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The University of Southampton

PSYC3057 Introduction to Educational Psychology

Module Overview

This module aims to provide a descriptive and critical overview of the practice of educational psychology in the UK and to highlight some of the key debates.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Students are expected to develop a degree of critical awareness of relevant issues and topics as applied to the field of educational psychology.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evidence an understanding of the history of key legislation shaping assessment and provision for children with SEN, and the role of the educational psychologist.
  • Evidence an understanding of the of the role of an educational psychologist and the levels at which we work: individual, group, school and organisational levels
  • Recognise the difficulties and benefits that can arise from the application of diagnostic labels.
  • Identify current debates in the profession and wider society with regard to the concepts of dyslexia and IQ and be able to comment on these in a way that is helpful for practitioners, parents and the young people with whom we work.
  • Have an understanding, through case studies, of the role that consultation, assessment, interactionist frameworks and problem-solving play in EP practice
  • Give examples of the application of behaviourism & the social cognitive view of learning on educational practices
  • Identify the implications of cognitive theory in creating optimal conditions for learning.
  • Understand current theories and models of working memory and executive function, their association with developmental outcomes for children and young people and implications for intervention and practice
  • Have an understanding, through EP-initiated interventions (i.e. Nurture Groups, Portage, Pillars of Parenting, Therapeutic Story Work) of the role EPs play in supporting better outcomes for vulnerable groups of children


1. History of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the changing role of the EP 2. A day in the Life of an EP 3. Deficit terminology: a focus on ADHD and Autism 4. Key debates: Dyslexia and IQ 5. Tools of the trade: consultation, assessment and problem solving 6. Influential concepts: behaviourism & social cognitive view of learning 7. Using psychology to promote learning 8. Working Memory (WM) and Executive Function (EF) 9. Using psychology to promote behaviour management 10. Helping Children and Young People Thrive 11. Summary, overview and exam question preparation

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, discussions during the lectures.

Follow-up work22
Preparation for scheduled sessions22
Assessment tasks25
Wider reading or practice22
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Woolfolk, Anita (2014). Educational Psychology (core textbook). 


Assessment Strategy

Coursework consists of a leaflet created in Week 5 based on the preceding lectures. End of module exam


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  () 40%
Exam  (2 hours) 59%
Research credits 1%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PSYC2007

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