20 credits at level HE5
1. To develop studentsí understanding of key perspectives and approaches within social psychology.
2. To explore the historical development of contemporary perspectives/debates within social psychology.
3. To explore the historical development and origins of Critical Psychology.
4. To examine key Critical Psychological theories and to investigate the ways in which they challenge
mainstream contemporary (social) psychology.
Social categorisation theory and social identity theory
Small group behaviour
Stereotypes and prejudice
Social aspects of self
Crises in social psychology
Social nature of language
This is a standard 14 week module consisting of 11 weeks of teaching, a revision session, a study week followed by an end of module exam in week 14.
The first six weeks of the module deal with key topics in mainstream social psychology, in terms of both their historical development and in particular their current status within contemporary social psychology, and focus on such topics as; social categorisation theory and social identity theory (as an overarching meta-theory) group behaviour and intergroup relations, and cultural aspects of the self. The second half of the module is explicitly concerned with what has come to be known as Critical Psychology, an area of contemporary psychology that takes issue with many of the key theoretical and methodological assumptions that underpin contemporary (social) scientific psychology. The first two weeks of this block acts as an introduction to key ideas in this area, and the following three weeks explore key areas in critical social psychology (structuralism and poststructuralism, social Constructionism) in greater depth, as well as issues surrounding language. Both sections of the course are structured to enable students to appreciate the ways in which (social) psychology has developed as both an academic discipline and a series of methodological practices, particularly in terms of exploring and questioning the philosophical and theoretical assumptions that guide and delimit research and practice in this area.
The coursework assessment will be an essay covering material from the first part of the course. Students will be expected to demonstrate not only knowledge of the material covered but to develop a critique of the approach. The examination will consist of three questions, one relating to first half of the course.
Learning outcomes 1 will be assessed in the essay.
Learning outcomes 2 will be assessed in the essay and time-limited assessment.
Learning outcomes 3 will be assessed in the time-limited assessment.
Learning outcome 4 will be assessed in both the essay and time-limited assessment
Module time allocations are:
Class contact = 24-36 hours (including self-directed learning)
Time limited assessment = 3 hours
Private study = 161 hours (to include recommended reading, independent study, preparation of coursework, and revision)
TOTAL = 200 hours
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of perspectives within social psychology.||
1a distinguish between a number of approaches within social psychology.
1b. evaluate the scope of approaches in social
|2.||demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of a range of perspectives within social and critical psychology.
2a illustrate how perspectives within social and critical
psychology have developed historically.
2b. explain the theoretical debates that have informed
the development of social and critical psychology.
2c. examine the development of social and critical psychological methodologies.
|3.||demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which Critical Psychology is critical of the theories, methods and practices of mainstream psychology.
3a analyse the key theoretical assumptions underpinning mainstream psychology.
3b. elucidate how Critical Psychology challenges these
key theoretical assumptions.
3c. contrast Critical Psychological methodologies with mainstream approaches.
|4.||demonstrate critical thinking and evaluative skills.||
construct appropriate psychological arguments and
relate these to conclusions.
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||2000 word essay||3 hour unseen examiniation|
Before taking this module you must have successfully completed the following:
No restrictions apply.
Brewer, M. & Hewstone, M. (2004). Self and Social Identity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Haslam, S. A. (2001). Psychology in Organizations: The social identity approach. London: Sage
Hogg, M. A. & Vaughan, G. M. (2005). Social Psychology (4th ed.). London: Prentice Hall
Hogg, M. & Abrams, D. (1988). Social identifications : a social psychology of intergroup relations and group processes. London: Routledge
Gough, B. & McFadden, M. (2001) Critical Social Psychology: An Introduction. Houndmills: Palgrave.
McGhee, P. (2001). Thinking Psychologically. Palgrave: London
Tuffin K, (2005). Understanding Critical Social Psychology. London: Sage
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