Not available in 2019/20
PB303      Half Unit
Group Dynamics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ilka Gleibs QUE.3.21


This course is available on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course discusses the relations individuals and groups with a focus on group dynamics. The course is therefore suitable for students enrolled in other programmes who wish to enrich their understanding by drawing on detailed understanding of the psychological processes that underpin thought and behaviour in group settings.



Students should have taken Foundations of Psychological Science (PB101) or Foundations of Behavioural Science (PB100).

Course content

Group dynamics and interpersonal skills are an essential element in any successful organisation (in the broadest sense) and often provide a competitive advantage in managing organisations. Group dynamics directly the affect the ability of a team to think, learn, and innovate together.

This course provides students with a critical understanding of the different theories and practices associated with group dynamics. The objectives of the course are two-fold:

  1. To introduce past and present theories of group dynamics by introducing concepts used by psychologists to understand and improve group behaviour.
  2. To apply and critical evaluate how group dynamics theories help us to explain and predict real-life experience.

The course will include topics such as:

  • The origins of group research: Durkheim, Freud and Lewin
  • Influence and Power
  • Groups and change
  • Crowds and collective behaviour
  • Intra-group  and inter-group dynamics
  • How to manage diverse groups and teams
  • Workgroups in temporary and fragmented contexts
  • Group performance and decision-making
  • The ‘Social Cure’- the importance of groups for health


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

The intensive learning of subject-specific and generic skills during teaching time will be supplemented in three ways by activities in reading week.  These provide opportunities to take a wider perspective on the programme, to integrate its content and to develop personal and career-related skills:

1.  LSELife activities to develop key skills for the course

2. Collective formative feedback and planning sessions for the formative assessments.

3. Sessions on the integration of ideas from this course with ideas from other courses on the programme.

Formative coursework

  1. Complete five multiple-choice quizes in class in the LT
  2. Write one short essay plan, which will be starting point for the summative essay in the LT
  3. Make one group presentation in class in the LT

Indicative reading

Brown R. (2000). Group processes: Dynamics within and between groups.2nd edition. Oxford:  Blackwell Publisher.

Forsyth, D. R. (2016). Group Psychology in the New Millennium: 15 Years On. Group, 40(1), 17-22.

Forsyth, D. R. (2009). Group dynamics. Cengage Learning.

Levi, D. (2013). Group dynamics for teams. Los Angeles: Sage Publications

Smeekes, A., & Verkuyten, M. (2015). The presence of the past: Identity continuity and group dynamics. European Review of Social Psychology, 26(1), 162-202.

Turner, M. E. (2014). Groups at work: Theory and research. Psychology Press.

Students will be expected to read both core readings and selected primary readings.


Essay (100%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills