MEd Psychology of Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Learning and Individual Differences

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC60721
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No



This unit covers a rage of themes in individual differences from psychology, including the relationships between individual differences and social/educational inclusion/exclusion.  Relevant considerations for education will be aligned with key topics and themes and broadly include considerations in labelling, mental health, trait and state approaches to motivation, emotion and personality.  Together the unit will achieve a nuanced understanding depicting how classrooms are diverse environments relating to the pupils that inhabit them and individual differences must be recognised for effective education provision and learning.



  • provide coverage of the BPS syllabus core area of Individual Differences and the advanced option of Educational Psychology.
  • To develop knowledge of the contribution of psychology to understanding and developing effective provision for children and young people as learners.

Learning outcomes


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations in understanding what constitutes individual differences across psychology and education
  • Apply and interpret the contribution of psychology to consider the tensions around inclusive provision for children and young people as learners.
  • Critically examine research evidence presented in support of particular arguments, strategies and approaches.
  • Be able to evaluate the concept of ‘inclusive’ education.


Indicative Curriculum Content

  • Introduction to individual differences and considerations in Education.
  • Temperament
  • Learning in classrooms and other contexts.
  • Mental Health.
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Personality and psychological characteristics
  • Evidence based practice / practice based evidence.
  • Transitions.

Teaching and learning methods

This course unit will be delivered using a variety of methods including lectures, tutorials, case based learning, simulations and applied learning scenarios. Students will be required to work both independently and in small groups, active student participation will be encouraged at all times.


Learning Hours:




Hours allocated

Teaching sessions


Private study


Directed reading




Total hours




Transferable skills and personal qualities


  • Written communication.
  • Oral communication (contributing to discussion and discussion).
  • Working with others (group work and case based work).
  • IT skills (word processing, accessing electronic databases and library facilities).
  • Analysis and synthesis of current literature.

Assessment methods



The assessment for this unit comprises of one assignment, responsible for 100% of the unit weighting that will take the form of a critical report.



Feedback methods


Unit Feedback and Student Engagement

Student representation at both the programme and unit level plays an important role helping the quality of provision be upheld. MEd student representatives liaise between staff and students on matters of concern to either side; provide two-way feedback on the course and on teaching quality, and promote student involvement in course development. Student representatives participate in course review meetings (including a confidential meeting with external examiners) and feedback information from these meetings to other students.


At the end of each semester all students are asked to complete an on-line evaluation questionnaire for each course unit they have taken.  This anonymous feedback is circulated to unit leaders and supports quality assurance.


Formative assessment and written feedback to students is a key feature of this unit. Students are provided with an opportunity to complete an outline in advance of the submission deadline for assessed work and formative written feedback is provided when marking has been completed.

Recommended reading


As with all units on the MEd, we like to offer a range of books and let you choose a combination that appeals to you.  As such, you are advised to have a look through them all first (either in the University Library or online). 

The Online version of this Reading List will show you where these core texts can be found in the library or online:


Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sarah MacQuarrie Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This is a semester one unit. This course unit provides coverage of the BPS Syllabus core area of individual differences and the option of educational psychology.

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