University of the West of Scotland

Module Descriptor

Session: 2017/18

Last modified: 27/03/2017 08:36:30

Title of Module: Investigating Psychology

Code: PSYC07008 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Media, Culture and Society
Module Co-ordinator:Graham  G  Scott

Summary of Module

Students have the opportunity to develop their understanding of a key debate within psychology through independent inquiry. The module will focus on the nature/nurture debate. This will be explored in a number of different ways. Students will be given an initial lecture detailing possible psychological elements that have an effect on the nature/nurture debate, they are then asked to research this further. Weekly workshops will be held to give students guidance and inform them of all the necessary skills to research this area. The course will be based around group work in which they have to identify a particular area (e.g. intelligence) and research the basis of the nature/nurture debate. Students will be introduced to different ways of collecting data through literature searches, media reports and importantly the difference in the types of study will be highlighted amongst qualitative and quantitative data so they can evaluate the data they collect and work with. Thereafter, students will be introduced and guided through the strengths and weaknesses of applying a multi method approach to their chosen area. The students will be required to produce two pieces of coursework, with the final project produced on Xerte detailing the portfolio of their research and findings. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to collaborate across subject boundaries and to think critically about the transferable nature of academic knowledge and research skills.

  • A close inspection of the nature/nurture debate

  • Student led research skills

  • Building their transferable skills through interaction of different sources and learning materials

  • Building on digital literacy skills and using new platforms such as Xerte

  • Building on personal development skills using a reflective diary.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully Online
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance Learning (D/L) (ie.Virtual Campus): (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Hamilton:D/L Virtual Campus:Other:
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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

At the end of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate an appropriate research question

L2. Demonstrate the ability to collate, analyse and present evidence

L3. Demonstrate an ability to present evidence in an appropriate written and visual forms

L4. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively within group settings

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

SCQF Level 7.

Understand the development of psychology as its place as a scientific discipline.

Understand different models and approaches used to explore human behaviour.

Understand the importance of research-based, psychological explanations that support the nature/nurture debate.

Understand the importance of cultural, ethical and diversity awareness.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

Use some of the basic techniques for psychological investigation.

Retrieve and reference basic psychological research

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Discuss and evaluate information core to the discipline of psychology and the nature/nurture debate.

Use different approaches to address applied issues the nature/nurture debate.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Discuss psychological issues in a coherent and structured manner, both verbally and written.

Present information using Xerte

Use dedicated software to investigate psychological phenomena.

Use of information retrieval systems.

Use numerical and graphical data to address psychological issues.
Use of Virtual Learning Environment

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Work effectively in class-based group activities.

Take account of personal responsibility to address own learning needs.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:
Introduction to Psychology

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
CategoriesStudent Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content DeliveryScheduled4
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/WorkshopScheduled18
Tutorial/Synchronous Support ActivityScheduled4
Asynchronous Class ActivityIndependent10
Independent StudyIndependent164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Gross, R. (2010). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour (6th ed.). London: Hodder Education. CHAPTER 50.

Academic Journals

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)
Attendance Requirements
Students are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under Equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations 5.3.6 – 5.3.8., available at the following link:

Course Reference Numbers (CRNs) (if known)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Hamilton:D/L Virtual Campus:Other:







Trimester(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Trimester 1


Trimester 2check markTrimester 3


For Internal Use Only

Programme BoardPsychology
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPsychology
ModeratorDr Graham Scott
External ExaminerDr Douglas Howat
Accreditation DetailsBPS
Changes/Version Number


New Module

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids at end of document)
Assessment 1 (60%): A group report (2500 words) based on the chosen topic area giving a critique on the nature/nurture debate. 80% of the mark for this assessment will be based on the written report, 20% will be based on peer assessment for group work.
Assessment 2 (40%): An individually produced Xerte file, focussing on the real-world application of the topic covered in the report. This will potentially be a mixture of video, picture and text files.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each main assessment category) can be found at the end of this descriptor which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Assessment Category 1
Assessment CategoryAssessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
AssignmentReport of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck mark check mark608

Assessment Category 2
Assessment CategoryAssessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
AssignmentPortfolio of written work check markcheck mark 408
Combined Total For All Assignment Categories100% 16 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)