Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Psychology


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • 60 credits from Level 2 Psychology module


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide an introduction to the scientific study of consciousness


  • Is it possible to study consciousness scientifically?
  • Philosophical issues in the study of consciousness
  • The neural bases of consciousness
  • Brain-damage and awareness
  • Consciousness in non-human animals and/or machines
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in psychology

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of the study of consciousness, including current theory, evidence, and research methods
  • In-depth knowledge of models and empirical studies of consciousness in normal and brain-damaged patients
  • In-depth knowledge of conceptual and philosophical issues in the scientific study of the mind and consciousness
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to review critically and consolidate understanding of a coherent body of psychological knowledge and apply it appropriately
Key Skills:
  • Good written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently in scholarship and research within broad guidelines

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

  • Knowledge and understanding is developed through the weekly 2 hour sessions involving a variety of learning modes including lectures, student presentations, video-based material, and some small group work
  • This knowledge will be assessed in the written examination, which will be essay-based, comprising 2 Sections: Section A will consist of one seen question; and Section B will consist of a selection of unseen essay questions from which students must answer one. This assessment will provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to appraise and apply empirical and theoretical knowledge in a critical manner
  • Preparations for presentations and for the seen examination question promote students' abilities to locate, read and evaluate a body of evidence. These abilities are assessed via the seen and unseen written examination questions. Feedback is provided for the formative presentation
  • All modes of teaching are designed to promote critical evaluation of evidence and arguments, to adopt different theoretical positions, and to interpret empirical work in terms of theory. Assessment of these abilities is based on the written examination
  • Written communication skills are developed through the preparation for the examination
  • Good IT skills are required for the preparation of the student presentation. Feedback is provided regarding the adequacy of these skills where necessary

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture & seminar sessions 11 Weekly 2 22
Preparation & reading 78
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% None

Formative Assessment:

Workshop presentation

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