BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Introduction to Cognition

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC10421
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


In this unit, we delve into the secrets of the human mind, and take a look at how it all works (and what happens when it goes wrong).

We begin with an overview of cognitive psychology, with a focus on its methods and approaches to the scientific study of human cognition before moving on to specific aspects of cognition – while integrating cutting-edge research – in the areas of attention, learning, memory and language.



This unit aims to:

Provide students with an introduction to human cognition. This unit introduces students to cognitive psychology and to a number of core components of cognition including attention, learning, memory, and language.

On successful completion of this unit students will:

  • Appreciate the importance of understanding cognition, and the crucial role of Cognition in all understanding all aspects of the human mind and behaviour.
  • Describe, understand, and evaluate several core-elements of Cognition including Learning, Attention, Memory, and Language.
  • Understand cornerstone theories of Cognition, and how these have emerged and evolved from research findings.
  • Begin to read and evaluate research literature central to the Cognition and Cognitive Psychology, and effectively assimilate and communicate these findings to others.
  • Gain insight into current world-leading Cognition research at the University of Manchester.

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be taught via lectures and seminars.

Supplementary reading, resources, and a monitored discussion board will be available via the unit Blackboard site.

Knowledge and understanding

Appreciate the importance of the study of cognition for the understanding of human psychology, and the contribution of Cognition research to many other branches of Psychology.

Intellectual skills

Describe, understand and think critically about 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 research and findings.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Synthesise information; summarise theories and evidence; evaluate evidence; and present a key research finding in a poster suitable for a general (non-specialist) audience.

Assessment methods

Individual Poster - 80%

Quizzes - 20%

Feedback methods

Poster - Ongoing feedback in seminars. Students will receive a grade and written feedback on their final poster.

Quizzes - Students will receive a grade and feedback on their answers.

Recommended reading

Eysenck, M. W. & Keane, M. T. (2015). Cognitive Psychology: A student’s handbook (7th ed.). East Sussex: Taylor & Francis.

N.B. The 6th edition (2010) of this textbook is also appropriate and available as an e-book via the University of Manchester library

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 78.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jennifer Mcbride Unit coordinator

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