PY4C-Contemporary Issues

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Dan Jones


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Critical approach to contemporary issues


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.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will complete one seen-essay question under examination conditions (Summer term) to 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. Students will prepare for this assessment by completing one formative assessment (formative, and will not contribute to the final module mark) during the Spring term; clear and specific feedback will be provided to help prepare for the summer exam.

Additional outcomes:

Students will be prompted to critically 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. The formative essay provides an opportunity to practice and to gain experience for the Contemporary Issues paper of the final examination. The exam paper will be available to students three weeks before the start of the examination period, to allow students to research the question they will answer.

Global context:

Exposure to a wide-variety of diverse and complex issues from across the discipline of psychology.  

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module is designed to encourage independent learning. Students will be expected to source information from recent journal articles, and to integrate material from a wide variety of sources. 

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

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment is by summer exam. Students complete a seen 2-hour examination in Summer Term, which contributes 100% of the overall assessment. Students are provided with the exam paper three weeks before the start of the exam period, in order that they can select the question they wish to research.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be given the opportunity to complete one formative essay in Spring term, which they will receive feedback on. This essay will provide students with the opportunity to practice the skills that will be required for the summer exam. It will not contribute to the overall module mark.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 50% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination in August / September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 1 October 2018


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