PB204      Half Unit
Social Psychology: Individuals, Groups and Culture

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Bradley Franks CON.3.07


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


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

Course content

This course builds core knowledge of Social Psychology, studying the way our thinking and behaviour is influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other people. It aims to understand how thinking and behaviour depends on the connections between individuals, the groups of which they are members and the cultural settings of both. The lectures and classes will discuss a range of social psychology topics, such as social cognition, self and identity, prejudice, group membership, crowds and collective behaviour, and social exclusion. Each topic will highlight the relations between real world problems, social psychological theory and empirical data, and draw connections to behavioural science. This course will foster a critical evaluation of social psychological science and its relation to other areas of psychological and behavioural science.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and classes totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Michaelmas Term. There is a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

In response to the current situation, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of live online classes and pre-recorded short online videos. You will receive the same amount of teaching whether you are on campus or online.

Formative coursework

During the course, students will complete two kinds of formative assessment:

  • Group presentations on the topic of the week and its application to social issues
  • Practice writing Executive Summaries

Indicative reading

  • Buunk, A.P., & Van Vugt, M. (2013). Applying Social Psychology: From problems to solutions (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
  • Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., Chen, S., & Nisbett, R.E. (2016) Social Psychology (4th ed.) New York: Norton
  • Hewstone, M., Stroebe, W., Jonas, K. (2015).  An Introduction to Social Psychology (6th ed.). BPS Blackwell.
  • Hogg, M.A., & Vaughan, G.M. (2014). Social Psychology (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson. 

Students will be expected to read essential readings plus additional reading from the primary literature for each class. These readings will be provided in the course outline.


Essay (10%) in the ST.
Group presentation (20%) and proposal (70%) in the MT.

Group Presentations (20%) in MT – You will work in small groups to make a presentation which interprets a topic from this course in the light of one key concept or debate from Foundations of Behavioural Science (PB100) or Foundations of Psychological Science (PB101).

Proposal (70%) in MT – Using theories and phenomena from the course you will propose a policy or project for an organisation (e.g. charity, for profit, non-profit) to address a social issue. The write-up (3000 words) will comprise a short Executive Summary followed by a justification based on the content of the course.

Integration Essay - Students following the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science will be expected to submit one 3000 word ‘Integration Essay’ in their second year. The integration essay will count towards 10% of the final mark in PB200, PB201, PB202, PB204 and PB205.  The integration essay will discuss a topic investigated in one course and use its approach to integrate and debate approaches from two other courses taken in Year 2. For example, if you choose to base your integration essay in Social Psychology: Individuals, Groups and Culture (this course) you will use a topic from this course as the basis for debating the treatment of that topic by theories from two of Biological Psychology (PB200), Cognitive Psychology (PB201), Developmental Psychology (PB202) and Individual Differences and Why They Matter (PB205).

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: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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