Psychology BSc/MA/MA(SocSci)

Psychology 1A: Biological and Cognitive PSYCH1001

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Psychology
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

To introduce students to core material in the area of biological and cognitive broadly defined, including an introduction to research methods in Psychology and a practical introduction to data wrangling and visualisation using the programming language R. 


One-hour lectures weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Two-hour laboratories every two weeks throughout term.


1 written assignment (25%), 1 portfolio (25%), degree exam (50%). The degree exam will last 2 hours and take place at the completion of the course in December.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

To introduce students to core material in the area of biological and cognitive psychology broadly defined, including an introduction to research methods in Psychology. This includes learning programming in R and a practical introduction to data wrangling, working with real and messy data to ensure in a suitable format for analysis, and visualisation. The course also teaches practical skills focussing on research methods, basic data management skills and professional standards in the communication of research based critical evaluation. Communication skills are also encouraged by means of regular practical classes and group discussions/presentations.

Although the lectures, together with Psychology 1B, form part of a programme which leads to an Honours degree with the Graduate Basis
for Chartership with the BPS, the course is also intended for students who wish to exit after Psychology 1A. It therefore can serve as an introduction to the field for students taking the course as part of the general degree or as an outside subject in another honours programme.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Describe, explain, and evaluate a broad range of theories and research findings in Psychology which will introduce students to Research Methods; Biological Psychology; Perception and Visual Cognition; Human Memory; and, Language.

■ Discuss and evaluate the methodological bases for psychological research.

■ Explain the nature of current debates in Psychology as a field.

■ Practice and understand data wrangling and visualisation with real, large data in a practical context using the programming language R.

■ Report empirical work adopting professional standards.

■ Discuss and critically evaluate psychological ideas in a written format.

■ Express and explain psychological ideas orally in front of an audience.

■ Summarise and critically evaluate psychological theories and research findings in an unseen examination.

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 at a grade D or above.