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Foundations of Modern Psychology


Tuesday 10 January - Tuesday 04 July 2023, 10.30am-12.30pm

22 sessions - Check class timetable

Wednesday 11 January - Wednesday 05 July 2023, 6pm-9pm

22 sessions - Check class timetable

Saturday 29 April - Saturday 08 July 2023, 10am-3pm

22 sessions - Check class timetable


The Foundations of Modern Psychology short course offers an introduction to psychology, exploring diverse approaches to thinking about and researching human behaviour. With a particular focus on social and cognitive psychology, you will explore fundamental theories in psychology and how these are applied in everyday life.

The course has five key parts. Each explores significant themes and perspectives in psychology and provides a solid basis for understanding the fundamental ideas and debates related to human behaviour and psychology:

Part 1:

  • Scientific status and basis of psychology
  • Purpose of research in psychology
  • Research methods most commonly used in psychology
  • Effect of culture on psychology research and impact on theories
  • How debates about ethics and politics have shaped ethical guidelines

Part 2:

  • Significant historical paradigms that have shaped psychology today
  • Fundamental assumptions and research methods used
  • Strengths and weaknesses of psychological models

Part 3:

  • Historical rise of the cognitive approach
  • Information processing, perception and attention, and human memory

Part 4:

  • Fundamental assumptions of the social approach
  • Heuristics, attitudes, conformity, obedience and the psychology of groups

Part 5:

  • Using approaches and methodologies to understand issues in psychology
  • Cultural and potential biases within psychological theories
  • Political and ethical considerations in psychological research

This Foundations of Modern Psychology short course will be of interest to anyone interested in human interaction and thought processes who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the perspectives and approaches that underly contemporary psychology. It is also ideal if you have a non-psychology degree but need a Level 4 psychology qualification or a greater understanding of psychology in order to progress to postgraduate study.

This 22-week course is assessed via two coursework essays and two in-class timed essays. If you do not want to gain credit, you can still take the course without completing assessments.

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

30 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.