PYMCCN-Cognition (Conversion)

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available to students on the MSc Psychology Conversion course.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Philip Beaman


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module provides students with an integrated approach to the empirical study of cognition and issues in the study of cognitive processes.


The student should gain an understanding of theory and research into memory and cognition, including the different forms of memory (e.g., working memory, long-term memory, episodic, semantic, procedural and prospective memory), and different aspects of thinking and higher-level cognition such as counterfactual thinking, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving and reasoning.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse research on memory and higher-order cognition

  2. Show knowledge of the information-processing approach to understanding human cognition, conducted by means of experimental studies.

  3. Appreciate the range of different memory phenomena, including the proposed subdivision of human memory into different memory sub-systems.

  4. Understand the nature and consequences of impaired cognition (e.g., because of a closed-head injury).

  5. Correctly identify real-world examples of the types of human thought and decision-processes discussed within the module.

  6. Show knowledge of biases and errors in human reasoning and other thought processes

Additional outcomes:

Students will be able to apply general knowledge of research methods to the topics covered within this module in order to critically evaluate the results of scientific studies. Students will be able to apply knowledge of memory and thinking obtained during this module to practical real-world problems.

Outline content:

  1. The approach to understanding human memory and thought processes by means of experimental studies and behavioural data.

  2. The results of such research, including the proposed subdivision of memory into different memory systems and the analysis of human thought in terms of the extent to which humans can be considered "rational" beings.

  3. Humans as information-processing systems.

  4. Processes by which humans solve problems.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be by lecture, supported by small group teaching in seminars.

Each week's lecture will require reading and private study by the student.

Blackboard facilities will include links to off-site multimedia, and a Discussion Board, for interactive off-line discussion between students and staff.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16 16 2
Seminars 6
Guided independent study 58 64 38
Total hours by term 80.00 80.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 30
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2 hr 15 mins exam 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module is assessed by a combination of coursework (50%) and summer examination (50%). 

Coursework includes 1 essay, supported by a seminar (30%) and continuous online assessment of your understanding of the material covered in lectures (20%). The 2 hr 15 mins  Summer Exam will have a multiple choice component, and a written component, which will require you to answer 2 questions on topics covered in the module. 

Formative assessment methods:

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:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment of this module is by examination in August/September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 28 September 2018


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