BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Landmark Studies in Perception

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC32321
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


Our ability to effortlessly perceive and interact with the world around us is nothing short of amazing. Moreover, we achieve this without ever being aware of the fantastic feats of information processing undertaken by our perceptual systems. For more than a century, researchers studying perception have been at the forefront of our understanding of the brain’s remarkable achievements. In this course we will look at some of the most influential studies in perceptual science.


This unit aims to:

Building on previous knowledge the unit aims to; Extend students’ knowledge of key concepts, theories and methodologies that have shaped current understanding of human perception. Enhance students’ understanding of how research into perception can be applied to real life scenarios. Enhance students’ ability to critically evaluate research theories and methods.

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be delivered via lectures and seminars.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
    • key research studies and current theories of perception
    • different research approaches and methodologies relevant to the study of perception
    • the importance of modern perceptual science in the real world;
    • the complementary role of theory and experimentation in perceptual research

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate research studies, theories and methodologies within the field of perception

Practical skills

  • Interpret graphs of empirical data, including psychometric functions;
  • Match an appropriate experimental approach to the research question in hand

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Independently gather and organise material from various sources, including library and electronic sources;
  • Critically appraise the validity of arguments and evidence;
  • Present ideas and thoughts coherently orally and in writing;
  • Recognise and identify views of others and work constructively with them;
  • Listen effectively and make a constructive contribution to a discussion

Assessment methods

Poster worth 35%, coursework essay worth 60% and engagement activities worth 5%.

Feedback methods

Poster -  Students will receive a grade and written feedback.

Coursework essay - Students will receive a grade and written feedback.

Engagement Activities - Group-level feedback will be provided in seminars.


Recommended reading

Lecture notes and some appropriate additional resources will be available on blackboard.  A specific reading list for each lecture will be provided.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rebecca Champion Unit coordinator

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