NS7012: Social Psychology


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS7012: Social Psychology

Module Title Social Psychology
Module Code NS7012
Module Tutor Jonathan Elcock
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 30
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

This module introduces perspectives on human social behaviour and group processes. The module adopts and contrasts both social cognitive and social constructionist approaches to social psychological phenomena, and engages students in debates about their relative merits. The module uses a range of examples of contemporary and practical significance, including race and racism, social identity, the construction of gender, and social justice.

Indicative Syllabus

Topics to be covered by this module include: -

Historical development and the crisis in social psychology

Competing epistemologies in social psychology

Metatheory, essentialism and constructionism

Assumptions and methods of social cognition

Stereotyping: Processes and practices

Consequences of stereotyping

Changing stereotypes

Social constructionism and the need for critical reflexivity

Social identity


Sex and gender

Social justice

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

1. Critically analyse competing epistemologies in social psychology

2. Undertake an empirical investigation using a constructionist epistemology and qualitative methodology.

3. Critically evaluate the theoretical development of social psychology in societal context.

4. Demonstrate advanced understanding of stereotype processes within individuals’ social cognition.

5. Critically evaluate the applicability of social psychology theory to analysing real world situations.

6. Critically analyse issues of subjectivity and epistemological positioning in reflecting upon methodology and research findings.

Learning and Teaching Activities

Scheduled learning and teaching activities: 72 hours (24% lectures, seminars, presentations, workshops)


Guided independent study: 228 hours (76% assessment preparation, media searches, on-line activities, revision)

Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 50% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 3000 words or equivalent
002: 50% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 3000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements None
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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