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Understanding Applied Social Psychology


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Michael Mallaghan
  • Assessment: a 1500-word essay (50%) and one-hour in-class timed assessment (50%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to the main perspectives and research methods within social psychology. We will pay particular attention to the application of social psychology to our understanding of social development (including social development in childhood; moral development; love, friendship and social relationships in adulthood); self-esteem and identity; group dynamics, interpersonal communication, social media and the impact of culture on the way social processes are conceptualised within society.

The 'real-world' relevance of theories from social psychology will be discussed throughout.

Indicative syllabus

  • Understanding the social world
  • Socialisation and social development in childhood
  • Moral development and values and its applications
  • Love, friendship, and social relationships in adulthood
  • Intragroup dynamics in practice
  • Intergroup dynamics in practice
  • Interpersonal communication at home and at work
  • Identity formation and self-esteem
  • The psychology of social media
  • Cultural perspectives on social psychology
  • Summary and critique of methods, assumptions and application

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • outline methods of research relevant to the key topics on this module, highlighting their strengths and limitations
  • provide a brief overview and critique of main psychological theories relevant to each of the topics studied
  • offer valid examples of the ways in which these theories might inform our understanding of practical problems in the 'real' world, and be of use in supporting your learning
  • indicate some of the limitations of these theories with regard to 'real-world' application.