PSY-20045 - Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Coordinator: Emma L Smillie
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733736

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This level 5 module builds upon and extends your knowledge and understanding of key issues in the study of cognitive processes and the biological basis of behaviour. Cognitive topics which have been covered on the module before include processes such as human learning, language skills such as reading, memory and false memory. Later in the module, you will study core underlying biological structures. In previous years the central nervous system and visual system have been covered along with other topics such as exploring what psychopharmacological approaches can reveal about normal and abnormal behaviour and neuropsychology and issues such as the biology of sex, sleep and hormones.

By building on the first year content, to enable students to gain further knowledge of recent and current issues in the study of the biological basis of behaviour and cognitive processes.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Describe and critically evaluate key issues in biological and cognitive psychology: 1
Communicate complex ideas in biological and cognitive psychology effectively: 1
Apply underlying concepts and principles of biological and cognitive psychology to explain human mental processes and behaviour: 1,2

Study hours

24 hours of core teaching sessions (2-hour weekly session)
6 hours of workshops (1-hour per fortnightly workshop)
120 hours of independent study; this includes:
- 1 hour each week to prepare for the teaching session (30 hours in total): for instance, read papers suggested by the teacher; find one paper independently, related to the topic of the session; engage with other asynchronous materials as deemed appropriate by the teacher. Asynchronous learning will constitute 18 hours of the independent study, and will be comprised of guided and structured learning activities.
- 90 hours of independent study for the coursework.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Coursework weighted 80%
Blogs (two 1000-word entries)
For this assessment, students will have to write two blog entries that will focus on cognitive and biological topics taught in the module (core teaching sessions and/or workshops). Each entry will be maximum 1000-word long (with 10% leeway). Students will have to choose two out of four titles/topics proposed by the teaching staff. The assessment will cover both biological and cognitive topics; students will need to write about both across the breadth of their assessment submission. In the blog, they will be asked to reflect on the theoretical and methodological aspects of the chosen topic, providing critical evaluation. Students should write in an accessible style, being engaging, but also clear and rigorous on a scientific point of view (i.e., evidence-based statements, citing appropriate sources). Images could be included to enhance clarity and engagement. When appropriate to the topic, students should also provide their own voice (e.g., experience with aspects of the topic) and some creative insight into the topic.

2: Multiple Choice Questions - Knowledge weighted 20%
Multiple Choice Question exercises (continuous assessment)
Multiple choice questions (MCQs) tests are the continuous assessment in the module. They assess both the cognitive and the biological components of the course: 6 tests of around 8 questions each, only the best 5 will contribute toward the overall mark (4% for each exercise). Each test will be available on the KLE module space for 48 hours, during which students will have 7 hours maximum to complete it. Only one attempt will be allowed.