PY0416 - Introduction to Psychology

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to four key perspectives of psychology: social, biological, developmental and cognitive psychology.
In the social component you will learn how we navigate through our social world. This will include theories relating to impression formation, persuasion, and social influence. These theories will be exemplified with real-world examples to help demonstrate their practical implications.
The biological psychology component will introduce you to the key biological processes, for example, genetics, nervous, hormone and neurotransmitter systems that underpin psychology and behaviour. You will also learn about conditions that can occur when these how biological processes become faulty.
In the developmental psychology component you will learn how people develop across their lifetime. This component will discuss theories relating to attachment, intelligence, and developmental disorders and psychopathology. You will be provided with real-world examples to help you develop your understanding of how these theories can be applied.
The cognitive component will discuss key topics in this area, including memory, language, and perception. You will learn the basic aspects of cognition that are used in everyday life. You will also learn about psychological conditions associated with cognitive processes.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a series of lectures and workshops, and via directed independent study.
In the lectures you will learn the core information in social, biological, developmental and cognitive psychology. You will enhance your knowledge in these areas through the workshops and independent studying. Lectures will be recorded to support your learning.
The aim of the workshop is to enhance your knowledge of social, biological, development and cognitive. You will receive one workshop for each of these four components. These workshops will enhance your knowledge in these areas using interactive tasks and examples. You will liaise with others and work on a task. As such, you will develop communication and teamwork skills.
You will also be encouraged to engage in directed study. The main basis for this independent study will be through further reading. You will be provided with an electronic reading list. This will include readings from all four components of this module. Moreover, this will develop your self-reflection and independent learning skills.
The combination of lectures, interactive workshops and independent study will develop your knowledge of these core areas of psychology, the research methods used and how they can be applied to real-world issues and psychological conditions. This will be assessed using multiple choice exams.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported academically by your module tutors who will make a variety of resources available for you. The materials used in the lectures and workshops will be available to students via the eLearning Portal. These materials will include the PowerPoint slides used in lectures, workshop materials and links to further reading. There will also be a variety of other resources available on the eLearning Portal that will support your studies. These include reading lists, activities, and mock exams. Discussion boards will also be available to you, allowing you to post questions and queries for other students and staff members to answer. As such, this will enhance peer-support and collegiality. You will also be able to access recordings of some sessions via the eLearning Portal. Tutorials with staff can provide an opportunity for students to discuss issues related to the 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:
After completing this module you will be able to:
•MK1: Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of biological psychology by evaluating theoretical approaches and findings in the area
•MK2: Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of developmental psychology by evaluating theoretical approaches and findings in the area
•MK3: Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of social psychology by evaluating theoretical approaches and findings in the area
•MK4: Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of cognitive psychology by evaluating theoretical approaches and findings in the area

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
You will have access to mock MCQ questions. This will serve as a formative assessment.
Mock questions: MK1; MK2; MK3; MK4
Summative assessment:
This module will be assessed with two MCQ exams. These have been chosen because they will assess a breadth of knowledge, which is essential for this level.

The first exam will be undertaken halfway through the semester and will test your knowledge of the first half of the module. This open-book exam will be complete online using the e-Learning portal. The exam is 2 hours long, contains 40 questions and contributes to 50% of your mark.

The second exam will be undertaken in the semester 1 exam period. This will be a closed book exam that assesses topics from the second half of the module. This MCQ exam is 2 hours long, contains 100 questions and contributes to 50% of your overall mark.
MCQ exams: MK1; MK2; MK3; MK4

You will receive feedback through the e-learning portal. You will receive information about the cohort’s mean mark, standard deviation and the distribution of marks for each exam.





Module abstract

How do we develop, think and reason, and socially interact with others and what are the biological systems that underpin our behaviours?
This module will give you an understanding of how human behaviour is influenced by biological processes, social development, cognitions and social interactions. You will be introduced to key studies and findings, incorporating an understanding of the historical and contemporary development of those theories. You will also learn about practical and ethical issues pertinent to each perspective. By the end of this module you will be able to discuss and evaluate studies and their methods which have impacted on the direction of theory, research and application. The module is taught using interactive lectures and workshops, and examined through multiple choice exams at the middle and end of the semester. You will also have access to e-learning resources and lecture capture to support you. This module will help you develop a core knowledge of each area and workshops will encourage you to develop important attributes, such as communication, self reflection and teamwork skills.

Course info

UCAS Code C800

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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