Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 18/05/2022 13:03:48

Title of Module: Individual Differences & Work

Code: PSYC09014 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:G  Inglis

Summary of Module

This module introduces the area of individual differences that are relevant to the workplace. The topics covered are personality, , emotional intelligence and ability testing. The module will draw on some material covered at earlier levels however, the focus here is to explore these areas in detail by introducing new concepts and methodologies that can be adopted and applied within a work context to provide a critical, psychological understanding of the individual. The module highlights the methodological approach that differentiates the area from other fields in psychology. Each topic area will begin by examining definitions and measurement approaches before moving on to review relevant issues. The topic of personality will focus on the trait approach, the issue of consistency and the utility of the psychometric approach. The topic of group working and how this relates to personality and work performance will also be addressed. The section on emotional intelligence will review different conceptualisations such as trait versus ability and its applications in real-world situations in the workplace. Finally, ability testing will consider contemporary debates on the nature of intelligence and the relevance of these to work-related abilities. In all of the topic areas, there will be a focus on contemporary research from the psychology of work. The format and content of this module facilitates the learning of a range of skills important to potential employers. These skills include: self-reflection, verbal presentations, group poster presentation, seminar discussions and negotiating skills. Students will be autonomous, research-minded and collaborative critical thinkers.


  • To develop students' understanding of key aspects of individual differences, including personality and intelligence.

  • To develop students' understand of the role of psychometrics in measuring individual differences in personality, emotional intelligence and cognitive ability.

  • To develop students’ understanding of how individual differences are relevant to the workplace.

  • To support students in developing key graduate attributes and employability skills, including personal reflection and team working skills.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

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

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.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
check mark







Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate an awareness of the characteristics and rationale behind the study of individual differences.

L2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the different psychological perspectives and methodologies used to understand individual differences.

L3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the applications of psychometric assessment tools.

L4. Critically evaluate the application of the psychology of individual differences to our understanding of the individual within the workplace.

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 9.

Understand the development of the trait approach to personality
Understand different approaches to personality and intelligence testing
Understand multiple perspectives of intelligence

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Administer and understand a personality test.
Present personality data in visual and oral formats

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Provide a critical appraisal of available tools used to assess personality and intelligence and the controversies surrounding this.
Collate research-based evidence from a variety of sources.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicate information effectively through visual and oral presentations.
Analyse and interpret statistical data using appropriate software.
Make effective use of information retrieval systems.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Work effectively in a team to produce a group-based project.
Systematically identify and address their own learning needs in both current and new areas

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Qualitative Research Skills in Psychology
Quantitative Research Skills in Psychology
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered using a hybrid approach in which students are encouraged to engage with the module through three learning activities, presented both synchronously and asynchronously. Students will be encouraged to engage asynchronously with pre-recorded lecture content designed to provide students with an overview of the topic area. Pre-recorded lecture material will be complimented with a series of asynchronous and synchronous activities to be undertaken in the student's own time or by the students/instructor simultaneously as appropriate.

This module will be delivered in a hybrid format combining lectures, seminars and workshops. Students will gain practical experience in core areas of individual differences through the completion and scoring of standardised assessment tools. Workshops will encourage students to consider the interpretation and construction of tests in the areas of personality and intelligence and allow students to reflect on these tools in more detail and to discuss their ideas in small group work settings.

The module is assessed by two pieces of coursework. The first assessment requires students to produce a reflective portfolio where they address a series of issues relating to emotional intelligence using their knowledge from the world of work. The second assessment involves group work and students will utilise data from the class to produce an academic dissemination object (such as a poster) reporting the research findings and analysis. The assessment strategy rewards students for the quality of the poster (group mark), their ability to defend the poster in a Q&A session (individual mark) and finally a peer assessment of the member's contribution to the project.

Workshops will be conducted to discuss general aspects of poster design, practical aspects of psychometric testing and the production of a work-related portfolio. Seminars will explore issues relating to the lecture material in more detail and also focus on how to summarise relevant research articles. Students will keep diaries that outline the progress of their group work before finally presenting their poster in a question and answer session with the course tutors. As part of the University’s PDP strategy, students will be encouraged to reflect on their experience of group work in their diaries, the production of a personal portfolio and on the presentation skills that they utilised in the poster coursework.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity10
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop14
Independent Study126
Asynchronous Class Activity30
Personal Development Plan8
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:

Cooper, C. (2015). Intelligence and Human Abilities: Structure, Origins and Applications. New York: Routledge

Furnham, A. (2012). The Psychology of Behaviour at Work (2nd Ed.). Hove, UK: Psychology Press (E-Book edition)

Maltby, J, Day, L. and Macaskill, A. (2010). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence (2nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson

Matthews G., Deary, I.J. and Whiteman, M.C. (2009). Personality Traits (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Raykov, T. and Marcoulides, G.A. (2011). Introduction to Psychometric Theory. New York: Routledge

(**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)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All full-time students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) 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 the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUg/Pg Psychology
ModeratorE Edgerton
External ExaminerTBC
Accreditation DetailsBPS
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Individual work-based portfolio worth 50%
Poster presentation weighted at 50%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below 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.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written work check markcheck markcheck mark500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Demonstrations/ Poster presentations/ Exhibitionscheck markcheck markcheck mark 500
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

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

[Top of Page]

  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:
Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

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)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.