PSYC06023 2017 Foundations of Psychology

General Details

Full Title
Foundations of Psychology
Transcript Title
Foundations of Psychology
N/A %
Subject Area
PSYC - Psychology Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Orla Walsh, John Kane
Programme Membership
SG_HENGL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Major: English and Psychology SG_HENGL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Major: English and Psychology

This module aims to introduce students to the language of psychology. It will familiarise students with the different perspectives in psychology and help them understand how psychology is applied at a simple level. Students will learn how psychology influences everyday activities and they will be provided with a broad overview of introductory topics in the discipline.

The literature on cognitive, emotional and social development will be presented and the biological aspects of behaviour will be examined. Students will gain a basic understanding of the internal and external factors that shape who we are and the psychological variables that influence the choices we make in our lives. The ethics of research will be explored and various research methods will be introduced.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate an understanding of the major theoretical perspectives in psychology.


Discuss psychological research methods and ethics of research.


Describe learning theory and its application.


Explain the impact of biology on our behaviour and our phenomenological world.


Distinguish between classical and operant conditioning making connections between theory and practical application.


Demonstrate an understanding of abnormal psychology.


Briefly outline the development of cognitive, emotional and social abilities from birth to old age.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The module will be delivered using both lecture and tutorials.

Module Assessment Strategies

There are two assessment components  to this module:

Presentation and essay

Repeat Assessments

As per department guidelines, ie developed after consideration of failed component(s)

Indicative Syllabus

What is psychology?
A brief introduction to the different theoretical perspectives in psychology, psychoanalytic, behavioural, cognitive, social learning, humanistic.

Cognitive development
Piaget's theory: Vygotsky's theory;

Social development
Attachment and friendships. Strange Situation test: different attachment styles, Ainsworth, Bowlby, effect of deprivation, maternal deprivation hypothesis: evidence, deprivation and privation, reasons for deprivation, irreversibility of damage, group socialisation theory, the psychoanalytic approach, Erikson's theory, relationships in adolescence, with parents, with peers. Group processes, Adulthood. Social networks.

Classical and operant conditioning
Basic findings, explanations of classical conditioning, classical conditioning in real life. Operant conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement, positive and negative punishment, schedules of reinforcement, shaping,  learned helplessness.

An introduction to the biological aspects of Psychology

Overview of the brain, neurons and synapses, neurotransmitters, genes, the biological and medical model, the Bio-psycho-social approach.

Cognitive psychology

Visual and auditory perception, memory, cognitive models of mind, attention.

 Abnormal psychology

Psychopathology, anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders, psychosis, mood disorders, eating disorders, treatments.

Research methods

Ethics of research, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, lessons learned, introduction to statistics.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 40 % Week 8 1,3,4,7
2 Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 60 % Week 12 2,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 4 Weekly 4.00
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 6.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2003 Psychology for A2 level Hove:::: Psychology press

Psychology textbook

Recommended Reading
2001-07-26 Psychology for A2 Level Psychology Press
ISBN 1841692514 ISBN-13 9781841692517

Psychology for A2 Level is a highly readable textbook, which has been written for the new A2 Psychology syllabus of the AQA Specification A (formerly AEB) and is aimed specifically at students pursuing their studies in psychology beyond AS level. It is an ideal follow-up to any AS level textbook, but in particular the best-selling Psychology for AS Level by the same authors. A supporting CD-Rom of AS/A2 teaching resources is free to teachers who recommend either of these textbooks to their students.
This A2 level text, which builds on the ideas and insights explored at AS level to promote a deeper understanding of psychology, is written in an accessible, engaging style by highly experienced authors.
The areas covered are: Social Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Comparative Psychology and Individual Differences. There are also chapters on Perspectives in Psychology and on the assessed coursework.
At this level, students select options from the range of specified topics, and each topic within the syllabus is covered in sufficient depth for the requirements of A2. The book includes a number of helpful features:
* tailored to the new AQA(A) specification so that students can easily use the text for their A2 studies
* mapped clearly and comprehensively to the requirements of three parts of the A2 assessment: Options paper; Synoptic paper; and Coursework
* careful explanations that are easy to read and enable clear understanding
* case studies of real life examples
* important key studies, each with critical evaluation and discussion points
* detailed end-of-chapter summaries
* exam-style questions to test understanding and to give exam practice
* suggested activities and self-assessment questions to stimulate thought and interpretation
* suggestions for further reading, in print and on-line
* many illustrations and humorous drawings to reinforce learning objectives
* tips and suggestions for studying, learning, choosing options and preparing for exams and coursework
* glossary of key terms.
Further information and resources related to AS and A2 level psychology can be found at the Psychology Press A-level website:

Recommended Reading
2014-04-06 Introduction to Psychology Cengage Learning
ISBN 1408089025 ISBN-13 9781408089026

This thorough text, now in its 16th edition, offers a fresh and up-to-date view of the dynamic nature of contemporary psychology. The authors build a strong foundation in the fundamentals of psychology while featuring the most innovative and groundbreaking current research.

Module Resources