What you will study
This module covers a wide range of psychological theories, concepts and methods and demonstrates how they are typically applied in various contexts. The module explores the scope of contemporary psychology and its historical roots, and assesses the role played by very diverse perspectives on understanding human behaviour and experience.
The module is divided into two parts, each with a different focus and approach. Each part is presented in a book with accompanying software, video and audio material on CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM and online.
Book 1, Mapping Psychology, is in two parts and together with its linked materials makes up about two thirds of the module. The book maps out a basic set of approaches to psychology (e.g. cognitive, biological, social, individual differences) and provides you with a conceptual ‘bag of tools’ – the basic equipment needed to start mapping psychology in the twenty-first century.
Book 2, Challenging Psychological Issues, and its associated materials, make up the last part of the module and build on the foundations presented in the first book. Book 2 presents three topics that epitomise current debates about what is ‘distinctively human’ psychology. The discussion of each topic (lifespan development, language and meaning, and sex and gender) draws on theories and empirical research from the biological, cognitive and social-psychological approaches introduced in Book 1.
Accompanying both Books 1 and 2 is a third book, Exploring Psychological Research Methods, which takes you through the range of methods employed by psychologists to investigate questions in psychology, and gives you an introduction to designing both quantitative and qualitative research projects and to gathering and analysing data. A separate online booklet will guide you through using a computer for performing statistical analyses so that you develop information technology skills in handling and analysing data. An online workbook that accompanies the main texts develops study skills such as using evidence, understanding the research process, structuring an argument, writing essays and undertaking critical evaluation.
Associated residential school module
The 15-credit residential school module Exploring psychology project (DXR222) and its online version Exploring psychology online project (DZX222), offer tuition and activities that support and extend the academic aims of this module. For further information on which module is the most suitable for you, see DXR222 or DZX222: Making the right choice. If you want to count DSE212 towards an Open University qualification, you may need to include either DXR222 or DZX222 as well.
If you decide to attend the residential school, you must register for DXR222 or DZX222 separately, for which an additional fee is payable.