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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC2521 Individual Differences

10 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Dr Martin Farrell

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of all pass for progression modules in Level 1 of: BSc Psychology or MPsyc, BSc Advanced Psychology or BA Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought (and its International and Industrial variants), or BSs Psychology with Education

This module is mutually exclusive with

PSYC3421Joint Hons/Intercalated Programme Individual Differences

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

A historical and contemporary approach to understanding individual differences in human cognition, wellbeing and performance.The module will be taught by a team of experts in the subject. Students will continue to develop their knowledge of this discipline with particular emphasis on the research expertise of the module team.


The course will present introductory and mid-level material relating to the psychology of individual differences. This will include consideration of historical perspectives, social implications, and application domains. By the end of the course students should have an understanding of the key constructs, be able to critically evaluate opposing theoretical positions, be able to place the study of individual differences in a historixcal perspective, have a critical appreciation of societal implications of topics covered, and have a critical understanding of example domains of application.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this course students should have a critical appreciation of the main approaches to the study of individual differences. They will understand the fundamental nature of these constructs, be aware of different theoretical perspectives, know how current views have been formed, and be aware of the application of these constructs in different 'real world' settings. They will understand how genetic, biological, social and developmental contributions to individual differences can be studied and know key research outcomes. They will also have an awareness of societal implications relating to this area of study.

The knowledge outcomes will be assessed in an end of module exam, with a MCQ component to assess breadth and a choice of 3 long essay style questions.

Skills outcomes
Successful completion of the module will encourage the development of skills in the critical analysis of relevant published research, and in literature search.


Historical perspective on the psychology of individual differences.
Overview of theoretical perspectives on personality and intelligence, as well as more contemporary biological and genetic approaches to individual differences in human performance. The relative contributions of nature and nurture to individual differences will be discussed and developmental issues presented.
Applied approaches to individual differences will be discussed in terms of: Health and wellbeing; Decision making; Psychological aspects of sport and motor performance; and Educational settings.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Revision Class11.001.00
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Private study hours82.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

40 hours: 10 x 4 hours preparation for each lecture
8 hours: preparation for MCQs (see monitoring of progress section)
30 hours: preparation for end of semester exam
4 hours: preparation for tutorial

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have an MCQs mid term test in order to test their knowledge.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQ.0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)0.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The exam will consist of two parts. Essay questions (70% of module mark) and MCQs (30%)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:21:45


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