Psychology in the Real World


This is a student led module where students and Module Leader collaborate in the module and assessment content, marking criteria and module feedback. The area of study is psychological research related to 'real life' situations showing how psychology can be practiced in environments such as industry, law, education, health and social work, and delivered as workshops by staff and external speakers. Abertay Attributes will be formally addressed in each session by students identifying and noting the relevant attributes in Pebblepad or similar.


This module will develop skills aligned to the Abertay Attributes; Intellectual: Relating psychological models, theories and methods to 'real life' applications. Professional: facilitation of employability skills through running events with external organisations and in the formulation of quality enhancement and quality assurance processes in the module. Personal: Reflection on own and others' qualities through experience of team work, sense of achievement through organising successful events. Active citizenship: Poster on psychological research relating to a society issue. Students will learn to communicate clear messages in plain English verbally in meetings, visually in a poster, and in a documentary film.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Situate and evaluate the usefulness and limitations of psychological research in applied contexts.

2.  Use teamwork to research, produce and present a conference poster on a research question of own choice.

3.  Give and receive peer feedback optimally, understand purpose, design and practice of assessments and feedback and possible limitations of same.

4.  Reflect upon their own knowledge and understanding. Appreciate the employability skills afforded by a degree in psychology.

5.  Appreciate the professional skills required to host external guests, organise events, run meetings, facilitate discussions and design and deliver publicity.

Indicative Content

1 Psychology and Technology

How has psychology research influenced technology development such as artificial intelligence and security systems?

2 Psychological Therapies in the Real World

Understanding the applications and impact of psychology therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and speech and language therapy.

3 Psychology in the Public Sector

Understanding the ways in which local and national governments use psychology research.

4 Psychology in the Workplace

Exploring the impact of psychology on human resource management in the workplace, focusing on issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

5 Environmental Psychology

To what extent are the environments we live and work in influenced by psychology?

6 Sports Psychology in the Real World

What is sports psychology and how is it applied to issues like duty of care?

7 Applied Forensic Psychology

Applying psychology theory to crime to help answer questions like ‘why do offenders offend?’

8 Applied Educational Psychology

How can psychology theories be applied in teaching, such as supporting children with learning difficulties?

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching: The module will consist of a number of workshop sessions by staff and guest speakers on a variety of applied topics. The rest of the module teaching time will be devoted to group and individual work presenting on a topic of own choice, collaborating to devise the assessment criteria, acquiring skills in conducting team meetings, scheduling joint work, and creating a documentary film. Learning: An important learning focus is to appreciate the prospects and limitations of psychological research applied to issues in society at large. Moreover, the module involves responsive practice - addressing issues raised by, for example, external bodies by applying psychological knowledge for potential solutions. Assessment: You will design a research poster addressing a research question relevant to applied psychology. Working in groups you will identify an issue, conduct research and present a scientific poster to be displayed at an end of module conference. The work demands an insight into important real life issues to which psychology may be applied and an understanding of the problems and prospects for such interventions. The group poster requires the ability to explain complex scientific ideas in plain English that can be understood by both the layperson and the specialist. An individually produced documentary film addressing a different research question to the poster will be created. This too must explain complex scientific ideas in plain English. Abertay Attributes: Facilitation of intellectual attributes is achieved through 1) knowledge delivered via guest workshops and the independent research carried out for the group poster 2) acquiring the professional writing skills for the research posters. Individuals will also be required to create a short movie addressing a different research question. This facilitates presentation skills and trains a professional format of communication and technical expertise to produce it.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 24
Supervised Practical Activity 12
Unsupervised Practical Activity 40
Assessment 100
Independent 24

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 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.