Not available in 2020/21
Social Psychology

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Bradley Franks QUE.3.05


This course is available on the BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in Actuarial Science, BSc in Criminology, BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science, BSc in Social Anthropology and BSc in Sociology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course can be taken as an outside option by students on any year of undergraduate degrees, and as an option by students on the General Course. You should check with your department any restrictions they may place on outside options.

Course content

This course aims to provide a thorough introduction to the fundamental topics of social psychology -- a branch of psychological science that seeks to understand and explain human behaviours in actual or assumed presence of others. In this course, we will review and critically evaluate socio-psychological explanations and theories of individual, interpersonal and group processes. Here, we will study a wide range of phenomena, ranging from the way individuals perceive and think about the social world, to the way they conceptualize themselves and participate in social groups, to the way that the broader social context influences our thoughts and behaviour. Other topics will include interpersonal attraction, attitudes and attitude change, pro-social behaviour, and human aggression.

A short video on the course is here:

The course offers an essential complement to any degree programme in the social sciences, and it is particularly relevant to any profession that involves dealing with other people. Over the duration of this course, you will develop the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to apply the insights gained from Social Psychology to real-world social issues and to identify effective ways for achieving behavioural and societal change.


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 four separate short answers responding to a choice of eight questions, comprising up to 2,000 words in total (i.e. about 300 to 500 words each).


The second assignment is an essay that students write under exam conditions as a 1-hour mock exam. Students will be given three topics, from which they can choose one to prepare and answer the corresponding mock exam question. All formative assignments will be assessed by the class teachers, who will provide detailed feedback to the students.

Indicative reading

Hogg, M. A. and Vaughan, G. M. (2013).  Social Psychology, 7th edition.  Harlow, Prentice Hall. 

Library catalogue number is HM251 H71 and the book is also available electronically through the library website.


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 summer exam period.

The exam will consist of four short answer out of eight questions, and two essay answers out of six questions.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
First 9.5
2:1 53.6
2:2 21.4
Third 9.5
Fail 6

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2019/20: 47

Average class size 2019/20: 16

Capped 2019/20: Yes (51)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills