Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Psychology


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Either (i) or (ii). (i) Introduction to Psychology 1: Cognitive & Biological Psychology (PSYC1071) OR (ii) Introduction to Psychology 2: Developmental, Social & Abnormal Psychology (PSYC1081) AND Introduction to Psychological Research (PSYC1062)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop an understanding of theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches in cognitive neuroscience, with particular emphasis on visual neuroscience and visual cognition


  • The module will cover a broad range of topics including a survey of methods used in studying brain and behaviour, a critical evaluation of their application in an area of psychology such as learning, and coverage of a range of topics in vision and visual cognition, including the perception of colour, form, motion and depth and their development, together with higher-level functions such as face, scene and object recognition, visually-controlled action and visual attention
  • The module will build on the introductory coverage given in these topics in the Level 1 module Introduction to Psychology 1
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in psychology

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A broad knowledge base relating to the core areas of psychology and in-depth knowledge of some specialist sub-areas of psychology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Understanding the relationship between theory and data, including the ability to evaluate theories and concepts
  • Ability to formulate research questions and hypotheses
Key Skills:
  • Competent in written communication skills
  • Competent IT skills in word processing and data presentation
  • Effective retrieval and organisation of material
  • Locate, read and review a body of research evidence
  • Critical evaluation of the quality of evidence and arguments
  • Ability to adopt different theoretical positions and see relationships between them

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Student acquisition of knowledge relating to the relationship between brain and behaviour, and to vision and visual cognition is guided by lectures and tutorials and supplemented by reading
  • This knowledge will be assessed in the written assessments and the written examination
  • These assessments will be essay-based, providing students with the opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to organise, review and evaluate evidence and theory, to provide critical appraisal, and to contrast theoretical positions
  • Feedback on progress in acquiring knowledge in the module is provided in the tutorials and in the written assessments
  • Understanding of the relationship between theory and evidence is supported directly by the lecture content and activities that encourage students to interpret evidence theoretically, and to compare competing theoretical accounts
  • The development of students' skills in this domain is assessed in the essays and in the examination
  • Abilities to reason scientifically and to effectively retrieve, locate, organise and use information is facilitated by the preparation for assessment activities, and by the feedback from the writtten assessments
  • Scientific reasoning and organisation of written material is assessed in the essays and in the examination
  • The skills involved in preparing scientific reports to a satisfactory standard are supported by feedback from the essays and in tutorials
  • A key component in the preparation of the essays is the acquisition of adequate word processing skills
  • Feedback is provided regarding the adequacy of these skills where necessary

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 2 per term Term 1 & Term 2 1 hour 4
Lectures 22 Weekly 1 hour 22
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2000 word summative essay 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-hour examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will submit two 2,000 word essays; one in Term 1 and one in Term 2. The higher of the two essay marks will go forward as the summative assessment mark for the module.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University