BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Sensation & Perception

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC11312
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


In this unit we will follow each sensory system (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell) from the firing of receptors that detect physical signals in the environment, up to higher level processing in the brain, considering illusions at every level. We will explore the perception of aspects such as brightness, colour, depth, musical pitch, texture, pain and flavour. Finally, we will examine how sensory information processing links to behaviour and motor control.


This unit aims to:

The unit aims to provide students with an overview of the basic elements of sensation and perception and to introduce them to philosophical, experimental and biological approaches.  Students will learn about the fundamental aspects of vision, hearing, touch and other sensory systems and will develop practical research experience through laboratory work.




Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be taught via lectures and empirical work lab classes.

E-learning will be provided through Blackboard. 


Knowledge and understanding

Recognise the complementary but different roles played by bottom-up and top-down processing in how we interpret the world; Demonstrate an understanding of sensation and perception in the different sensory modalities, from receptors to higher level processing; Describe and understand the methods used to investigate sensation and perception; Recognise the limitations imposed by particular design decisions

Intellectual skills

Understand and compare the empirical basis for different theories of sensation and perception; Apply knowledge of sensation and perception to interpret research findings and everyday situations

Practical skills

Appraise empirical data; Conduct experimental laboratory work using psychological methods; Independently gather and organise material from various sources; Present experimental work in writing conforming to APA standards

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Present information, ideas and arguments in written form with due regard to the target audience and discipline conventions;

Sustain and develop cogent and coherent arguments; Work in a group to solve problems

Assessment methods

Lab Report - 80%

MCQ Exam - 20%

Feedback methods

Students will receive a grade for both assessments and also written feedback for the Lab Report. 


Recommended reading

'Sensation and Perception' by B. Goldstein.


Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 74.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Luke Anthony Jones Unit coordinator

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