PY3C-Contemporary Issues

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Amanda Branson


Summary module description:
Contemporary Issues

As a balance to the specialisation that is required by the options, this module encourages students to integrate material from different areas of Psychology and to think about issues of current importance that have not been explicitly taught.
This module is available to Study Abroad students on a Psychology programme only.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will write two essays, one as coursework and one under examination conditions, which demonstrate an awareness of the points of convergence and divergence between different parts of the course in relation to contemporary issues in the news and an ability to marshall evidence from diverse sources.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be prompted to review what they have been taught from different perspectives and to research the literature and other sources to provide material for the essay.

Outline content:
There is no formal teaching on this course, in which students are expected to invest time throughout the term. Its purpose is to encourage students to examine points of convergence and divergence between different parts of the course. Essay topics will require attempts to integrate material from several areas, and to demonstrate the ability to apply students' knowledge of theory and research to topics of contemporary interest. For example, students might be asked if it is possible to study cognition independent of its social context. Students will be required to write a coursework essay in Autumn Term, whilst visiting their host institution. The essay provides experience for the Contemporary Issues paper of the Final Examinations. The exam paper will be available to students two weeks before the start of the examination period, to allow students to research the question they will answer.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module is designed to encourage independent learning. Students will be expected to source information for their essay from recent journal articles, and to integrate material from a wide variety of sources.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1
Guided independent study 49 50
Total hours by term 50.00 50.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 90
Written assignment including essay 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment is by coursework.

Students complete one 2,500 word assessed essay in Autumn Term, which contributes 10% of the marks for the module. Students complete a 2 hour examination in Summer Term, which contributes 90% of the overall assessment. Students are provided with the exam paper two weeks before the start of the exam period, in order that they can select the question they wish to research.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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