Social Psychology

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sophie Von Stumm QUE.3.22


This course is available on the BSc in Actuarial Science, 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; crime and eyewitness testimony; media influence; leadership and motivation.  This course's emphasis on social and applied psychology distinguishes it from the broader introduction to cognitive, developmental, clinical and other branches of psychology provided by PS100.



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 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to produce two assignments as coursework, one in MT and one in LT. The first assignment comprises of three separate short answers responding to a choice of questions, comprising up to 1,500 words in total. The second assignment is an essay of 1,500 words. These will be assessed by the class teachers. Students are expected to give class presentations.

Indicative reading

Recommended reading: M Hogg & G Vaughan, Social Psychology, 7th edn, Prentice Hall, 2014; 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, 5th edn, Thomson Wadsworth 2013; 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.


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

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 7.6
2:1 45.8
2:2 28
Third 14.4
Fail 4.2

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2016/17: 38

Average class size 2016/17: 9

Capped 2016/17: No

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

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