PY0539 - The Creative Mind

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will explore the theory and empirical research into the creative mind. The module will first cover an historical perspective of creativity research and highlight how early conceptualisations of creativity (e.g. evolutionary accounts) provided the groundwork for research examining the importance of creativity to the human experience. Research methods typically employed in the study of creativity will then be introduced. You will learn how traditional psychometric studies and new developments in the neurosciences can be used in tandem to examine this difficult to measure concept.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn through a combination of interactive lectures, in-class activities, workshops, tutorials and elearning activities, along with independent study.

You will attend a series of lectures to develop an understanding of theory and empirical research into the study of creativity. The lectures will be interactive in nature to facilitate the learning and evaluation of the material. Effective oral and visual communication skills will be developed through class time practical activities and workshops.

Directed study will be encouraged through the provision of reading lists, which will serve as a basis for further, independent study. This will be further encouraged through the provision of study questions and topics. Novel strategies for learning via blackboard discussions, twitter research discussions and podcasts will be integral to the delivery.

Together, the learning strategies of lectures, practical activities during lecture time, workshops, directed and independent study and technology enabled learning will facilitate the development of conceptual knowledge of the key topics in the area. Additional tutorials and regular drop in sessions will provide an opportunity for you to discuss issues related to the module with a member of staff.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module tutors will support you by making a variety of resources linked to the lectures series and assessments available on the e-learning portal (e.g. PowerPoint slides, lectures handouts, revision tasks, reading lists, podcasts) along with links to websites and twitter links to encourage further exploration of creativity research. A discussion board on the eLearning Portal will be available for students to pose and respond to questions among peers and to module tutors. This enhances collegiality and also means that support is available to all students. Technology enabled learning and novel strategies for learning will be encourage through the use of twitter research discussion groups, podcast. Tutorials can provide an opportunity for students to discuss issues related to the module with a member of staff.

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:
• MK1: You will be able to demonstrate an understanding how creativity is central to the human experience
• MK2: You will be required to show a critical understanding of the methodologies employed in the study of creativity
• MK3: You will be able to show critical understanding and evaluation of theory and empirical research into the creative mind

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MIP1: You will take charge of your own career development learning, through critical self-evaluation and reflection on the relevance of the module for career enhancement and future learning.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MPV1: You will develop the characteristics of a Northumbria psychology graduate by working collaboratively to find creative solutions in a problem-based learning environment, and successfully communicating these solutions using the most appropriate formats and media.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Self-assessed formative assessment is provided through the use of critical reviewing activities which will be administered through the eLearning Portal (MK1; MK2; MK3)

Summative assessment:
The first assignment on this module will be a critical review of a specific research article (3000 words). This will be worth 90% of the module mark (MK1; MK2; MK3; MPV1)

The second assessment is a self-reflective account in which you will be asked to consider how this module has impacted on your employability and future career (MIP1). This will be worth 10% of the module mark (500 words)

For formative assessments, tutor and peer feedback will be provided on online discussion activities

For the summative assessment, feedback will be provided on the electronic submission in the form of a level-specific rubric. Additional written comments will be provided that identify a minimum of one strength, one weakness and one area for improvement.
General feedback is provided via the eLearning portal. Cohort mean, standard deviation and distributions of marks for the critical review so you can compare your performance with that of your cohort.

You will be required to arrange a tutorial with your personal guidance tutor for formal feedback on your reflection.





Module abstract

The module is designed to introduce you to key topics which will enable you to evaluate and understand theory and empirical research into the study of creativity. Alongside traditional lectures, practical activities during lecture time/workshops and tutorials, along with independent study will be the method of delivery. You will learn how traditional psychometric studies and new developments in the neurosciences can be used in tandem to examine creativity. The research methods element of the module will set the scene for subsequent lectures. Topics will include the nature and nurture of the creative personality, the creative arts (e.g. music and dance), the neurobiological foundation of creative processes, developmental and educational creativity, the cross cultural perspective, creativity and mental illness and the relationship between intelligence and creativity. Interactive lectures will be supported by a variety of eLearning resources and practical activities, incorporating social networking into your learning. You will be assessed by a critical review of a key study in creativity.

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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