BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Personality and Individual Differences

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC21042
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit builds upon the topics introduced in First Year; Students will be expected to be familiar with basic ideas and concepts as covered in PSYC11512 ‘Foundations of Health Psychology’ and PSYC11412 ‘Foundations of Mental Health’.

The study of individual differences is present within all areas of psychology that study well-being, such as clinical and health psychology. Despite this, personality and individual differences psychology is often presented as an isolated field, with no practical relevance. This innovative unit provides a grounding in core aspects of individual differences psychology, and then, in keeping with the “Adaptability and Well-being” theme within which this unit is situated, relates them to key health and wellbeing outcomes.  

The lecture series contains an introduction to personality, focusing on the ways in which personality has been studied, the methodologies that have been used, and the different theoretical positions (including historical perspectives). The series continues with a critical examination of the links between personality, and physical and mental health and wellbeing. Additional concepts from individual differences psychology, such as mood and intelligence, are then introduced and examined in relation to physical and mental health and wellbeing. 



The unit aims to:

Introduce the key concepts of individual differences psychology and to show how they are integral to important outcomes, such as physical and mental health and well-being.


Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be taught via lectures and seminars


Knowledge and understanding

To describe current and historical perspectives in personality and individual differences psychology; To understand the role of personality and other individual differences  in determining physical and mental health and well-being; To understand how the study of personality and individual differences is relevant to applied fields; To understand the basics of psychometrics

Intellectual skills

To appreciate multiple perspectives to understanding of a single question about human functioning; To be able to critically evaluate personality and individual differences research depending on the validity of the questionnaires used

Practical skills

Be able to evaluate and use psychometric questionnaires for research and other purposes (psychometrics); Appraise empirical data; Plan, research and write up an essay on a topic in the area of personality and individual differences

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Greater self-awareness though better understanding of one’s personality; To have a greater tolerance of individual differences in others and a greater appreciation of why some people have higher well-being than others; Additionally, students will have the opportunity to develop their skills in: Synthesising information; summarising theories and evidence; critical thinking; evaluating research; communicating effectively; presenting concise and persuasive arguments

Assessment methods

Exam - 100%

Feedback methods

Students will receive a grade and can request basic marker feedback  

Recommended reading

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2011/13). Personality and Individual Differences (2nd /3rd edn). London: BPS Blackwell.

Haslam, N. (2007). Personality and Mental Disorder. In N. Haslam. Introduction to Personality and Intelligence (pp.204-232). London: Sage.

Maltby, J, Day, L. & Macaskill, A. (2013)  Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence (3rd edn.). Harlow: Pearson.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Laura Brown Unit coordinator

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