Introductory Psychology for Masters | Abertay University

Introductory Psychology for Masters


This module introduces key areas of psychology that align with the BPS curriculum. 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 the core areas of psychology to give a solid foundation to build on in more advanced domain-specific modules that follow. 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 (Intellectual, Personal, Professional and Active Citizenship).

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Understand theories and processes in core domains of psychology and apply this knowledge to evaluating how psychological research can benefit society.

2.  Demonstrate knowledge of theoretical debates and critically evaluate competing theories within the core domains of psychology.

3.  Understand and evaluate advantages and disadvantages of different methods used in psychology research in core areas.

4.  Appreciate how historical and conceptual issues in psychology underpin current state of knowledge and inform research.

Indicative Content

1 Conceptual and historical issues

Historical views of brain evolution and development, discussing seminal research that has informed our current knowledge in the core domains.

2 Biological Psychology

Structure and organisation of the CNS, Basic neurochemistry and neurophysiology of neuronal transmission, cortical localisation of function, biological control of behaviour.

3 Developmental Psychology

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

4 Personality and Individual Differences

What is personality and how do we measure it? What is intelligence? How can we describe and measure it? How useful is it to describe and measure a person's intellect or personality?

5 Social Psychology

How does the presence of others influence our behaviour? Why do we conform?

6 Evolutionary Psychology

Introduction to Darwinian thinking. How has evolution shaped our brain and behaviour?

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This module is designed to provide a foundation on which more specific, domain-specific modules can build. The taught sessions will include lecture and discussion to give students an introduction to the breadth of topics covered in the Conversion programme. Theory will be situated in the context of psychology research and students will engage with a range of staff from different sub-disciplines in psychology. The assessment will build on material delivered in taught sessions and will evaluate the breadth of knowledge gained to ensure students are equipped with the necessary understanding to make them well-placed to take on the more advanced material that will follow. This module is therefore delivered as a concentrated block in the first six weeks of the semester.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 15
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 20
Independent 153

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 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.