What you will study
This module introduces core areas of psychology, including biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology and considers how these can be applied to understand real-world issues. The relationship between psychological theory and application is also explored in topics linked to forensic psychology and counselling. The module introduces a range of research methods that are used to answer questions in psychology and provides students with practical experience of analysing data using qualitative and quantitative methods, and of gathering data for a psychological research study.
The first block introduces the psychology of relating in different contexts. This includes a focus on intimate relationships, family lives, work and relating positively (altruism and cooperation) in the social world.
Block 2 picks up the key ideas from Block 1 that tap into notions of emotional states (e.g. love, positive feeling) and ground them in the psychology of emotion and feelings. You'll explore a range of emotional states, including those associated with negative affect (stress, fear). Across this block links will be made between emotion and mental health, including how psychology informs mental health interventions.
Block 3 explores a number of different settings in which psychological research has been applied to the criminal justice system. This includes examining how psychological research has informed our understanding of why people commit crimes, how police gain information from suspects, how people make decisions about criminal actions, and how mental states influence legal outcomes.
Block 4 explores the relationship between the brain and behaviour and considers how biological evidence can inform psychological theories. You'll be introduced to the relationship between biological and psychological processes and examines how studies of brain damage, neurodiversity and ageing can be used to advance theoretical knowledge and challenge taken-for-granted concepts of biological universality.
In Block 5, you'll re-encounter topics and concepts from earlier in the module in exciting new contexts. This will help you build on the knowledge gained throughout the module, combining this with new topics, insights and perspectives that show how psychology can contribute to an understanding of performance, development across the lifespan, and magic.
The module materials include a two-volume textbook and an extensive module website built around an online study guide. The website contains further teaching to support the chapters in the textbook. The teaching on the website includes video and audio interviews with key psychologists featured in the material and a variety of interactive activities to help develop and consolidate your knowledge. You'll also spend some of your study time using online resources from The Open University library.
This is one of the core modules in our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degrees in psychology.