Social Psychology

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Christopher Tennant S302


This course is available on the BSc in Actuarial Science, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations, BSc in Social Policy and BSc in Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

Theories and concepts such as: self and identity; attitudes; communication, influence and persuasion; groups, organisations and crowds; social cognition, e.g. how our expectations influence our perception of the social world, and how our culture and social world influences those expectations. Applications such as: exploring the meaning of public opinion polls; the social and psychological sources of prejudice; rioting; economic behaviour; crime and eyewitness testimony; media influence; leadership and motivation; the commons dilemma.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 2 hours of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 5 essays in the MT and LT.

Students are expected either (a) to write 5 assignments, 2 of 750 words each and 3 of 1500 words each, OR (b) to write 4 assignments AND take part in TWO research projects as participants AND write a 500 word report of the experience and the issues it raises for the nature and quality of data collection in social psychology. These will be assessed by the class teachers. Students are also expected to give class presentations.

Indicative reading

Recommended reading: M Hogg & G Vaughan, Social Psychology, 6th edn, Prentice Hall, 2011; C.A. Sanderson, Social Psychology, Wiley, 2009; M Hewstone, W. Stroebe,  K. Jonas. An introduction to Social Psychology, 5th edn. BPS Blackwell 2012;  E R Smith & D M Mackie, Social Psychology, 3rd edn, Taylor & Francis, 2007; D. Matsumoto & L. Juang, Culture & Psychology, 4th edn, Thomson Wadsworth 2008; L. Steg, A.P. Buunk, T. Rothengatter, Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and managing social problems, CUP, 2008. Additional references and a synopsis of lectures and class topics will be made available online in early September, and will also be distributed in the first lecture of the series and available in S302.

M. Hewstone, W. Stroebe, K. Jonas, An Introduction to Social Psychology, 5th edn, BPS Blackwell, 2012


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

The exam will consist of four short answer and two essay questions.

Student performance results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

Classification % of students
First 10
2:1 48.2
2:2 35.3
Third 5.3
Fail 1.2

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: 67

Average class size 2012/13: 15

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills