Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)

Module EDUC1521: Foundations of Psychology in Education

Department: Education

EDUC1521: Foundations of Psychology in Education

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to X101
Tied to X1C8
Tied to X1F8
Tied to X305
Tied to LMV0
Tied to LA01
Tied to X102
Tied to XL33


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop a foundation for a scientific understanding of psychological principles, processes and theories in education.


  • The module introduces key theories and ideas about how people learn.
  • Learning is conceptualised as a complex, non-linear process of within-person change in mental processes and behaviour; a process that is impacted by the complex interplay between person and contextual factors.
  • Key psychological principles involved in learning are introduced and discussed.
  • Both, cognitive and non-cognitive person characteristics are considered in relation to learning.
  • Implications for education will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge and understanding of some important theories, related constructs and processes of cognition, motivation and emotion in relation to learning.
  • Knowledge of a range of internal and external factors which might influence the development and formation of these concepts and processes, and an initial understanding of the implications for learning and the optimisation of teaching.
  • An understanding of the significance and limitations of psychological research in education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will develop an understanding of, and be able to, evaluate and reflect on their own learning experience.
  • To interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research in relation to learning.
Key Skills:
  • Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively orally and in written form.
  • Manage time and work to deadlines.
  • Construct and sustain a reasoned argument.
  • Evaluate and make use of information from a variety of primary and secondary sources.

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

  • Students will be introduced to a range of psychological theories relating to learning. Students will have opportunities during the seminars to engage in discussion about the central constructs and ideas and to deepen their understanding developed through individual and group work activities.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Twice Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Practice exam questions

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