BSc Educational Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Exploring psychology in the classroom

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC13042
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Environment, Education and Development
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit centres on school as an environment in which psychology can be used in different ways, by different people, for different reasons.  Students are encouraged to reflect on how/where/why psychology can be used in schools and how this data can be captured and examined.

Students will be presented with a pathway through the unit to facilitate virtual and/or physical options to ‘visit’ various aspects of school.  Options will depend on accessibility and availability of school placements and/or student’s own preferences and needs.   The pathway choices are (as far as possible) equivalent, address the same ILOs, and are interchangeable on a week by week basis. 

For both the physical and virtual strands, students will be supported in accessing forms of classroom observation, interviews with staff, and document analysis of in-situ policy documents.

School ‘visits’ are ‘sandwiched’ by seminars that orientate students towards the purposes of the unit, which is to develop students own reflection and enquiry skills in relation to the application of their own understanding of established Psychological frameworks.




Familiarise students with the school environment and it’s systems with an emphasis on responses to individual differences through a Psychological framework.


Learning outcomes


Category of outcome

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding


Identify how and when Psychological principles are applied in Education.


Intellectual skills


Reflect on one’s own learning and be able to articulate what has been learnt


Practical skills


Conduct brief interviews, observations and document analysis


Transferable skills and personal qualities


Demonstrate suitable conduct and behaviour within a professional (i.e. school) environment





Session/ strands


Whole group content session:Nature of schools policy


Whole  group content session: Tools and assessment (how to conduct observations)


Whole  group content session: Tools and assessment (how to conduct interviews)


Whole group content session: Selecting strands for independent enquiry


Reading week


Physical placement

Virtual: document analysis


Physical placement

Virtual: Recorded class observations


Physical placement

Virtual: Recorded or live interviews


Physical placement

Virtual: Recorded or live interviews


Whole group content session: Debrief


Whole group content session: Review


Teaching and learning methods

The approach adopted in this unit is primarily one of self-reflection and experiential learning in context.  This will be supported and guided through the use of face to face seminars and guided use of online material.  Students are to reflect on their understanding of Psychological frameworks introduced in the session (e.g. Vygotsky’s principles of scaffolding) and how they see these principles being applied in the school context.

Blackboard will be used as a blended learning environment where students can build their assignment by referencing their own understanding against established psychological theories.


Assessment methods

Assessment task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit

Students are to collate data using documents produced in class in order to accompany a reflexive portfolio which documents their understanding and experiences of how schools utilise psychology.  Students are to compare and contrast their own understanding in reference to established psychological theories.

1,500 Criterion-referenced peer assessment 100%


Feedback methods

Criterion-referenced peer assessment (utilising online tools)

Recommended reading

Aubrey, K., & Riley, A. (2015).  Understanding and Using Educational Theories.  London: Sage.

Gray, C., MacBlain, S. (2015). Learning Theories in Childhood 2nd Edition. London: Sage

Yeomans, J., & Arnold, C. (2006) Teaching Learning and Psychology.  London: David Fulton

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 8
Placement hours
Placement 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 68

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Garry Squires Unit coordinator
Michael Wigelsworth Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Hours Allocated

Staff/ Student contact

2 * group seminars @ 2 hours

4 * drop in sessions @ 1 hour


Placement or virtual school experience


Private study, reading and assignment preparation


Preparation for sessions


Total Hours



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