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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC1625 Biological Approaches to Psychology

10 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Richard Harris

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

BSc Psychology or MPsyc, BSc Advanced Psychology or BA Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Thought, or BSc Psychology with Education programme entry requirements.

This module is mutually exclusive with

PSYC1624Biological Approaches to Human and Animal Behaviour

Module replaces

PSYC1605 Biological Psychology

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Brain functioning underlies human and animal behaviour, and so is critical to our understanding of psychological phenomena. This module will outline the biological basis of human and non-human animal behaviour. This will be applied to psychological disorders. Complementary research perspectives, such as neuroscience, neuropsychology, evolutionary and comparative approaches will be discussed. In particular, this module will pay close attention to the ethical and historical aspects of Biological Psychology.


This module will introduce students to biological psychology theory, its application to real world questions, and relevant evolutionary, ethical, conceptual, and historical perspectives. This module draws upon complementary evidence from both human and animal research.

Learning outcomes
Students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the biological bases of different psychological disorder.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolutionary, ethical, conceptual, cultural, and historical aspects of biological psychology which underpin different psychological disorders.
3. Evaluate the research methods used in biological psychology to understand different psychological disorders.
4. Developing communication skills through group and independent work.


1. The fundamentals of Biological Psychology
2. Psychological disorders

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Group learning21.503.00
Independent online learning hours5.30
Private study hours88.70
Total Contact hours6.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Independent online learning – online pre-recorded lectures in max. 20 min segments. Approx 8 per topic.

Private study:
Essay: 25 hours
Group assignment: 30 hours
Workbook: 10 hours x 2 = 20 hours
Formative MCQs: 1 hour
Peer assessment: 2.7 hours peer assessment
Independent reading: 10 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be formative MCQs throughout the semester to support students understanding and knowledge. These will allow students to gauge their understanding, and will provide formative support for portfolio, group tasks, and the essay.
One of the portfolio workbooks will provide formative feedback. This workbook will be a reflective piece, which will help students to prepare for the essay. This will ask about their approach to the essay, and their understanding of the topic. This formative piece will help them prepare for the essay. This will be administered via Pebblepad and ATLAS.
Students will be also be provided with feedback in the group-based teaching sessions. Group-based teaching sessions will be an opportunity for students to work on their group assignment and so staff members can provide formative feedback during these sessions. Students will also work on tasks during the group teaching sessions, staff will be able to provide students with feedback during these sessions which will help students to clarify their understanding of the module content. This will be helpful for the completion of their group assignments, essay coursework, and workbooks.
The workbooks will involve an element of peer-assessment which will provide formative feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation750 word40.00
Group ProjectThere is one group task. Students have autonomy to choose format e.g. blog, podcast, poster etc.40.00
In-course MCQFormative MCQs will be used to support learning during the module0.00
PortfolioBased on 2 workbooks hosted in Pebblepad and/or Top Hat. One of the workbooks will be formative, and one will be marked.20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

All summative assessment components (essay, group tasks and workbook) must be completed. However, to pass the module students only need attain a total of 40% overall (across all assessments).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 18/08/2021 12:51:03


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