BSc Psychology

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Introduction to Cognition

Unit code PSYC10421
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course material will be delivered via lectures (with associated e-learning resources) and will be supported with 4 seminars. 


The unit provides students with an introduction to human cognition. It introduces students to cognitive psychology and to a number of core components of cognition. Topics covered include human learning, attention, memory, and language. The learning lectures will introduce you to the main theories of learning and briefly consider its neural basis. Moving on to attention, we will cover how we use attention to (sometimes) successfully filter out that information which is irrelevant to our current goals.  The memory lectures will introduce you to cognitive models describing how we store and retrieve information and experiences (remembering), why this can sometimes fail (forgetting). In terms of language, this module will introduce students to models of reading, speech perception, language comprehension and language production.

The course is a compulsory Level 4 course unit for the BSc (Hons) Psychology and provides a foundation for further study in Advanced Cognition at Level 5.


Teaching and learning methods

Topics will be covered in eleven 90 minute lectures. These will be supplemented by four 1 hour seminars in which students will discuss key foundation papers on cognitive psychology.

E-learning provision: Lecture content, supplementary reading and resources, and a monitored discussion board will be provided via Blackboard.


Knowledge and understanding

Appreciate the importance of the study of cognition for the understanding of human psychology. 

Intellectual skills

Describe and understand current models and theories of learning, attention, memory, and language (especially in the light of recent empirical findings).

Practical skills

Plan, research and produce a poster on a topic in the area of cognition.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students will have the opportunity to develop their skills in: Synthesising information; summarising theories and evidence; critical thinking; evaluating research; working in groups; communicating effectively both orally and in writing; presenting concise and persuasive arguments; presenting information in a clear and accessible way using a poster

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%

Poster worth 30% of unit. Examination (75 multiple choice questions) worth 70% of unit. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 16.5
Seminars 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 79.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrew Stewart Unit coordinator

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