Accessibility statement

The Psychological Mind in a Social World - SPY00027C

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Jennifer Threlfall
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module will introduce you to some of the key psychological theories that underpin our understanding of the social world. Although theory can sometimes seem far removed from real world problems, it is at the heart of the work of most professions that aim to address societal problems and injustice. In this module we will bring important psychological theories to life through discussion of their scientific origins, their use in understanding the way human beings interact with each other, and their potential for explaining social problems. We will explore how to apply specific psychological theories to contemporary social issues through the use of film as a representation of ‘real life’.

The module will be taught using a mixture of interactive lectures and small group seminars.

The module aims to:

  • Provide an introduction to a selection of key psychological perspectives, theories, and concepts that can be used to explore the social world.

  • Demonstrate how psychosocial theory can be used to understand and address a variety of contemporary social issues and problems.

  • Introduce psychological theories that are used to understand and address social divisions and inequalities.

  • Demonstrate a critical approach to the use of theory in academic and real world settings.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify key psychological approaches and describe how they are used to understand the social world.

  • Understand how psychosocial theory can be used to explain and provide possible solutions for contemporary social issues.

  • Describe how psychological approaches can be used to explore issues relating to social divisions and inequalities.

  • Recognise the value, uses and limitations of different psychological approaches.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

  • Gross, R. (2015). Psychology: the Science of Mind and Behaviour. (7th ed.). London: Hodder Education.

  • Hewstone, M. (2008). Introduction to Social Psychology: a European Perspective. (4th ed.) Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Hogg, M.A. and Vaughn, G. (2018). Social Psychology. (8th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education.

  • Martin, G.N. (2018). Psychology. (6th ed.) Harlow: Pearson Education.

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.