The course provides a sound introduction to psychology and covers a wide variety of topics – some of which would be encountered at university.
Subjects are presented and discussed in seminar sessions. One-to-one tutorials also develop ideas and understanding. Please note that this course outline covers a four-week programme. Students staying for two weeks may not cover all of the topics listed below.
Research methods: students will discover what psychologist do, how they do it, and why. Subjects covered will include experimental design, participant selection, developing hypotheses and ethical issues. Learners will also encounter different types of date as well as finding out what contributes to validity. Comparative psychology: This topic encompasses the study of animal behaviour and how understanding this can help us to identify the way we learn and are shaped. Students will be able to identify how conditioning impacts on some of the ways in which humans and animals think.
Cognitive psychology: Students will be able to evaluate representations of long and short term memory as well as motivations for risk taking behaviour.
Developmental psychology: both animals and human infants are capable of attaching to their primary caregivers. Students will cover imprinting behaviour in chicks and ask whether humans employ a more sophisticated method of attachment .
Biological psychology: the impact of stress has received much medical press over the last 20 years. In this module students are given the opportunity to pursue ways of assessing the impact of stress.
Social psychology: obedience to authority was questioned after the Second World War. In this topic students are provided with the opportunity to explore why people are obedient to authority figures. The subject of responsibility for our own actions is also investigated and students examine their own modus operandi.
Abnormal psychology: the focus of this topic is schizophrenia. Learners will be able to state and explain some of the possible causes, symptoms and treatments of this well known condition.
Recommended pre-summer reading
Cardwell, M., and Flanagan, C., (2012). Psychology AS the Complete Companion. Oxford University Press, Oxford.