PYM0CG-Methods in Cognition

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Philip Beaman


Summary module description:
The purpose of this module is to inform students about some of the methods used in the study of cognition. Students read set material in advance, and discuss them in a series of seminars. Students are required to make informal presentations of written material. The focus of the module is on methodological issues in the study of cognitive psychology in a sample of sub-domains.

The module aims (1) to discuss critically a variety of methodologies for research in cognition and perception, including topics such as: cognitive modelling, experimental cognitive psychology, cognitive testing of intervention tretaments (e.g., nutitional studies), eye-movements as an index of pereceptual and cognitive processing, vision and psychophysics; (2) to present topical research in cognitive psychology, and to link it with research actively undertaken at Reading; (3) to support students in the design and planning of research activity.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
-Give an account of the range of methods deployed in answering research questions in cognitive psychology.
-Show how different theoretical frameworks might influence research in cognitive psychology.
-Demonstrate a clear understanding of empirical research in a selected sub-area of cognitive psychology.
-Demonstrate understanding of how to plan an empirical research project using a selected cognitive methodology

Assessment will be by written coursework (10 credits). The written assignment will be a Designing, Planning, and Writing assessment. For more details, see Blackboard.

Additional outcomes:
It is anticipated that this module will inform much subsequent work by students on postgraduate courses in psychology.

Outline content:

Methods used in the study of cognition, in particular approaches such as cognitive modelling, experimental cognitive psychology, eye-tracking, psychophysics and perceptual psychology

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students will be given directed reading which they will be expected to have completed before attending lectures. Teaching sessions will last approximately 2½ hours. A member of the Department of Psychology staff will give a short lecture on the important learning points. There will then be opportunity for 1.5 to 2 hours’ discussion, to enable students to complete the required coursework assignment. Students should be aware that the standards expected of them, in oral and written contributions, are higher than those expected in undergraduate work. Their work should in particular bear on issues of methodology.

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 assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
100% Coursework in the form of a Designing, Planning and Writing assignment.

Formative assessment methods:
Group discussion sessions.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
A failing piece of coursework may be resubmitted in the Spring term, at
a date agreed with the Course Director. Students should note however
that, given the University regulations on failing credits, it may not be
in their interests to resubmit the coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):


Last updated: 31 March 2017

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