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Creative & Critical Approaches in Social Psychology - SOC00008I

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Robin Wooffitt
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

Social psychology has traditionally been an experimental discipline, largely informed by the assumptions of cognitivist psychology. However, in the past three decades there has emerged within social psychology a growing set of critiques of the experimental method and cognitivist focus. The aim of this module is to introduce students to the range of critiques, to explore the diverse theoretical and methodological influences that have informed them, and to show how they have informed new approaches to empirical work in social psychology.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will

  • Be aware of the range of critical arguments against cognitive and experimental social psychology.
  • Appreciate the different theoretical and methodological positions that inform these arguments.
  • Have had the opportunity to develop skills of empirical analysis that reflect different critical approaches to the study of social psychology.


Task Length % of module mark
3000 Word Essay
N/A 40
Open Examination (1 day)
Creative & Critical Approaches in Social Psychology Exam
3 hours 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (1 day)
Re-assessment: 3000 word essay
3 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback at University level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme by providing commentary on your work to date. So feedback means more than just written comments on written work. We aim to help you to reflect on your own learning and to feel clearer about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you informative and summative assessments. The University guidelines for feedback are available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

You will receive feedback in a number of forms:

  • On any formative (non-assessed) work, you will receive written or verbal feedback about how to improve your work (though you may not receive a mark)

  • On summative work (work that is assessed) you will receive detailed written feedback from the marker. This is intended to show areas in which you have done well, and areas in which you need to improve.

  • Your supervisor will also give you feedback on your work. S/he will be able to look across a range of your work and discuss ways in which you can build on your strengths and improve in any areas

Feedback on your summative written work is made available to you online via e:vision. You will receive an email telling you when it is ready to look at. You are then advised to take this work (printed out or on your laptop) to your regular meeting with your academic supervisor. Your supervisor will be able to look at your work with you and address any queries you have, as well as advise you on ways to improve your work.

Feedback on Exam Scripts

You can ask for feedback on your exam performance from your supervisor, who will go through your examination script(s) with you and discuss the areas in which you did well, and those in which you need to improve. However, you may not take the script away with you, or photocopy the script. If you would like to discuss your exam performance, please let your supervisor know at least two working days in advance of your meeting, so that they can make sure they have the script with them when you meet.

Indicative reading

  • Burr, V. (1995) An Introduction to Social Constructionism. London: Routledge
  • Hepburn, A (2003) An Introduction to Critical Social Psychology. London: Sage
  • McKinlay, A. and McVittie, C. (2008) Social Psychology and Discourse. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Potter, J. and Wetherell, M. (1987) Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour. Sage.
  • Wooffitt, R. (2005) Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis: A Comparative and Critical Introduction. Sage.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.