Single Hons Psychology, Combined (Major, Joint or Minor) in Psychology

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1 School of Society, Enterprise and Environment Department of Science Psychology Single and Combined Awards Single Hons Psychology, Combined (Major, Joint or Minor) in Psychology Student Handbook: for Students starting in 2014/15 Campus: Newton Park Academic Year 2014 /2015 Subject Leader of the undergraduate programme in psychology: Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus Contact details: Room SN Version and date of issue: v2 Jan 2015

2 Contents 1. Introduction - Why Study Psychology? If you are interested If you enjoy If you want Course Content What will you study? Introduction The programme structure What you will study and when What can I combine with Psychology? Course Aims What will you learn? What is this programme designed to achieve? What will you learn?... 8 Knowledge of... 8 Thinking skills... 8 Subject-Based Practical skills... 9 Skills for life and work (general skills) Learning environment Assessment Work experience/placement opportunities Project work Careers What do psychology graduates do? The British Psychological Society Added value Teaching Quality Information How we support you... 17

3 12. How we assure the quality of this programme How we monitor the quality of this programme The role of the programme committee The role of external examiners Listening to the views of students Listening to the views of others Student Prizes Regulations, Policies and Guidance Undergraduate Modular Scheme (UGMS) Regulations University policy statement on anonymous marking University policy statement on plagiarism/unfair practice University statement on referencing protocols Equal Opportunities Statement Appendix 1. Staff in Psychology Staff profiles Appendix 2. Module Outlines Level 4 Modules Level 5 Modules Level 6 Modules Appendix 3. Working with psychology after graduation Places graduates work Clinical Psychology Forensic Psychologist Educational Psychologist Occupational / Organisational Psychology Health Psychologist Counselling Psychologist Sports Psychologist Getting a PhD Psychological therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy... 85

4 Using psychology towards other social science work Postgraduate study in Psychology at Bath Spa... 86

5 Table 1: programme details of the Psychology programme Single Honours, Major, Joint or Minor School Department Campus Psychology Science, Society and Management Science Newton Park Final award BSc Hons; BSc/BA Hons combined Intermediate awards available Certificate of Higher Education Diploma of Higher Education UCAS code C800 Details of professional body accreditation Accredited by the British Psychological Society Relevant QAA Benchmark statements Psychology Date specification last updated Introduction - Why Study Psychology? When you ask your friends and family to describe or define Psychology, you will get a large number of often very different responses. When you ask a group of psychologists to define Psychology, the range of answers you will receive is almost as diverse! This is because of the nature of the topic being studied. People differ in so many interesting and important ways. Personality, behaviour, emotional responses and coping strategies, (to name but a few), are all areas of interest to psychologists, all have their separate areas within the subject, but all overlap to some extent. Consequently, the range of possible areas of interest to different psychologists and students of Psychology is almost endless. Relative to other subjects there is an increasing demand for places on psychology courses, perhaps because psychology covers a range of approaches and methods but with a clear and intrinsically fascinating focus, the understanding of human behaviour that can lead to a range of psychology based professions, as well as a range of professions outside of the discipline. Trapp, A., Banister, P., Ellis, J., Latto, R., Miell, D., Upton, D. (2011). The future of psychology in the United Kingdom. York: Higher Education Academy. 1.1 If you are interested... In people and what makes them tick then psychology might just be the right subject for you. Psychology is one of those rare subjects that affects every individual because it is all about people, their behaviour and potential causes of their behaviour. 1.2 If you enjoy... The challenge of understanding the roots of human behaviour then the psychology programme certainly accommodates this thirst for knowledge. You might be wondering at this point how psychology differs from our natural tendencies to attempt to suss people out. The difference is that psychology is a science built on rigorous methodology that produces reliable evidence. 1.3 If you want... To work in areas that involve the following skills: Scientific Numerical 1

6 Social Interpersonal Evaluative Critical Thinking Application of theory to practice then the psychology programme might well be right for you. According to the QAA (2010) benchmark statement for psychology, On graduating with an honours degree in psychology, students should be able to: Communicate effectively Comprehend and use data efficiently Be computer literate Retrieve and organise information efficiently Handle primary source material critically Engage in effective teamwork Problem solve and reason scientifically Make critical judgements and evaluations Be sensitive to contextual and interpersonal factors Use effectively personal learning and project management skills What our graduates say: My time at Bath Spa University has been an amazing experience Tough sometimes but worth every minute of it Work hard play hard Something that will always shape my life I ve had a great time and couldn t have picked a better place to study My time has been fun, challenging and life changing I become more confident I know I can do it! It has never been dull Random, happy, made amazing friends, had some of the best of times, greeting the cows on the way in every day! The best Uni! It s been an emotional and exciting journey, I can t quite believe it s coming to a close! These three years have been the longest and the shortest in my life, but they have definitely been the best Hard work but worth it, it changed my character and also my life This has given me a fantastic opportunity to discover who I am and what I want to be (Source: BSU Yearbook 2012). 2

7 2. Course Content What will you study? 2.1 Introduction The programme is designed to guide students through a maturing process that begins at a modest pace and ends by opening up conceptual and career possibilities that they may not have previously considered. This begins at Level 4 by introducing all Psychology students to the five main psychological perspectives (biological, cognitive, developmental, individual differences and social). Additionally, the historical and conceptual underpinnings of psychology will be explored throughout. Having introduced this variety of perspectives, at Level 5 a more advanced consideration of these specialist underpinnings is developed. In contrast to Levels 4 and 5, Level 6 consists largely of areas that reflect individual staff scholarly activity (i.e. staff research informs Level 6 teaching). This means that from the students point of view psychological theories introduced and explored at Levels 4 and 5 are applied to these specialist Level 6 options. Such options include Criminological, Social, Neurological, Abnormal, Health and Evolutionary Psychology. Additionally, for those who wish to undertake a Level 6 Project in psychology there will be the opportunity to take a series of research methods modules culminating in an original piece of supervised research. For information on staff teaching and research interests, please refer to Appendix The programme structure All programmes are credit-rated to help you to understand the amount and level of study that is needed. One credit is equal to 10 hours of directed study time (this includes everything you do e.g. lecture, seminar and private study). Credits are assigned to one of 3 levels: Level 4 - equivalent in standard to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme Level 5 - equivalent in standard to the second year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme Level 6 - equivalent in standard to the third year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme Credit rating The overall credit-rating of this programme is 360 credits. In order to gain an honours degree you will need to obtain 360 credits including: A minimum of 120 credits at level 4 or higher A minimum of 120 credits at level 5 or higher A minimum of 120 credits at level 6 or higher Typical duration The duration of this programme is three years full-time (FT), or five years part-time (PT). It is possible to move from FT to PT mode and vice-versa or to intermit (temporarily suspend your studies) to accommodate any changes in your life outside the university. 3

8 2.2.3 How the teaching year is divided The teaching year begins in late-september and finishes at the end of June. A typical FT student will take 120 credits over the academic year and a part-time (PT) student, a maximum of 80 credits. 2.3 What you will study and when This programme is part of a modular degree scheme. Modules are defined as: Core - Must be taken (although this may depend on the award) Optional - Select from a range of identified modules within the field University wide Open Modules (OM) - Select from a wide range of modules across the University What s in a module code? Usually all the modules offered by a subject are coded with a 2 letter prefix that indicates which subject the module belongs to, e.g. Psychology modules are coded PS. The first digit signifies the Level of study, the next three digits signify the individual module number and the final two digits show the credit rating, either 20 credits or 40 credits. So the module code for Introduction to Psychology (PS ) is shown below. Level Module (4) number Subject Credit rating PS Table 2 presents the core and optional requirements for the Single Honours and combined pathways for this programme (please see Appendix 2 for full module outlines) Level 4 All students take the 40 credit Introduction to Psychology (PS ) module which covers biological, cognitive, developmental, individual differences and social perspectives. Additionally this module considers historical and conceptual issues in psychology and employability skills material. For students taking Single Honours Psychology and Major Psychology there is also a compulsory 20 credit Research Methods 1 module (PS ). It is also permissible but not compulsory for Joint and Minor students to take PS For students taking Single Honours Psychology and Major Psychology there is a compulsory 20 credit Individual Differences module (PS4003). It is also permissible but not compulsory for Joint, and Minor students to take this module. 4

9 In the first year, Single Honours Psychology students must take a complementary subject. They can choose from a range of subjects that have selected to best complement their main course of study. The core (40 credit) module of the complementary subject must be taken to match the 80 credits available in Psychology. The subjects (and core modules) available are: BY Introduction to Biological Sciences CY Criminology: an introduction ED Education for Change OM Sustainability in Life and Work OM Discovering Science PE Truth and Value: Introduction to Philosophical and Ethical Enquiry SC Discovering Sociology SR Beyond Belief: Introduction to the Study of Religions and Spiritualties Table 2. Modules available in the Psychology Programme Level Title 4 Introduction to Psychology (40) Single Hons (accredited 1 ) Major (accredited 2 ) Major (nonaccredited) Joint Minor Core Core Core Core Core Research Core Core Core Optional Optional Methods (20) Individual Core Core Optional Optional Optional Differences (20) 5 Research Core Co Core Optional Optional Methods & Statistics (40) re Biological and Core Core Optional Optional Optional Cognitive Psychology (20) Social Core Core Optional Optional Optional Psychology (20) Criminology & Optional - Optional Optional Optional Investigative Psychology (20) Psychology of Optional - Optional Optional Optional Health (20) Abnormal Optional - Optional Optional Optional Psychology (20) 6 Dissertation (40) Core Core Core Optional Optional Developmental Psychology (20) Advanced Cognitive and Core Core Optional Optional Optional Core Core Optional Optional Optional 1 BPS accreditation renewed in BPS accreditation approved in

10 Biological Psychology (20) Peace and Conflict (20) Neuropsychology (20) Counselling Psychology (20) Cyberpsychology, Online Behaviour, and Social Networking Optional - Optional Optional Optional Optional - Optional Optional Optional Optional - Optional Optional Optional Optional - Optional Optional Optional Level 5 At level 5, four 20 credit modules are offered: Biological and Cognitive Psychology Social Psychology Criminological and Investigative Psychology Psychology of Health Abnormal Psychology Plus a 40 credit module in research methods and statistics (PS ) Single Hons and Major (accredited) students must take two core modules to fulfil accreditation requirements by the BPS, namely: Biological and Cognitive Psychology Social Psychology. Single Hons and Major students may choose two of the following optional modules: Criminology and Investigative Psychology, Psychology of Health, and Abnormal Psychology Major (non-accredited) students must take the 40 credit module in research methods and statistics, and may choose from among the five level-5 options Level 6 In addition to the 40 credit Dissertation module (PS ), six further 20 credit modules are offered at Level 6: Developmental Psychology, Advanced Cognitive and Biological Psychology, Peace and Conflict, Neuropsychology, Counselling Psychology, and Cyber -psychology, Online Behaviour and Social Networking. Major and Joint Hons (accredited) students must take two of these core modules, namely: Developmental Psychology and Advanced Cognitive and Biological Psychology. They may choose two of the following optional modules: 6

11 Peace and Conflict, Neuropsychology, Counselling Psychology and Cyberpsychology. Major (non-accredited) students must take the 40-credit dissertation module and may choose from any of the six level-6 options. You can view a full guide to the modules you have to study as part of your chosen pathway in Appendix What can I combine with Psychology? It is possible to bring together modules from one subject with modules from another to produce a combined programme. Subjects are offered in a variety of combinations, depending upon how many credits you take in a subject each year: Single credits at levels four, five and six Major - 80 credits at levels four, five and six Joint - 60 credits at levels four, five and six Minor - 40 credits at levels four, five and six Depending upon the number of credits you achieve in Psychology and in the other combined subject, your degree classification will be one of the following: BSc Single Hons Psychology BSc Major Psychology BSc/BA Joint and Minor in Psychology We have over 15 different combinations and you can choose from: Biology* Business and Management* Cultural Studies Dance Drama Studies Education* English Literature Geographic Information Systems Geography History Media Communications Music Sociology* Study of Religions *The most popular combinations with Psychology 7

12 3. Course Aims What will you learn? 3.1 What is this programme designed to achieve? This programme is designed to give you the opportunity to: Produce a scientific understanding of the human mind, brain, behaviour, and experience, and of the complex interactions between these. Present multiple perspectives in a way that fosters critical evaluation, including a mix of biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and personal perspectives. Develop and assess the understanding of real life applications of theory to experience and behaviour in both normality and in illness. Develop and assess an understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the creation and constraint of theory and also in how theory guides the collection and interpretation of empirical data. Acquisition, mastery and assessment of a range of research skills and methods, both quantitative and qualitative, for investigating experience and behaviour, culminating in an ability to conduct research independently. Progress knowledge throughout the degree leading to an ability to appreciate and critically evaluate advanced theory, research findings, and applications. Develop an understanding of issues of employability and students future part to play in the work force. Develop basic skills of cv writing and presentation to potential employers. 3.2 What will you learn? Knowledge of Ability to apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues, recognising that psychology involves a range of research methods, theories, evidence and applications Ability to identify and evaluate general patterns in behaviour, psychological functioning and experience Thinking skills Employ evidence-based reasoning and to examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology 8

13 Develop self-understanding of own skills/expertise and an awareness of employability issues and how skills/expertise can be incorporated into the workforce Generate and explore hypotheses and research questions Integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology and to recognise distinctive psychological approaches to relevant issues Subject-Based Practical skills Carry out empirical studies involving a variety of methods of data collection, including experiments, observation, psychometric tests, questionnaires, interviews, ethnography and field studies Analyse data using both quantitative and qualitative methods Present and evaluate research findings Carry out a piece of independent and extensive empirical research Develop an understanding of psychometric skills Skills for life and work (general skills) The development of your own style of independent learning The ability to communicate ideas and experiments to others and to debate relevant issues IT skills Communication skills Team work Time management Confidence 9

14 4. Learning environment Learning is encouraged through participation in a wide variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, Minerva VLE materials and lectures from visiting academics. Each module has a teaching programme spanning 26 teaching weeks. Usually the timetable follows a regular pattern each week or fortnight but there will be exceptions so you need to note any variations. Formal lecture, seminar and workshop contact gradually reduces each year as you develop more independence and autonomy in your learning. The Level 4 40 credit module (PS ) has 4 hours formal contact per week, but you should allow yourself an additional 15 hours each week for private study (student-centred learning). In the case of the two 20 credit Level 4 modules (PS ) and (PS ), there will be 2 hours of formal contact each week and you should allow yourself 7.5 additional hours each week for private study (student-centred learning). At Level 5 for each 20 credit module students attend a 1 hour lecture every week and 2 hour seminar every other week. In the case of the research methods module at level 5 there is a 1 hour lecture every week and a 2 hour workshop every week. At level 6 each 20 credit module has a 1 hour lecture and a 2 hour seminar, both every other week. The dissertation module (PS ) has 1 hour of formal class contact per week for the first term and regular one-to-one supervision sessions. In addition to contact time, you should allow yourself time each week for private study/student centred learning. Remember that a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours work, and a 40 credit module 400 hours. A relatively small proportion of this work time will be face to face contact; the rest is down to you. Lectures These tend to be large group meetings in purpose built lecture theatres or seminar rooms for smaller groups. Seminars and Workshops Seminars and workshops consist of smaller groups than lectures. They may take place in non-specialist seminar rooms, specialist laboratories or workshops. Activities vary from module to module and week to week. They provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify any points that you are not sure about. You will normally be asked to do some preparatory work prior to each seminar so that you can make a full and proper contribution, and get the maximum benefit from it. In some cases seminars may be assessed. Those modules with workshops often have more contact time with tutors than seminars; this provides more opportunity to practice and develop your skills with specialist equipment and software. Academic and technical staff will be on hand to help you develop the skills you need. Tutorials If you have any questions, concerns or difficulties with any module the most important thing to do is to speak to the relevant academic tutor. If it is urgent, an issue can usually be dealt with immediately. However it is often better to make an appointment, so that you can discuss things more fully. Virtual Learning Environment (Minerva) The University Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is called Minerva and is based on a commercial product called Blackboard. Minerva provides additional learning and teaching 10

15 resources and you should log in to Minerva each day. Each programme and module has its own discrete area where you can, for example: receive up-to-date information about your programme find and download course materials handbooks, lecture notes, directed study, etc. access on-line resources take formative assessments such as online tests and quizzes submit electronic versions of coursework have online conversations using discussion boards This list is not comprehensive; we are always looking for new ways to use Minerva and would value any suggestions you may have. Minerva modules have menus that are broadly similar in order to ease navigation. However they will be tailored to suit the module s needs. Library and Information Services (LIS) A central part of your studies, particularly your individual study time, will be working with the resources offered by LIS. In addition to books and journals in the library itself, the e-library offers a range of services such as on-line journals and a Psychology guide to web resources. These services can be accessed from home. The importance of the library cannot be emphasised too much; it is essential that you develop the skills to access information at an early stage of your career at BSU. LIS staff will be happy to help you, just ask at the enquiry desk. Individual Study In addition to teaching, you are expected to undertake individual study which may comprise: directed study in preparation for seminars directed study to augment the lectures and seminars research and preparation for assignments self directed time to pursue your own academic interests and research to complement your studies In some instances you may be asked to work in a team rather than individually. In your first year, tutors provide you with clear guidance about what directed study you should be doing but as you progress through your degree, you are expected to take increasing responsibility for planning and managing your own learning. 11

16 5. Assessment Students will be assessed using formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment (does not count towards your module grade) will be incorporated across modules and will be tailored to suit the demands of the module and in particular the summative assessments (counts towards your module grade). For instance in the case of the Level 6 module 'Criminological and Investigative Psychology', as part of a summative assessment students are required to write a professional style case report from the perspective of a psychology 'expert', based on a recent murder investigation carried out in the UK. To supplement the outcome of this practice based learning, formative assessment will be incorporated to enable students to acquire the skills necessary to accomplish this task successfully. Students are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment (coursework) and an end of module examination. Such assessments include workbook completion, presentations, posters, essays, and seen and unseen examinations. Included in the PS assessment are: a seen or prepared essay, traditional essay writing, presentations based on primary source published material, presentations based on different areas of the module and workbook completion. Collaborative work is required for the presentation work. The purpose of assessment is to determine whether or how well you have achieved the learning outcomes of the module. Assessment also provides a means for you and your tutors to monitor progress, which ultimately determines your degree classification. With each assessment you will receive feedback and it s important to take this on board in order to learn and improve. All written coursework must be word-processed. Unless told otherwise you should submit a paper copy and an electronic copy of all coursework. Details are provided in module handbooks/minerva. Assessment is carefully planned and submission dates are published well in advance in order to help you plan your work (see Minerva). Each assessment item has a submission date and a clear brief of what is expected from you; there are severe penalties if you miss deadlines and you will lose marks if you stray too far from the brief. Many modules have examinations, which may be either seen or unseen. A seen examination means that you are given questions or topics before the examination. This enables you to undertake research and prepare the answers prior to the examination. A timed essay is a type of exam and taken under exam conditions. An unseen examination is when you do not know what the questions will be. They will however relate to the learning outcomes so you will have a good idea of the topics that are likely to be tested. Modules with examinations provide the opportunity for formative assessment by making available past exam papers and specimen questions that you can try. Learning outcomes describe what you should be able to do; assessment criteria are used to evaluate how well you have done it. For information on requirements for various grades, please refer to the Guide to the Undergraduate Modular Scheme (provided by Student Services). Coursework Submission procedures: 12

17 Extenuating circumstances: If you can't submit by the deadline because of illness or other serious problems you must contact the appropriate Module Leader (not the secretaries or other tutors) in advance of the due date. Seek any extension well in advance of the submission date; extensions will not be granted on the deadline submission day (except for exceptional mitigating circumstances). Do not assume you will get an extension automatically. No other reasons for late work can be considered; it is your responsibility to research and complete work in good time. If your application for an extension is accepted, mark at the top of your work the words Extension Granted. Extensions to deadlines Assignments will only be accepted for marking after the submission date if an extension has been agreed in advance. Extensions to deadlines will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Refer to the decision flow-chart below for a guide to what is and what is not an exceptional circumstance. Extensions Decision Flow Chart Consider whether your circumstances are exceptional by reference to these boxes: Probable circumstances for extension Unacceptable circumstances for an extension Note: Sickness beyond 7 days within one month of submission date or during the primary time of unit teaching/learning. Sickness on the day of an assessment supported by a doctor s note. Urgent personal circumstances. Chronic personal circumstances (tutor should already be aware). Documentary evidence on all of the above will normally be required. Requesting an extension within 7 days of submission without probable circumstances. Computer or printer failure. Lack of organisation or time management relating to meeting assessment requirements and accessing suitable resources e.g. books, articles. Having missed teaching/learning session and not sought to address the learning missed. Having considered the boxes above, ask yourself this question: Do I have probable circumstances for an extension? If Yes Contact Module Leader with completed application for extension form before the submission deadline. If No Complete assessment and submit by deadline. 13

18 Extensions are normally for a maximum of one week. If you require longer than one week please refer to your personal tutor or the subject leader for advice on submitting mitigating circumstances to the Exam Board. If at any stage of the assessment process you think your university work has been hindered you can consider presenting written evidence of mitigating circumstances to the Exam Board. Discuss this with your personal tutor or Subject/Course Leader. If you have good reason to ask for an extension this must be submitting in writing to the relevant Module Leader, before the assignment deadline. You may be asked to supply supplementary information or evidence before an extension is granted. Extensions will not be granted for a general inability to organise your workload or for last minute computer problems as you will be expected to have consulted your Module Handbooks at the start of each module to plan your work well in advance of deadlines. 6. Work experience/placement opportunities Psychology students are not required to undertake formal work experience or placements as part of their course programme. However students have the opportunity to engage in work, relevant to their degree, outside of their studies. As part of the careers service, Bath Spa University runs a 'JobShop' which helps undergraduates find work experience that best aligns with their academic interests. More information about this service can be found here: and list of current job vacancies can also be viewed here The psychology team currently has links with external professional organisations such as Avon and Somerset Police who encourage students to take part in their internal work experience programmes and which can open the doors for graduate jobs in the sector. In addition you have the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus Programme and study abroad during your second year. For further information, please refer to the university website or contact the School s Erasmus rep, Dr Iain Haysom. There are several placement opportunities available for undergraduate students with partners at the Royal United Hospital, Sirona Health Care and the Bath Circle Hospital Trust. For further information on the application process for this programme, please contact Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus 7. Project work Students attain practice at carrying out their own research via the Research Methods courses running in Levels 4 and 5. Here they learn about research design, methodology and analysis through practical work and research report writing. It is therefore essential that their level of understanding in this area meets the psychology benchmark requirements and level of standard expected and required. 14