SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3C823087
Module Leader Monika McNeill
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally successful completion of Introduction to Biological, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at level two, or equivalent.

Summary of Content

This module will explore each of the following theoretical areas: attention, perception, representation, face processing, introduction to memory research, everyday memory, memory structure and processes, long-term memory and forgetting, language, decision making and reasoning. Throughout key linkages between these different areas of human cognition will be illuminated and the application of these theories will be explored in some depth.


Theories of attention, perception and representation will be explored and then brought together in an exploration of why eyewitness misidentification is by far the biggest source of wrongful conviction. Various theories of memory and memory deficits will be explored followed by a look at how the application of these theories can improve memory performance in both normal and clinical populations. Theories of language, decision making, reasoning and emotion will be explored, followed by an exploration of how heuristics and biases impede our ability to make rationale real world choices in areas as diverse as love, finance and terrorism. Throughout the focus will be on the application of theoretical knowledge to the solution of common real-world problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students should be able to:1.Describe, discuss and evaluate the main approaches adopted by psychologists to the study and application of human cognition (assessed in summative exam).2.Gain a critical understanding key historical, philosophical and psychological antecedents of cognitive psychology (assessed in summative exam).3.Appreciate how theories of human cognition can be used to understand and contribute to solving real-world problems (assessed in summative exam).4.Critically evaluate empirical studies of human cognition (assessed in using both a formative and summative lab report).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The course will be taught by a series of lectures and activity-based laboratory sessions. The coursework for the module consists of conducting an empirical project in an applied area of cognition and writing a Lab Report based on this. This will be carried out in a group and supervised by a member of staff. Students are expected to write up the project individually. Coursework will include formative assessment of a draft version of the Lab Report, prior to summative assessment.

Indicative Reading

Essential Eysenck , M.and Keane, M. (2010). Cognitive Psychology: a student's handbook . Sixth Edition.UK: Psychology Press. Recommended Loftus. E. (1996). Eyewitness Memory. Havard University Press. Roediger III, H. L., & Pyc, M. A. (2012). Inexpensive techniques to improve education: Applying cognitive psychology to enhance educational practice. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition , 1(4), 242-248. Kahneman. D. (2011). Thinking Fast and Slow . New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Transferrable Skills

Through laboratory work students will learn to work in small groups. Several skills will be enhanced through this process. Students will learn to design and implement experiments using a variety of methods including questionnaires and specialist computer software. Data management, analysis and statistical testing skills will be enhanced. Students will further develop their 'scientific' writing skills through the writing up of their findings in a properly structured report. Students will understand the process of gaining ethical approval for psychological research.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% 2000 Word Lab Report
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Two Hour Formal Examination