Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC1624 Biological Approaches to Human and Animal Behaviour

20 creditsClass Size: 270

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 entry requirements

This module is mutually exclusive with

PSYC1625Biological Approaches to Psychology

Module replaces

PSYC1605 Biological PsychologyPSYC1617 Exploring Animal Behaviour

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 different psychology topics, such as intelligence, reproductive behaviour, and 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 behaviour of both human and non-human animals
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolutionary, ethical, conceptual, cultural, and historical aspects of biological psychology
3. Evaluate the research methods used in biological psychology
4. Developing communication skills through group and independent work


1. The fundamentals of Biological Psychology
2. Biological influences on intelligence
3. Psychological disorders
4. Reproductive behaviour

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session21.002.00
Group learning41.506.00
Independent online learning hours10.60
Private study hours177.40
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

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

Private study:
Essay: 60 hours
Group assignment: = 30 hours x 2 = 60 hours
Workbook: 10 hours x 3 = 30
Formative MCQs: 2 hours
Peer assessment: 5.4 hours peer assessment
Independent reading: 20 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 portfolio workbook will provide formative feedback. This 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 final assessed reflective workbook, and to 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 assignments 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 Dissertation1,500 word40.00
Group ProjectThere are two group tasks. 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 3 workbooks hosted in pebblepad and/or top hat. One of the workbooks will be formative assessment and two of the workbooks will be summative, with 10 percent for each workbook.20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

All summative assessment components (essay, 2 x group tasks and 2 x workbooks) 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: 07/10/2021 14:59:43


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019