The module is co-ordinated by Dr Gillian Sandstrom, to whom queries should be addressed.

PS212 Psychology Research builds upon your statistics classes in the first year, and combines statistics lectures and computer workshops using statistical software.

This is a full-year course, delivered as two components:
(1) Lectures will cover data analysis skills, along with their underlying principles, which will equip you for most of the laboratory class and project work that you will encounter in the rest of your psychology degree.

(2) Computer workshops will give you a supervised opportunity to solve exercises using statistical software, and the chance to ask questions about any aspects of the topics covered in the lectures. These take place in the computer labs in the Psychology Building, room 2.708.

PS212 is assessed by two compulsory computer-based statistics tests (the first worth 20%; the second worth 30%) and a final end-of-year summer examination (50%).
The module is co-ordinated by Dr Jonathan Rolison, to whom all enquires should be made.
The PS300 Research Project is an original piece of empirical psychological research assessed via a poster and a written report. The project provides an opportunity to apply, in an original piece of research, the statistical and the research methodology learned during the first two years of the psychology degree.
Please see PS300 the project outline for further guidelines, details, and deadlines.
The module is co-ordinated by Prof Chris Barry, to whom queries should be addressed.

This module will provide an introduction to one of the major areas of research activity in the Department of Psychology at Essex. It will investigate ways in which our ability to read words, or to recognise and name objects and faces, can break down as a consequence of brain injury (stroke, closed head injury, dementia, etc.). For example, we will examine the reading performance of patients with acquired dyslexia who have impaired reading following brain injury, and patients with prosopagnosia who are unable to recognize familiar faces following brain injury. We will also look at Capgras delusion where a patient believes that a loved-one has been replaced by an imposter. The emphasis will be on the functional nature of the cognitive impairments. Consequently, we will try to understand the pattern of impaired performance in terms of models taken from Cognitive Psychology.

Cognitive Neuropsychology (PS481) aims to:
a) Examine a variety of different types of impairment to the cognitive processes involved in processing words, objects and faces from a functional perspective.
b) Investigate the contrasts between different types of neuropsychological disorder.
c) Explain the impairments in terms of models of cognitive processing.

At the end of the module, students should be able to:
a) Describe a broad range of impairments to the processes involved in reading, spelling, and repeating words.
b) Describe a broad range of impairments to the processes involved in recognising and naming objects and identifying faces.
c) Compare and contrast different forms of neuropsychological disorder.
d) Discuss interpretations of these disorders in terms of current models of cognitive processing.
This module will introduce how the human brain and body interact in order to shape our minds and our behaviour. Several different aspects of brain-body-behavioural interactions are covered by different experts in the field. These topics range from basic bodily functions to high-order existential concerns and include: recreational drugs; lifestyle, diet and well-being; how the microbes in our guts affect behaviour; the role of the immune system; how our environment affects how our genes work; how we taste and smell; how our senses interact to shape perception; the experience of physical and social pain; existential neuroscience.

The aim of this module is to provide Year 3 students with a deep understanding of the way the brain and body interact to control behaviour. At the end of the module students should be able to:

1. Understand the psychophysiological processes and consequences of various lifestyle choices (e.g. diet, exercise, recreational drugs); how embodiment affects brain and behaviour (via the enteric nervous system, the immune system, and gene-environment interactions)
2. Understand how the senses interact to provide the experience of perception.
3. Develop knowledge into the new neuroscientific findings that are providing insight into areas of deep philosophical intrigue (such as the putative link between physical and social pain, and how an awareness of death can influence cognition and behaviour).
4. Know how to pass on their new knowledge to others in an educationally useful way.
The module covers three major themes in the psychology of ageing; mind, brain, and behaviour. The mind theme introduces cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of ageing. We consider decision making in older age, how older adults interact with their social environment, and how emotional processing changes with age. The brain theme introduces neurological changes that occur with age and how these affect memory and attention and other aspects of cognition and emotion. Dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, are also explored. The behaviour theme focuses on the physiology of ageing and introduces students to applied topics.
Should you get married? And to whom? Should you save for the future or live life in the moment? Should you travel the world or settle in a secure job? The decisions we make shape our lives. While people have an amazing ability to make good decisions, and to do so quickly and intuitively often on gut feeling, they are also prey to cognitive biases and limits to mental capacity that cause them to make the wrong decisions. Are you an intuitive decision-maker who relies on “gut feeling” or do you think critically and carefully about every decision you make? This module will reveal how the human mind is capable of both good and bad judgements and decisions and will explore who makes the best decisions and how decisions making can be improved.


The module aims to develop in students an understanding of the psychological processes underpinning human judgement and decision-making. Students will also develop a strong command of the ways in which insights into how people decide can be leveraged and applied to improve the decisions people make in their own lives and for tackling some of the major current challenges faced by society such as climate change or antimicrobial resistance.

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop a good command of the major theories and models of judgement, decision-making, and reasoning.
2. Critically analyse the empirical research on judgement and decision-making quality (e.g., biases, heuristics).
3. Acquire the ability to leverage basic behavioural science theories to alleviate current societal challenges in a range of context (environmental, medical, and social).