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Cognition and Emotion

Module titleCognition and Emotion
Module codePSY2303
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Nicolas Dumay (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module brings together two academics with complementary expertise to teach our second-year students core knowledge in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Basic facts and key theories about human memory, perception, language processing, executive control, and emotions are presented in lectures enhanced by the inclusion of demos, exercises and direct questioning of the audience, supported by latest interactive teaching technologies.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims at teaching what we think a psychology second-year student ought to know about analytical  approaches to cognition, and their integration in a coherent picture. Concepts such as working memory, memory consolidation, executive control, object perception, language acquisition, perception and production, and emotions are examined using data from performance and mental chronometry, but also from computational modelling, neuroimaging, electrophysiology, psychopharmacology and patients. The module aims to teach you how to think in experimental terms and to pay more attention to the details of data and theories. Finally, it aims to further your ability to synthesise information, build logical arguments and scientific narratives, and present them by means of digitally and visually enhanced oral communication.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Work on core knowledge in cognitive psychology/neuroscience
  • 2. Describe key notions such as learning, language perception and production, executive control, memory, object recognition, and emotions, as well as the theories and the data attached to these notions
  • 3. Explain the principles underlying methodologies
  • 4. Integrate data from various cognition methodologies into a coherent picture
  • 5. Think about cognition in experimental terms, and transform hypotheses into feasible experiments

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Illustrate detailed factual and conceptual knowledge
  • 7. Synthesise and critically evaluate published work
  • 8. Structure the literature and your thoughts into logical and coherent arguments
  • 9. Pay more attention to the details, whether in the data, the theories, or the links between the two
  • 10. Apply principles of experimental designs
  • 11. Think creatively
  • 12. Discuss wider ethical issues
  • 13. Present complex facts, methodologies and theories with clarity and simplicity using language-based as well as visual communication modes

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 14. Manage and select information from a range of sources and develop appropriate information-finding strategies
  • 15. Identify problems and issues, and choose appropriate modes of response
  • 16. Synthesise information
  • 17. Assimilate new knowledge at a fast pace, and put it to the test early on so as update it appropriately according to in-class feedback
  • 18. Evaluate your own strengths/weaknesses, and work on the latter
  • 19. Challenge received opinion and develop your own judgment
  • 20. Build well-structured and powerful arguments
  • 21. Communicate in the manner appropriate to the discipline and in a variety of formats
  • 22. Interact effectively within a learning group, and test own knowledge by helping others
  • 23. Manage time effectively to meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will cover the following key topics:

  • object recognition
  • attention
  • reading and dyslexia
  • working memory
  • inhibitory control
  • language comprehension and production
  • long-term memory
  • emotions

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Tutorials
Guided independent study42Reading and preparation for seminars and practical classes
Guided independent study42Reading and preparing coursework
Guided independent study41Revising for exam


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class revision of earlier lecture by means of interactive technologies10 minutes per lecture1, 4, 9, 15, 17, 23Oral
Tutorials1 hour1, 4-5, 7, 9-15, 20-23Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
A written exam801 hour1-6, 8-11, 13, 16, 19-21Written
A 7-min-long home-recorded and visually enhanced oral presentation207 min (max)1-10, 13-16, 20-23Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
A written examA written exam1-6, 8-11, 13, 16, 19-21August/September assessment period
A 7-min-long home-recorded and visually enhanced oral presentationA 7-min-long home-recorded and visually enhanced oral presentation1-10, 13-16, 20-231 September deadline for submission

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred for the home-recorded oral presentation, you will be required to resubmit a new piece following the same modalities answering another set question. Where you have been referred/deferred for the examination, you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August/September re-assessment period. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Cognitive Psychology, by Goldstein & van Hoof (2018)
  • Cognitive Psychology, by Sternberg and Sternberg (2017)
  • Dehaene, S. (2009). Reading in the brain: The science and evolution of a human invention.¬†London: Penguin Viking.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

PSY1207 Cognition, Emotion and Development

Module co-requisites

PSY2206 Methods and Statistics in Psychology II

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date