BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Group Dynamics

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC11402
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit provides an interactive exploration of group dynamics and leadership. Lectures will introduce students to the theoretical and empirical literature underlying effective (and ineffective) group working, while accompanying seminars will provide practical opportunities for students to develop their own team working skills. 


This unit aims to:

Provide an interactive exploration of group dynamics and team building. Introduce students to the theoretical and empirical literature underlying effective (and ineffective) group working.

Provide practical opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience of working in small groups. Support students in developing their own interpersonal, communication, negotiating, leadership, note-taking and reflective thinking skills. Set up good practice guidelines for effective teamwork required in later parts of the programme and expected of graduate employers.


Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be taught via lectures and seminars.  

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


Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate an understanding of the different roles and expectations of group members at the various stages of group development.

Recognise why groups fail and appraise evidence-based strategies to maximise group success and productivity.

Identify different leadership styles and how these might impact both positively and negatively on levels of group cohesion.

Intellectual skills

Develop reflective thinking skills to evaluate their own performance in group tasks.

Critically evaluate the major stage theories of group development

Practical skills

Develop oral and written communication skills appropriate to team-working environments; confidently facilitate, guide and contribute to small group discussions; divide group tasks into smaller units and assign each member a designated role; undertake a variety of group roles (including leader, chairperson, note-taker and record keeper); collectively research, write up and deliver an oral group presentation 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Summarise theories and evidence; develop critical thinking; evaluate research; work effectively in small groups; present information in a clear oral presentation; demonstrate evidence of reflective thinking.

Assessment methods

Group Oral Presentation - 40%

Reflective Essay - 60%

Feedback methods

Students will receive a grade a written feedback

Recommended reading

Forsyth, D. R. (2008). An introduction to group dynamics. Monterey, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 91

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stacey McKnight Unit coordinator

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