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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/10/2022 14:22:48

Title of Module: Psychology & Work

Code: PSYC10017 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:A  Simpson

Summary of Module

This module focuses on the naturally occurring paid and unpaid part-time employment activities that students undertake while taking their degrees. The module has two specific aims. First, to allow students to apply psychological perspectives to student work and volunteer places. Second to utilise the principles underpinning work related and work based learning, ensuring that students develop an understanding of the workplace as a learning environment.

The initial focus is upon the emerging literature on student’s employment and the models that exist regarding the work-education relationship and the debates about the quantity and quality of part-time employment. Students will then consider the person in the workplace. Drawing on the organisational psychology literature students will consider a range of issues including, job characteristics, skills and learning in the workplace, the experience and impact of work, and the workplace environment.

A key aspect of the module is that it draws on real world employment and volunteering experiences, requiring the completion of a work log, identifying job roles/skills etc. Students will apply psychological perspectives to work environments identifying links between theory and practice.

At the end of the module students will be autonomous, knowledgeable, effective communicators, socially aware, research-minded, critical thinkers.

  • Work related learning

  • Work-education relationships

  • Job characteristics

  • Learning and work

  • Workplace environment

  • Work logs/Skills Audit

  • Real-world research experience

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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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.

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


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Demonstrate the ability to apply psychological perspectives to understand the individual’s workplace.

L2. Demonstrate a critical awareness and understanding of organisational structures and employee roles in an applied setting.

L3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of methodological and research issues.

L4. Demonstrate the capacity to critically reflect on your learning 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 10.

Understand the role of the workplace as a learning environment.

Understand the application of organisational psychology to the workplace.

Understand the link between theory and applied settings

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the research process.

Understand the ethical constraints on research

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate effective literature researching skills.

Identify applicable research questions in the context of the working environment.

Critically reflect on their learning, strengths, weaknesses and performance

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate the ability to present research information.

Communicate effectively in a range of setting.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Set personal objectives.

Demonstrate effective time management.

Demonstrate the ability to work in small group settings.

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

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered using a hybrid approach in which students are encouraged to engage with the module via in-person and online learning activities. The first half of the module consists of a series of synchronous workshops. Students will be encouraged to engage asynchronously with pre-workshop learning materials designed to provide them with an overview of the topic area and engage synchronously in the workshop sessions. Workshops 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. In the second half of the module, students will participate in a series of synchronous project meetings where they will be supported to design and execute their own research projects; which the students will conduct and write up asynchronously.

The learning activities employed in this module aim to encourage students to reflect upon their own or other student’s part-time employment and volunteering experiences and to link this to existing psychological literature.

Workshops contextualize the module and provide background to the academic literature. These sessions will encourage students to apply the material covered within their directed reading to employment and volunteering settings. The workshops will develop an awareness of reflective practice, work logs/skills audits etc.

A significant part of the learning activities for this module draws upon real-world work and/or volunteering experiences/environments. For example, the work log/skills assessment requires students to investigate and reflect on student work or volunteering activities. Discussion of this material will provide an opportunity to focus on PDP graduate employability related issues. The project element of the module requires students to develop their abilities to research the literature and develop an awareness of ethical and practical issues within a work-related research context.

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)
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity36
Work Based Learning/Placement 0
Independent Study164
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity0
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:

Arnold, J., Randall, R. et al (2016) Work psychology: Understanding human behaviour in the workplace (6th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

Matthewman, L., Rose, A., & Hetherington, A. (2009). Work psychology: an introduction to human behaviour in the workplace. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sutton, A. (2015) Work Psychology in Action. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Warr, P. (2002) Psychology at work (5th ed). London: Penguin.

Journals: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, British Journal of Management, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Workplace Learning, Education + Training, Journal of Education and Work.

(**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:

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Supplemental Information

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


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
A written work log/ reflective diary (worth 40%)
Research report (worth 60%)
(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
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning log check mark check mark402

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck mark 603
Combined Total For All Components100% 5 hours

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

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  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.