Postgraduate Certificate in Social and Psychological Inquiry - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification develops an understanding of the principles of social and psychological inquiry.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts, theories and methods relevant to the study of psychology and social science, demonstrating a critical and advanced understanding of them  
  • the complex interrelationships between theory and research, and related policy and practice in the field of psychology and social science. These include everyday applications, socio-economic and professional contexts
  • the role of power, cultural values, and ethics for practices, concepts and assumptions that influence research and professional practice in psychology and social science.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • define, critically examine and construct arguments in relation to concepts, theories and evidence in Psychology and Social Science.
  • independently select, interpret, evaluate and use different forms of evidence and methods, with a clear awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of different data
  • interrogate Psychology and Social Science at an advanced level, to enable independent evaluation of evidence, method, research and policy
  • construct sophisticated, and explicitly reasoned arguments in relation to complex real-life scenarios using appropriate concepts, theory and evidence
  • critically and independently review the existing research-policy evidence base in a specific subject area.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • independently plan, conduct and manage a sequence of work to meeting agreed deadlines
  • make effective contributions to group work facilitating the collaborative completion of tasks to solve problems
  • recognize the relevance of reflective, analytic and evaluative skills developed through learning, applying these to other contexts such as the workplace
  • use and reflect on one’s own learning to further develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills and other key transferable skills to achieve personal and/or career goals.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • apply self-direction to identify and generate key questions and issues in the field of psychology and social science.
  • develop writing skills appropriate to postgraduate work, including use and citation of sources, appropriate referencing and the use of different forms of presentation
  • effectively use data of various sorts (numerical, textual), from diverse sources (academic, policy-research, secondary material), and from different media (print, electronic, verbal) in a sophisticated and critical manner
  • develop and display an advanced ability to learn through reflection, feedback and peer to peer review, using appropriate scholarly language and apply these to various situations.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The teaching and learning on this module has been designed with an applied focus and takes students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and develops a series of critical evaluative skills in relation to topics drawn from criminology, social and forensic psychology and case studies which have real world relevance. Learning and teaching will be delivered online only via virtual learning environment (VLE) and with tutor and peer support provided via marking feedback, module website and forums, as well as direct email support from tutors where appropriate. Forums will be tutor moderated. The assessment strategy has been designed to promote increasing independence from the first tutor-marked assignment, through the development of an independent case study to the final two-component end-of-module assessment.

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