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Investigating psychology 2

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This module takes an integrative approach, focusing on the everyday questions that psychology can help us to answer. Why do we help one another? Do you see what I see? How do we know what’s right? Investigating how we understand others and the world around us, the module draws on biological, cognitive, developmental and social research in psychology to help you answer questions such as these. You'll also learn how to design and conduct your own research, covering a number of different methods for gathering and analysing evidence on psychological processes.

What you will study

This module draws on the four core areas of biological, cognitive, developmental and social research in psychology to investigate how we understand others and the world around us. Individual differences and conceptual and historical issues in psychology (CHIPS) will be taught throughout the module within the context of these four core areas. The module also provides training and practice in a variety of psychological research methods.

The interactive online study guide leads you, week by week, through a series of everyday questions such as: Why do we help one another? Do you see what I see? Why do I feel this way? How do we know what’s right? It is divided into three main blocks and is designed to take you on a journey through the four core areas mentioned above, exploring their distinctive and overlapping contributions.

Block 1 starts with some fundamental concepts in social psychology and leads to the cognitive approaches to understanding the social world.

Block 2 begins with cognitive investigations of perception and attention and takes you on to biological understandings of the brain and behaviour.

In Block 3, you'll begin with the basic biological processes at birth and move through the lifespan to learn about developmental approaches to psychology.

The module is designed to highlight work that crosses the boundaries between the four core areas; for example, by employing concepts or methods developed in one area of research to help us understand psychological problems that have been mainly studied in another.

You'll also learn how to design and conduct your own research, covering a number of different methods for gathering and analysing evidence on psychological processes. This module builds on the methods, knowledge and skills that you gained from the OU level 1 psychology modules. It will also prepare you for your independent project work in the OU level 3 module Investigating psychology 3 (DE300). Your understanding of various research methods will be widened, and have opportunities to further develop your skills. There will be a strong focus on practical methods, including various approaches to data collection as well as analysis (e.g. using statistical software).

You'll conduct and write up two mini projects which will develop and assess your quantitative and qualitative research skills in experimental and text-based research methods. You will also be assessed through two interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs), a report that applies psychology to a real-world problem and an integrative essay. The module finishes with a partly seen examination.

If you are considering progressing to Investigating psychology 3 (DE300), normally you should have completed this module. 

Professional recognition

This is one of the core modules in our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degrees in psychology.

Entry requirements

This module is not available for standalone study; it can only be studied as part of a qualification. You must have completed Encountering psychology in context (D120) or its predecessor Investigating psychology 1 (DE100).

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

What's included

You'll be provided with three textbooks, statistical analysis software (SPSS) and have access to a module website which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • module materials
  • audio-visual content
  • assessment guide
  • online tutorials and forums
  • links for further study.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Mobile devices and computing devices that do not meet the specs listed below​, including Chromebook laptops or tablets running the Linux -based Chrome OS as its operating system,​ will not be able to install or run the SPSS statistics software required and thus are not suitable​ for parts of this module. Inability to use SPSS will prevent you from passing the module.

Additional software will be provided, including the SPSS statistics program. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run this software on a desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 64-bit (10 or 11)
  • macOS (Ventura or higher)
  • 3GB hard drive free space and 4GB of RAM

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone.

Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You'll be assigned a tutor who will give you advice and guidance throughout the module. They will help you with the study materials, as well as mark and comment on your written assignments. Your tutor will offer online group tutorials or day schools in which you are encouraged to participate. Your tutor will also support you with the activities and collaborative work.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying DE200 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Investigating psychology 2 starts twice a year – in February and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2024 and February 2025. We expect it to start for the last time in February 2027.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
2 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment

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