personality, intelligence, developmental and biological psychology.

3.  Understand how personality, intelligence, developmental and biological psychology relate to other domains in psychology, and how research within them has developed historically and theoretically.

4.  Demonstrate knowledge of the different methods that are used in personality, intelligence, developmental and biological psychology.

5.  Evaluate experimental designs and discuss potential solutions through active participation in class and assessment.

6.  Show evidence of independent research and write up a psychology investigation in standard APA format via active participation and assessment.

Indicative Content

1 How do we differ in personality and intelligence

The area of Individual Differences in psychology concerns patterns of similarity and difference between individuals in terms of their abilities and predispositions to behave in certain ways. We will cover the following: What is personality? How do we describe and measure it? What is intelligence? How do we describe and measure it? How useful is it to label a person's personality or intelligence?

2 Developmental Psychology

Pre-natal development, cognitive development, perceptual development, gender development and socialisation.

3 Biological Psychology

Structure and organisation of the CNS, basic neurochemistry and neurophysiology of nerve transmission, cortical localisation of function, biology of abnormal function and comparative psychology.

4 Inferential Statistics

Test selection for parametric and non-parametric data. Data analysis using inferential statistics including; Correlational, Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney and Chi-Square tests.

5 SPSS training

Use of SPSS to summarise data in tables and graphs; use of SPSS to perform descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.

6 Library Skills

Identify, locate and evaluate appropriate sources for academic tasks using library and information skills.

7 Report Writing

Convey information from investigations using appropriate APA standards. Conduct and report a literature review using appropriate academic sources.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

PSY102 is designed to follow on from PSY101. It will cover three core BPS curriculum areas (Individual Differences, Developmental and Biological Psychology), as well as continuing to develop the students' understanding of Research Methods. Teaching will comprise of weekly lectures and practical workshops. Students will also have 6hrs of tutorials and these will complement the lecture material and develop their learning skills. The lectures will cover the required BPS content, and the workshops will follow these by working on specific research topics allied to the content. During the workshops, students will have a mix of lecture and practical activities and these will be aligned with practical assessment. Pepple pad will be used to maintain a reflective log on development of research methods skills. The tutorials will provide an opportunity for students to work on a formative project and build on library and presentation skills. The mix of teaching methods is designed to enhance the Abertay Attributes. The students will be enhancing their intellectual development by broadening their knowledge base about Psychology and Psychological research methods. They will work on their Professional skills by undertaking both independent and group activities. As group presentations are required in the tutorials, they will develop their personal skills. And throughout the module, students will be made aware of the importance of ethics in Psychological research as well as an awareness of how psychologists interpret differences between groups, developing their skills as active citizens.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 26
Tutorial/Seminar 5
Supervised Practical Activity 10
Unsupervised Practical Activity 40
Assessment 50
Independent 69

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/20 , and may be subject to change for future years.