PY3SCO-Self Control

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PY2PS Personality and Social Psychology or PY2DSP Developmental and Social Psychology or PY2PS1 Personality and Social Psychology 1
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Julia Vogt


Summary module description:
Self Control

This module aims to enable students to explore existing research and theoretical perspectives on self-control. The option aims to give students experience of critical evaluation of research approaches and theories of self-control; to help them develop the ability to study independently; and to give them experience of current research being undertaken in the department.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student will be able to:
1.Critically analyse research on self-control.
2. Apply their understanding of the processes underlying self-control to sketch interventions and skills that facilitate self-control success.
3. Appraise key theoretical explanations for self-control failure and success, 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, depending on the nature of the coursework assignment set for the module, their ability to work as part of a team to present an argument in an oral presentation format, for example.

Outline content:
The module comprises seven 2-hour seminars.

Self-control profoundly contributes to people’s success in life across various domains. Self-control is often considered to be a fixed personality trait but much research shows how it can be trained or facilitated by situational factors. We will look at the causes of self-control failure and how people can successfully identify and battle temptations in self-control conflicts. We will consider the major theories from motivation science and social psychology and critically evaluate the evidence. We will look at various interventions that allow people to prepare for and succeed in self-control conflicts, and discuss the implications of the evidence for policies and interventions.

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 a 2000-word essay.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will be provided with feedback on their coursework essay or on the content of their presentation (or other coursework assignment) by seminar tutors. 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 at least 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resit 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: 31 March 2017

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