PY3MS-Memory and the Self: Past, Present and Future

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: Prof Judith Ellis


Summary module description:
Memory and the Self: Past, Present and Future

This module enables students to study topics in Memory and the Self in depth; provides experience of critical evaluation of topics in Memory and the Self; enhances awareness of current research on these and related topics in the department; and supports development of independent study and critical thinking.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student will be able to:
1.Debate the evidence for and against the importance of the self-concept in autobiographical memory.
2. Critically evaluate research on episodic future thinking.
3. Appraise key theoretical explanations for lifespan changes in the retrieval of autobiographical memories, with critical reference to the literature.

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups. The module additionally provides an opportunity for students to improve either their essay-writing skills or their ability to work as part of a team to present an argument in an oral presentation format.

Outline content:
Why is music from our teenage years remembered best? How does an amnesic patient know who they are? Do we always use "rose-tinted spectacles" when remembering the past? These questions all deal with the relationship between self and memory: who we are and what we remember. Autobiographical memory is a personal record of life events and to an extent, we have a sense of identity because of what we can remember about our lives. However, many severely amnesic patients still have accurate self-knowledge, which shows that the relationship between what we know about ourselves and what we remember is a complex one. The concept of self includes knowledge of who we were in the past, and hope to be in the future, as well as who we are in the present. This option will also explore the emerging field of how imagined future selves and future events might influence current or planned behaviours.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars involve lectures, interactive discussions, and student presentations. During the course of the module, students will either prepare an essay or other comparable assignment determined by the option leader, such as a presentation (poster or oral), short report, participation in a debate, etc.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed through coursework (20%) and a final exam (80%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise an oral presentation plus written summary.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will be provided with feedback on their coursework essay by seminar tutors or on the content of their presentation by seminar tutors and peers. This feedback will help students prepare for the final exam.

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:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-assessment is by 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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