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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/04/2022 11:24:22

Title of Module: Individual Differences in the Workplace

Code: PSYC11007 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:E  Edgerton

Summary of Module

This module introduces the student to a number of topics within the area of individual differences that are relevant to the world of work. The module explains the methodological approach that differentiates individual differences from other fields in psychology. Each topic area will begin by examining the history, definitions, theories and measurement approaches before moving on to review contemporary approaches and issues.  Students will gain experience in using and interpreting a range of assessments tools to encourage their critical awareness of testing within the area of Individual Differences and the ethical considerations involved.  Throughout the module there is an emphasis on the importance of research to support an understanding of the controversies in the field and ways in which these controversies may be resolved. All of the topic areas will be supported by workshops consisting of a range of activities that focus on developing a critical understanding of contemporary research from the psychology of work.

At the end of this module, students will have become autonomous, research-minded, critical thinkers. In addition, they will be knowledgeable problem solvers.

  • Introduction to the psychology of individual differences

  • Measurement and methodology in individual differences research

  • Personality: definitions, theoretical approaches, measurement, the trait approach and the five factor model, the person-situation debate and interactionism

  • Intelligence: concepts, context, definitions, theories and relevance to workplace, assessment (Factor analysis, tests, factors influencing test performance, test and the workplace)

  • Individual differences, employment and career choice

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. A detailed critical awareness of the characteristics and rationale behind the study of individual differences.

L2. An advanced critical understanding of the different psychological theories concepts and principles used to understand individual differences in the areas of personality and intelligence.

L3. A critical awareness of current issues in the application of psychometric assessment tools in the workplace.

L4. Extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of the psychology of individual differences to 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 11.

A critical understanding the development of the trait approach to personality
A critical understanding of a range of perspectives of motivation
A critical understanding of the development of the construct of emotional intelligence.
A critical awareness of current issues in psychometric testing in the workplace

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Using a range of assessment tools covering the areas of personality, motivation and emotional intelligence and applying these within a work context.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to current issues relating to individual differences in the workplace
Critically review research-based evidence from a variety of sources.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Communicate information effectively using appropriate methods, to different audiences.
Undertake critical evaluations of statistical and graphical data.
Use a range of ICT applications to support and enhance work in areas such as information retrieval and data analysis and presentation.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in conducting a range of tasks and activities.
Take responsibility for identifying and addressing their own learning needs in both current and new areas.
Demonstrate the application of information which draws on a critical reflection of their own and others’ roles and responsibilities.

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

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered via a hybrid approach with a combination of lecture material, seminars and workshops. Students will gain practical experience in individual differences assessment through the completion and scoring of a number of standardised assessment tools.
The workshops are designed to allow students to explore and reflect on a range of issues 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 own knowledge and experience from the world of work. The second assessment requires students to produce a poster and students will utilise data from the class to produce this poster reporting the research findings and analysis.
Workshops will be conducted to discuss practical aspects of psychometric testing, the production of a work-related portfolio and poster design. Seminars will explore issues relating to the lecture material in more detail and also focus on how to summarise relevant research articles. As part of the University’s PDP strategy, students will be encouraged to reflect on the production of their personal portfolio and the relevance of this to their work experience.
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 Activity14
Asynchronous Class Activity14
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop10
Independent Study144
Personal Development Plan6
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:

Christiansesn, N.D. and Tett, R.P. (Eds.) (2013). Handbook of Personality at Work. Routledge.

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

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

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

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:
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 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 ExaminerJ Bohan
Accreditation DetailsBPS
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Coursework 1 – Individual work-based portfolio worth 50%
Coursework 2 – Individual Research Poster worth 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

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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.