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Psychological Concepts, Language and Study Skills

Module titlePsychological Concepts, Language and Study Skills
Module codeINT0204
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Soo Yeon Yim (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is designed to support your modules in the BSc in Psychology. It is part of the International Year One programme, which leads to a Certificate of Higher Education and counts as the first year of a degree in psychology. By taking this course you will become familiar with the language and concepts of the study of human behaviour and mental processes. In addition, you will develop the necessary language and study skills to approach assignments and tasks set in the discipline. These include researching psychological literature, participating in group presentations and seminars, taking notes, and developing skills for academic reading and written tasks.

 The module is suitable for students with a minimum overall ability in English as a foreign language equivalent to IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in writing and listening, and 5.0 in other sub-skills).

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop and strengthen your linguistic skills for the study of psychology if you already have a degree of proficiency in spoken and written English. At the same time, it will provide substantial support in terms of language and concepts for the psychology modules you study alongside all other first year psychology students in the university.

With some exceptions all the work you do in this module is directly tied to the work you will be doing for your psychology modules. The core sessions (7 hours/week) provide essential information and content in support of your Psychology modules and your progression to Year 2. There is ample opportunity for questioning and discussion, both with peers and with tutors, to enhance language and thinking skills. The additional sessions (up to 3 hours/week) support other relevant areas of academic study and include smaller group workshops for statistics, introduction to psychological concepts, critical approaches, and language development. As a whole, the module aims to:

  • Enhance your ability to take notes and understand lectures in psychology
  • Develop your skills in reading and understanding psychological literature
  • Support you in developing a good understanding of how to write essays and research reports for psychology
  • Develop your confidence, fluency and accuracy in language use when participating in seminar discussions or giving a presentation
  • Develop a good understanding of how to approach university examinations

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate adequate proficiency in spoken and written English language in the context of the study of psychology
  • 2. Use language creatively and flexibly for a range of purposes and audiences
  • 3. Engage actively in discussion of psychological issues, showing awareness of the communicative needs of others
  • 4. Engage in analytical and evaluative thinking in the discipline of psychology
  • 5. Research and select psychology source materials effectively
  • 6. Extract and synthesise key information from a range of written and spoken sources in the discipline of psychology
  • 7. Take accurate and effective notes from written and spoken texts
  • 8. Organise and present ideas orally and in writing within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument
  • 9. Use psychology source materials appropriately in your writing, avoiding plagiarism

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Communicate effectively in the field of psychology using the full range of currently available methods
  • 11. Participate effectively in key elements of your taught programme

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 12. Think independently, critically and creatively
  • 13. Manage yourself effectively including autonomy, time management, self-teaching, self-reflection, seeking and using feedback, personal responsibility, self-criticism
  • 14. Use technology relevant to your studies, e.g. library catalogues, word-processing packages, VLE, PowerPoint
  • 15. Work co-operatively with others, interacting effectively within a group

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Listening and Speaking skills

  • Listening comprehension and note-taking skills for lectures in Psychology
  • Group discussion skills: using language appropriately, flexibly, and creatively; formulating questions about what you have heard and read to initiate discussions; showing awareness of other people’s communicative needs by supporting and encouraging their contributions
  • Presentation skills: presenting on a topic you have researched to your peers, having organised the material to ensure clarity and coherence

 Written language skills

 Reading skills for Psychology

  • Understanding the structure and ideas of complex, unsimplified written text;
  • Locating specific information from a variety of text types
  • Engaging with text content; relating it to your own knowledge base in order to monitor your own understanding; adopting an analytical approach to text, e.g. comparing different writer’s views
  • Building vocabulary in the field of psychology

 Writing and research skills for psychology:

  • Locating and evaluating potential sources
  • Effective note-taking and summary for writing of assignments
  • Supporting argument using source material through summary and paraphrase
  • Synthesising information from different sources and incorporating these into your own writing
  • Referencing: using APA conventions to make correctly formatted references to sources, compiling bibliographies
  • Analysis of essay titles and exam questions, establishing the focus required to answer these questions
  • Planning and completing Psychology assignments in good time

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching1601) Lecture preparation and follow up: in these classes you will prepare for upcoming lectures for three psychology modules in each semester, focussing on the concepts and vocabulary needed. After the lectures you will be able to discuss the lecture, check your understanding of concepts and further add to your knowledge through extra reading or listening to relevant sources. 2) Development and progress sessions: in these classes you will develop strategies and study skills for reading psychology texts and writing assignments and exams.
Scheduled Learning & Teaching80Smaller group workshops for Introduction to Psychology, Critical Approaches, Language Development and Seminar Skills.
Guided Independent Study60Self-study, assigned reading, and exam preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Presentation - Term 110 - 20 minutes (5 minutes per student)1-6, 8, 10, 12-15Written and spoken teacher and peer feedback
Group Seminar - Term 220-30 minutes (5 minutes per student)1-6, 8, 10, 11, 15Written and spoken teacher and peer feedback
Reading and Writing Examination - Term 22 hours1, 2, 4, 6, 8-12Generic feedback and brief written notes

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Annotated Essay Plan - Term 110500-600 words4-7, 12-14Written teacher feedback
Group Seminar - Term 22520-30 minutes (5 minutes per student)1-6, 8, 10, 11, 15Written teacher feedback
Reading and Writing Examination - Term 2402 Hours1, 2, 4, 6, 8-12Generic feedback
Individual Presentations - Term 22510 minutes1-6, 10, 12-14Written teacher feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Annotated Essay plan Resubmission4, 5, 12-14As required
SeminarSemi-structured interview (15 minutes)1-4, 8, 10, 12August resit period
Reading and Writing ExaminationExamination1,2, 4, 6, 8-12August resit period
Individual PresentationsIndividual Presentation1-6, 10, 12-14August resit period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for reasons judged legitimate by the Mitigation Committee, the applicable assessment will normally be deferred. See ‘Details of reassessment’ for the form that assessment usually takes. When deferral occurs there is ordinarily no change to the overall weighting of that assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to take a re-sit exam. Only your performance in this exam will count towards your final module grade. A grade of 40% will be awarded if the examination is passed.  


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Short J. (2010) English for Psychology in Higher Education Studies. Reading: Garnet.
  • Vicary, A. (2014) Grammar for Writing. Reading: Garnet
  • Patterson, K. (2013) Oxford Grammar for EAP. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hayes, N & Stratton, P. (2017) A students Dictionary of Psychology and Neuroscience. Oxon: Routledge.

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Set textbooks, ELEs and reading materials for psychology modules PSY1202, 1203, 1204, 1205. 1206 & 1207

Key words search

psychology, year one, IYOP, BSC Psychology

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

PSY1203 - Introduction to Social Psychology (term 1) 

PSY1204 – Introduction to Clinical Psychology (term 1) 

PSY1205 – Introduction to Statistics (terms 1 and 2) 

PSY1206 – Introduction to Research Methods (term 1) 

PSY1207 – Cognition, Emotion and Development (term 2) 

PSY1202 – Introduction to Biological Psychology (term 2)

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date