PSY-40133 - Grand Challenges in Psychology
Coordinator: Helen Williams Room: 1.78 Tel: +44 1782 7 33664
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 7
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733736

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module serves as the culminating and integrative experience of our degree programme.
In this capstone module you will extend your appreciation of the ways in which psychology and psychological science have developed culturally and historically. The topics covered invite you to think critically about current debates and future challenges in a wide range of areas of Psychology.
Indicative topics include: consciousness and cognition in human and non-human animals; the use of psychology for manipulation and control; community action and change; the replication crisis and open science; understanding conflict and entrenched beliefs; how social ecology could save the planet; psychology in the criminal justice system; how we can bust myths that exist around psychology; and the value of psychology graduates to the world.
These topics will be explored in a way that extends and synthesizes your previous learning on psychological theories and research findings from across the breadth of the programme. The assessments allow you to display your skills in summarising and evaluating findings from psychological research, critically reflecting on key conceptual and theoretical issues and future challenges within Psychology, and demonstrate an appreciation of the social, environmental and global implications of your studies.

This module serves as the culminating and integrative experience of the MSc Psychology (conversion) degree programme. In this capstone module students will extend their appreciation of the ways in which psychology and psychological science have developed culturally and historically. Building on this, the topics covered will invite students to think critically about current debates and grand challenges in Psychology - these will include topics like the replication crisis, how we understand consciousness, and how psychology can influence community action. This module runs in parallel with Applying Psychology giving students a holistic view of the grand challenges the field faces whilst also understanding how psychology can play an important role in the wider world.

Intended Learning Outcomes

summarise and critically evaluate findings from psychological research;: 1,2
distinguish critically between different methods of enquiry in Psychology;: 1
make appropriate choices regarding the design and methodology of future research in Psychology;: 1
critically reflect on the current status of key conceptual and theoretical issues within Psychology;: 1,2
critically reflect on current and future challenges within the discipline.: 1,2

Study hours

Scheduled teaching
12 x 1 hour synchronous sessions = 12 hours
Total scheduled teaching = 12 hours
Independent study
12 x 2 hours asynchronous content = 24 hours
Independent reading = 14 hours
Preparing Assessment 1 = 40 hours
Preparing Assessment 2 = 60 hours
Total independent study = 138 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Research Proposal weighted 40%
Pre-registration research proposal
Students will write a 1,000-word research proposal in the format of a pre-registration (e.g., using a format similar to that required by the Open Science Framework). They will be provided with a selection of 'research challenges' to choose from and must select one to write their proposal on. In their proposal students must incorporate a literature review and provide details of their hypotheses, participants, sampling method, design, methodology, analysis plan, and ethical considerations for a proposed future research study. Full guidance will be provided on what should go in each section of their proposal.

2: Essay weighted 60%
Students will write a 2,000-word essay, based on a choice of questions, that will require them to critically evaluate research findings or other evidence related to a topical debate or grand challenge within the discipline of Psychology.