Module details for Introductory Psychology


This module will introduce students to some of the core areas in psychology through evaluation of seminal studies that have shaped our discipline. We will take an integrated approach, covering historical, theoretical and contemporary research that underpins our knowledge of human brain and behaviour.


This module introduces different areas of psychology within the context of seminal studies and the research they have subsequently inspired. The module places emphasis on appreciating the link between seminal psychological studies and applied ‘real world’ problems that are still being researched today. 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.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Demonstrate ability to use MyLearningSpace uploaded materials and tasks by virtue of regular engagement throughout the term.

2.  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of seminal psychological studies and their relationship to contemporary research.

3.  Understand and define key terminology in social, biological and cognitive psychology and understand the application of psychological research to society.

4.  Understand that psychology encompasses a wide range of topics, which all help us understand ourselves and the world around us in different ways.

Indicative Content

1 Attachment – Harlow (1985)

What is attachment and how does it contribute to cognitive and behavioural development?

2 Neuropsychology – Gazzaniga (1967)

How do studies of ‘split brain’ individuals who have undergone a callosectomy (had the two hemispheres of their brain disconnected) inform out understanding of how the brain works? Are different brain areas responsible for different functions?

3 Eyewitness Memory – Loftus (1975)

Are our memories fixed? How can things that happen before and after a memory is formed change the way we remember things?

4 Eye Movements – Yarbus (1967)

How can we measure and record what we are looking at? Why is this information important?

5 Androgyny – Bem (1974)

Can changing how we think about masculinity and femininity change the way these concepts are researched and understood?






Teaching and Learning Work Loads

For session 2020/21 the expectation is that the teaching and learning hours stated in this descriptor will form a mix of synchronous and asynchronous student/staff activity, with the majority of this being online. The exact pattern of this activity is likely to vary from the standard face-to-face hours listed below but the overall student effort remains the same. Up-to-date information on the delivery of the module can be found on the relevant module MLS site and on your student timetable.

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 50
Independent 114
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2020/21 , and may be subject to change for future years.