SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3C825416
Module Leader Lana Ireland
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of 20 credits of a SCQF 8 psychology module or equivalent.

Summary of Content

This module explores individual differences in personality including an evaluation of the main personality theories. Assessment of individual differences is explored in relation to psychometric testing. The important psychological characteristics and identities that differentiate individuals are discussed and these include gender, diversity, personality and crime, intelligence and musical identity.


An advanced study of personality theories and their underlying assumptions comprises half of this module. Personality, theoretical background to personality studies: status of science; basic assumptions, stated and implicit. General principles of assessment and test construction. Types of reliability and validity. Major theories are covered - Psychodynamic , Neo Freudians, Behaviou ral, Cognitive , Humanist and Trait. The second half of the module addresses individual differences and includes: Gender and Diversity, Intelligence - historical background, diversity, heritability, learning difficulties, the role of IQ, normalisation. Creativity - focus on music, testing, improving creativity, Personality & crime , personality disorders, Authoritarian Personality.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the student should be able to :-1. Critically evaluate psychological theories pertaining to human personality (assessed by essay)2. Apply a wide variety of published research in the completion of the coursework assignment (assessed by essay)3. Critically evaluate competing theories regarding what constitutes individual differences (assessed by examination)4. Critically analyse the basic assumptions underlying the various theoretical positions (assessed by examination and essay)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Regular programme of lectures and seminars. Seminars consist of group discussion based on independent research/group debate and will also provide formative support to aid the preparation of coursework and exam technique. Online support is provided through GCULearn.

Indicative Reading

Feist, J., Feist, G. and Roberts T. (2018). Theories of Personality, 9th Ed. McGraw Hill, New York. Maltby, J., Day, L. and Macaskill A. (2017). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence, 4th Ed, Prentice Hall, Harlow. Ryckman, R. M. (2014). Theories of Personality, 10th Ed. Wadsworth, New York.

Transferrable Skills

1. Critical evaluation of psychological theories and empirical studies. 2. The development of evaluative skills with regards to key critical issues in these core areas. 3. An understanding of the key issues in each of these fields and an appreciation for real world application. 4. Responsibility for independent learning with regard to key issues covered during lectures and seminars. 5. Increased competence in task, time and information management.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 138.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% 2 Hour Formal Examination
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% 2000 Word Essay