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The Psychology subject stream equips students who wish to specialise in Psychology with a foundation in the key concepts, language, and approach of the discipline and an appreciation of the nature of evidence and theory. Psychology is a progressive and modern field of study examining human behaviour and providing insights into, for example, social problems such as racism, prejudice and suicide.
The information below is provided in order that students may gain a reasonable impression of module content. This information is also provided specifically so that students may use it to inform any exemption applications they may make. However, modules are regularly updated and therefore the content of these modules, may differ from what is stated below.
For full module information please click on the relevant module title below.
PY100: Psychology Foundation
Why do Psychologists consider certain questions to be of key importance in understanding human nature? What are the fundamental questions that recur throughout every aspect of the discipline of Psychology? The Psychology Foundation module gives students a historical perspective on Psychology, and provides them with an introduction to areas of Psychology that they will encounter in later modules: biological; cognitive; developmental; organisational; personality; social. Students study key theorists and their theories, important concepts, debates, ethical issues and the research methods employed by Psychologists in these different areas of Psychology.
This module also introduces students to the essential study skills that students must attain to succeed in studying psychology at third level and beyond. These study skills are the building blocks of learning to "do" psychology, which is as important as learning about Psychology.
PY110: Exploring Psychological Research
Psychologists use rigorous scientific methods to further our understanding of different behaviours and mental processes. This module introduces students to Psychological research and its strategies, methods and techniques. Students develop their knowledge of Psychological research methods, including their history, utility, and the importance of ethics; along with the practical skills necessary to carry out effective, ethical Psychological research. In order to fully support students as they attain the knowledge, skills and competencies relating to Psychological research methods the Exploring Psychological Research module has a larger number of tutorials than other modules on the programme. Students may also be provided with appropriate research methods software (for Windows PC), where necessary. Students are required to attend a mandatory research methods school for this module.
PY200: Social and Organisational Psychology
Social Psychology is concerned with how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. It asks questions like: Why are people reluctant to go to the assistance of a person needing help?; Why do people tell ‘white lies’?; Why do large groups of people follow advice to give away all their belongings in preparation for a predicted end of the world? This module explores topics of interest to Social Psychologists such as: how we think about the world around us; attitudes and how these can change; prosocial behaviour; aggression and; social influence, as well as how our understanding of such topics can be applied to real world situations in areas such as health and the law.
Organising touches on almost every significant area of human life. Organisational Psychology, as a branch of Applied Psychology, applies the concepts and theories of Psychology to study human behaviour in a particular context, often the workplace. This module will chart the origins of Organisational Psychology and the role of an Organisational Psychologist, as well as examine topics such as: how an organisation may be structured; selection and assessment; well-being at work; motivation; leadership and; power and influence in organisations.
PY210: Developmental and Educational Psychology
How does a child develop, within the individual, family and social contexts? This module examines the theories that have been put forward about how we develop and the methods by which these theories have been arrived at. Topics such as: the role of gender in development; how we develop a sense of morality; the impact of a child’s peer group on development and; how children deal with adversity will be examined.
This module also introduces students to the field of Educational Psychology, and the contribution it makes to educational practice, with a focus on the work of the Educational Psychologist practitioner. Students will study what Educational Psychology research says about questions like: what causes some children to perform poorly at school?; why are some pupils unmotivated at school?; why are some pupils difficult to manage in class? and; how can children with learning difficulties be helped to overcome these problems?
PY220:Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Psychology
This module further develops students' knowledge, skills and competencies with regard to Psychological research methods. Data collection and data analysis methods for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research are explored, with students assessing their strengths and weaknesses. It is essential for Psychology students to be able to explain why a particular data collection or analysis method is appropriate in a particular instance. Practical skills and competencies with regard to the analysis of data using appropriate software are developed in this module. Students are provided with appropriate research methods software (for Windows PC), where necessary. As part of their assessment students produce a research proposal that demonstrates their ability to design a research project that is both methodologically and ethically sound. Students are required to attend a mandatory research methods school for this module.
PY230: Cognitive Psychology and Biopsychology
Cognitive Psychology is concerned with: how we attend to and gain information about the world; how information is stored and processed by the brain and; how we solve problems, think, and formulate language. It is the scientific study of the thinking mind. Students will study attention, perception and memory, language, intelligence and problem solving and representations of knowledge.
Biopsychology has, as its core question; what role does biology have in determining our behaviour? In studying Biopsychology students will learn about: Neuroanatomy and Neuropsychology; the biological bases of behaviour; Behavioural Genetics; Evolutionary Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology and; the chemical bases of behaviour.
PY300: Individual Differences
This advanced level module focuses on the scientific method of studying personality, intelligence and Individual differences. In this module students become familiar with the theories associated with these complex concepts, the issues and debates in these areas as well as the methodology for observing, describing and predicting behaviour; the psychometric model of individual differences. Students study the psychometric model in terms of its assumption that four aspects of individual difference will determine a person’s behaviour in a particular situation: their personality traits; their ability traits; their mood states and; their motivational states.
PY310: Abnormal Psychology and Psychological Counselling
The first part of this module focuses on theory and research relating to abnormal human behaviour, its manifestations and how such behaviours may be diagnosed and treated. The second part of this module, focusing on Counselling Psychology, examines the main concepts and theories relating to a range of psychological therapies, the skills and competencies developed by Counselling Psychologists and contextual factors that impact on counselling practice.
PY320: Advanced Research Methods and Project
The principal purpose of this module is to facilitate students in the completion, under supervision, of a research project based on an independent piece of psychological research. The module requires students to: design a research study; successfully apply for ethical clearance for the study; collect and analyse data; and submit a professionally presented research project document. To support students in preparing for, and carrying out their research projects, the module will involve a number of advanced research methods workshops.