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

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

This module will allow you to deepen your knowledge and reflective skills on a range of topics in biological and cognitive psychology centred on current issues relevant for the discipline. It will allow you to understand how they relate to the development of psychology as a discipline and to other areas in psychology. This module, where possible, will also help you to develop an appreciation of the impact of cultural and individual differences in psychology. Typical cognitive topics could include perception, attention and inhibitory control, human learning and memory, mental imagery. Biological topics are related to the central nervous system in normal and pathological conditions, highlighting the brain substrates underpinning mental processes and behaviour. You will attend interactive teaching sessions and will engage with structured and unstructured activities provided to support your independent learning.

By building on the first year content, this module will enable students to develop an advanced knowledge of biological psychology and cognitive psychology, to understand current issues in their study and to critically evaluate theories and research in these areas. Students will be also encouraged to recognise not only that biological and cognitive aspects are often highly integrated, but also that they interact with social, developmental and other aspects in psychology, to determine mental processes and behaviours. Moreover, this module will aim to help students develop, where possible, an appreciation of cultural and individual differences in psychology.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Describe, explain and critically evaluate key issues, theories and research in biological and cognitive psychology: 1
Apply underlying concepts and principles of biological and cognitive psychology to explain human mental processes and behaviour: 1,2
Communicate complex ideas in biological and cognitive psychology effectively: 1
Accurately use language and terminology relating to biological and cognitive concepts: 1,2
Independently locate, study and synthesise knowledge from relevant literature within the fields of biological and cognitive psychology: 1,2
Reflect on the ways in which different perspectives in psychology can be integrated to give a holistic view of human thought and behaviour: 1

Study hours

Taught class time - 24 hours of core teaching sessions (2-hour weekly session)
and 6 hours of workshops (1-hour fortnightly workshop)
Asynchronous structured activities to prepare for and extend upon learning in taught classes these may comprise a mixture of guided work on assigned readings, pre-recorded talks, exercises, and relevant videos: 18 hours (1h for each session)
Independent study, for a total of 102 hours, comprising:
- wider reading related to the taught classes (24 hours)
- preparation for the production of the MCQs (24 hours)
- preparation for the academic blog entries (wider reading, structure assignment, writing up, proofreading: 54 hours)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Coursework weighted 70%
Academic blogs (two 800-word entries)
For this assessment, students will have to write two academic 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 800-word long (with 10% leeway). Students will have to choose two out of four titles/topics proposed by the teaching staff. Each topic will cover both biological and cognitive aspects; 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 should be included to enhance clarity and engagement. When appropriate to the topic, students should also provide their own voice (e.g., own perspective on the topic, supported by evidence; if appropriate, some short insight on experience with aspects of the topic) and some creative insight into the topic.

2: Assignment weighted 30%
Production of MCQs
Students will produce 1 MCQ question (4 alternative forced choice) for each core teaching session whose topic is not included in the choices of titles for the blog entries (see assessment 1), for a total of 8 MCQ questions (3.75% of overall module mark for each question), choosing three foils that may be confused, conceptually, with the correct response. Students will have to indicate the correct response and also the reasons why they chose the 3 foils (i.e., what the conceptual confound may be), in 100 words maximum.