Postgraduate taught 

Philosophy of Mind & Psychology MSc

Social Robotics (PGT) PSYCH5090

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities for research psychologists with the growing development of social robotics. This will be achieved by examining the state of the art in this domain, investigating social robotics use in clinical disorders, and exploring different areas where social robotics research holds potential to inform our understanding of human cognition and behaviour.


10 hours over a 5 week block

Excluded Courses



Coursework 100% - individual research proposal (pre-registration report format)

Students will be required to work individually on devising a pre-registration report to explore a novel research question related to social robotics, using the lecture topics covered during this course as a point of departure (3000 words).

Course Aims


To obtain an overview of state of the art behavioural and neurocognitive research into human robot interaction, including in-depth exploration of topics such as the utility of socially intelligent avatars for social psychology, how artificial human faces advance our understanding of social communication, and the different roles played by expertise, experience, emotion and embodiment when humans interact with socially intelligent artificial agents.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

Critically evaluate state of the art experimental psychological work exploring human-robot interaction

Critically evaluate the utility of socially intelligent virtual agents for exploring fundamental social psychology research questions

Critically evaluate how physical presence shapes how people perceive and interact with artificial agents

Critically evaluate the role played by emotions in shaping human-robot interactions

Evaluate the role of experience and expectations with artificial agents on the formation of long-term (social) relationships between humans and machines

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.