Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology (Online) Psych Studies PSYCH3028

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course covers the recent history of psychology, focusing on the main schools of thought, key historical figures and events, and with a focus on important conceptual issues relevant for psychological research, linking present day research with the underlying historical debates.


This course is delivered online, therefore students work through comprehensive materials week by week, and engage in Interactive weekly activities.

Requirements of Entry

For Psych Studies students: a Grade D or better in Psychology 1A and 1B, and 2A and 2B.

Excluded Courses



The assessment consists of a series of directed and self-directed activities and readings, with an individual written piece of 1,500 words (75%) and students working individually to prepare a video presentation on one aspect of the course (each student having a different aspect) (25%).

Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to the recent history of Psychology in the 19th and 20th centuries and to explore this in the context of major schools of thought in Psychology. Students will learn to link present day research with the underlying historical and philosophical debates. They will also be introduced to the varying systems and theories which still inform modern Psychology.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Discuss the major historical and philosophical developments/issues in Psychology

■ Outline and synthesise the role played by key historical figures in the discipline and their contributions to the development of Psychology as a discipline

■ Explain and evaluate methods of enquiry, applications, and examples of misapplications of psychological science.

■ Engage in, and contribute to, peer debates involving current and historical professional and ethical issues within Psychological research and practice: consolidating, synthesising, and critically evaluating multidisciplinary resources and contributing these resources to peer debates and activities.

■ Communicate important conceptual, historical and ethical issues in psychological research and practice.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.