Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (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 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to X101
Tied to X103
Tied to X102
Tied to X1C8
Tied to XC81
Tied to XC82
Tied to X1F8
Tied to X3F8
Tied to X2F8
Tied to X305
Tied to X306
Tied to X308
Tied to LMV0
Tied to LA01
Tied to X102
Tied to XL33
Tied to X3L3
Tied to X2L3


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop a foundation for an 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 11 6 in Term 1 and 5 in Term 2 2 hours 22
Plenary Lecture 1 End of module 1 hour 1
Seminars 6 3 in Term 1 and 3 in Term 2 1.5 hours 9
Preparation and Reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio (including critical commentary on blog posts) 1500 words (plus blog posts) 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Ongoing class blog activity will serve as the formative assessment for the module with students receiving periodic tutor and peer feedback on posts in both written and oral form.

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