PE7026 - Biological and Social Psychology

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about two key perspectives within the discipline of psychology and how they provide an understanding of how biological systems and social processes contribute to human behaviour. ‘Biological Psychology’: This component will cover the fundamentals of biological psychology and demonstrate the importance of biological systems in human behaviour. This will include knowledge of the biological systems of the body (the brain and nervous and endocrine systems) and communication between these systems via neurons, and hormones; the techniques used to assess brain structure and function; individual differences in their functioning and pharmacological interventions that can affect the functioning of these systems. ‘Social Psychology’: This component will provide you with an understanding of the human as a social being. Topics may include some of the most renowned studies in psychology regarding issues of conformity, aggression, prejudice and interpersonal relationships. Methodological and ethical issues related to the studies that inform social psychology will also be explored.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is delivered entirely online via our electronic learning platform (elp). You will interact with a range of materials on the module site. The module home page provides you with quick access to detailed information about the module in an interactive, easily accessible format. This is designed to broach new, and challenging information, and to provide breadth and depth of conceptual knowledge across topics in biological and social psychology. The teaching materials support your learning. Each session delivers flexible, interactive learning materials, accessible in a variety of formats such as audio and video presentations. Tasks to extend and test your learning are interspersed within the learning materials. A range of different tasks, with formative feedback, are aimed at supporting your learning. In addition to this you will be encouraged to utilise peer to peer support opportunities through the use of elp supported platforms for interaction. Each session is supported by directed reading from the core texts accessed through the electronic reading list.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be an autonomous, self-motivated learner within a supportive distance learning environment. You will be introduced to the module by the module tutor in an introductory video. The online module sessions and interactive tasks form the cornerstone for supporting you during your study. Academic support is available from the teaching team and each session includes a link to enable you to email a question directly to the tutor from within the session. Responses will be fed back either directly or via the module discussion board. In advance of each assessment a video presentation is uploaded to support you in your preparation for this session. This is followed by an online live question and answer session prior to submission of your assessed work. Focused academic support coupled with timely formative and summative feedback should enable you to meet your full academic potential within this module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MKU1: You will be expected to understand complex human behaviours from a biological and social psychology perspective.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MIPSA1: You will develop your skills in analysing different theoretical frameworks.
• MIPSA2: You will complete assessments which are applicable to real-world examples of biological and social psychology practice.
Personal Values Attributes:
• MPVA1: You will be able to understand the importance and key considerations when conducting ethical research within social and biological psychology.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Sample multiple choice questions will be provided for the biological and social components.
Summative assessment:
Biological Psychology is assessed via a multi-choice exam, and Social Psychology is assessed by a 3000 word assignment based on a real world problem. You will use relevant theories and approaches from social psychology to describe current knowledge in the area and plan an appropriate study to investigate the issue
(MKU1,MIPSA1 & 2 and MPVA1)

Written individual feedback will be provided on the assignment.





Module abstract

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the human mind from both a biological and social psychology perspective. Both approaches are research-rich; utilizing historic, seminal work and up to date studies utilizing modern techniques and methods. Within ‘biological psychology’ you will learn about how the brain functions and interacts with behaviour. In ‘social psychology’ you will consider how psychologists apply social psychological theory and methods to solve real world issues.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part time
2 other options available

Department Psychology

Location Northumberland Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start Academic Year 2020/21: October 20, January 21, April 21, July 21

Fee Information

Module Information

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