Component

MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA Criminology with Social Psychology options

Final Year, Component 04

Sociology, HSC or Psychology option(s) from list
CS300-6-SP
Community Engagement: Group Projects
(15 CREDITS)

This module offers final year students a unique opportunity to work together in an interdisciplinary team on a real-world project for a local partner organisation. It enables you to use the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during your degree to address a real-world challenge, while sharing and developing your creative, organisational and practical abilities. By doing so, this module will prepare you for entering the graduate labour market or going on to post-graduate study.

CS316-6-FY
Democracy in Action
(30 CREDITS)

This module will allow third year students to do their final year project in an innovative and interdisciplinary way. The module seeks to give students the possibility to better understand their community, the issues it confronts and how to address them. Through the five step training of Citizens UK (1. Organise 2. Listen 3. Plan 4. Act 5. Negotiate) the students will learn the basics of community building and organising, which they will be able to practice and experience for themselves. Students will learn to build power and negotiate with local government on issues of local concern such as hate crime, transport, mental health and housing.

HS215-6-SP
Introduction to Health Psychology
(15 CREDITS)

Health psychology is a rapidly evolving branch of psychology that can be defined as the practice and application of psychological approaches to the study of behaviour relevant to health, illness and health care (British Psychological Society). Your seminars combine formal lecture materials with group work and class discussion to allow you to explore and debate the application of psychology to health and illness.

LG364-6-SP
Forensic Linguistics
(15 CREDITS)

Forensic Linguistics explores the ways in which linguistics intersects with public life. Topics include how linguistic knowledge is used in legal settings, such as analysing courtroom discourse, determining authenticity, or using linguistic analysis to determine a person's country of origin, a person's identity, or the authorship of a text. This module may also cover how linguistic discrimination effects individuals, and the legal rights granted to specific languages and language users, and how important information is communicated to minority language users.

PS486-6-AU
Culture and Psychology
(15 CREDITS)

Examine how culture shapes cognition, perception, motivation, and emotion in this advanced module on culture and psychology. You will learn about culture and health, cross-cultural difference in ideas of the self, personality, interpersonal behaviour, and group processes, and will discuss how culture impacts individuals, and interpersonal and intergroup processes.

PS487-6-AU
Emotion
(15 CREDITS)

This module is concerned with the study of emotional behaviour and experience from a scientific point of view. The emphasis throughout the module is on how emotions arise and are manifest as patterns of bodily response and mental activity. Theories of emotion from psychodynamic, introspective, and constructionist positions will not form a major component of the module, although some of the important insights which these approaches have offered will be considered. You will examine theories of both normal and abnormal emotion. The former will receive the lion's share of our attention, but the case studies on particular emotions (eg sadness) include discussion of their pathological extensions (depression).

PS489-6-SP
Animal Behaviour
(15 CREDITS)

Be introduced to the key concepts of animal behaviour from an ethological and comparative cognition viewpoint. By taking a critical look at published work and research and identifying the frameworks that underlie animal behaviour, you will become familiar with aspects such as the evolution of behaviour and the cognitive capabilities of different species.

PS490-6-SP
Evolutionary Psychology: How natural and sexual selection helped shape the human mind
(15 CREDITS)

You’ll be introduced to the key concepts of evolutionary theory as pertaining to human psychology, and will engage with current literature in this rapidly advancing area of science. You will develop your understanding of the relevance of evolution to the scientific study of human behaviour and cognition. You’ll also identify the basic concepts and frameworks that underlie evolutionary approaches to psychology, as well as the major findings and fields within evolutionary psychology.

PS491-6-SP
Topics in Human Memory
(15 CREDITS)

How do we remember? Why do we forget? In this module, we will answer these questions through both lectures and experimental self-discovery. We will learn that we are surprisingly poor at recalling even very small numbers of words, objects, and events that we can nevertheless easily recognise. Through practical workshop classes that supplement lectures, you will see these limitations for yourselves, allowing you to better evaluate whether these limitations are best understood as evidence for limited-capacity short-term or working memory store(s), and /or as a result of the interaction between encoding and retrieval processes.

PS495-6-AU
The Neuroscience of Human Nature
(15 CREDITS)

Discover the neuroscience behind key elements of human nature. These include, understanding the faces and bodies of others, how we copy body language to show empathy and the processes that drive motivation and emotion. You will also investigate autism and schizophrenia which occur when these processes aren’t working effectively.

PS502-6-SP
Body, Senses and Existence
(15 CREDITS)

Develop knowledge gained in the second year module, Brain and Behaviour, and deepen your understanding of how the brain affects behaviour, and the link it has with the workings of the body. You will learn from a range of experts, covering aspects from basic bodily functions to high-order existential concerns, such as psychopharmacology, diet and wellbeing, epigenetics, physical and social pain, and existential neuroscience, to ultimately gain a deep understanding of the way the brain and body interact to control behaviour.

PS503-6-SP
Ageing: Mind, Brain, and Behaviour
(15 CREDITS)

What happens to our psychology as we get older? Explore three major themes in the psychology of ageing: mind, brain, and behaviour in this module, which covers the cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of ageing. You will investigate decision-making in older age, how older adults interact with their social environment, and how emotional processing changes with age, as well as the physiology of ageing, the neurological changes that occur, and how these affect aspects of cognition and emotion.

PS504-6-AU
Psychopathology
(15 CREDITS)

You will examine the causes of psychopathology from the perspective of different disciplines (genetics, neuroscience, behavioural, and social sciences), with the aim of understanding the potential interplay between biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors. You will learn how to critically distinguish individual differences in behaviour and the different ways of classifying psychopathologies.

PS507-6-SP
Making connections: How children develop
(15 CREDITS)

You will gain a greater understanding of the relation between brain development and the development of skills in infants and children, and of how neuroscience can inform educational practices. Topics may include: prenatal brain development, the development of the sense of self and self control, infant and children attachment and social skills, neuro-developmental disorders and applied neuroscience.

PS508-6-AU
"Believing is Seeing". The power of belief and suggestion on the mind and brain
(15 CREDITS)

These are only some of the questions we will address: Why do people indulge in magical thinking? What happens in our brains during hypnosis and meditation? How easy is to implant a false memory? How powerful is the effect of an inert drug when we believe it does have a healing action? We will first set out the levels of interpretations, the lens through which we will discuss mind, brain, and behavioural correlates of suggestion- and belief-laden phenomena. You will be asked to reflect on the learning material by creating connections between the different themes, everyday life and other aspects of social life, including your own experience. This integrative approach will aim to spark comprehensive understanding of the general mechanisms governing the human mind. Your active role and reflective approach to learning will contribute to a transformative learning experience and personal growth, whether you believe it or not!

PS509-6-AU
The science of uncertainty
(15 CREDITS)

The use of Bayesian statistics is increasingly common in psychology. This module aims to introduce you to these tools, and how to use R (a popular, open source statistical software package) to analyse and visualise data. It will also give you an overview of how the human brain deals with uncertainty and probabilities, and how the media often misrepresents statistical issues. Throughout the module, you will gain familiarity with working with large datasets, identifying patterns and presenting data. These skills are useful not only for further postgraduate study, but also are increasingly valuable in graduate jobs outside academia.

PS511-6-SP
What's Love Got To Do With It? Understanding Romantic Relationships.
(15 CREDITS)

Romantic relationships are a fundamental part of the human experience. This module will take a scientific approach to understanding relationships. We will examine how relationships form, what binds them together, and what might lead to their dissolution. We will discuss how much of "me" we bring into our relationships compared to how much relationships change our sense of self. Finally, we will discuss what makes relationships such an important area of study: how they impact and influence our lives.

PS512-6-AU
Decision making science in theory and practice
(15 CREDITS)

Can psychology help make better decisions? Yes! From curbing climate change to selecting the best candidate for the job, decision-making science has many important insights to offer, which is why it is becoming increasingly popular in education, politics, business, economics and health. Governments, businesses and charities all understand the value of identifying decision pitfalls (eg social and cognitive biases) and using strategies to overcome these. In this module, you will learn about decision-making theories and gain the skills to understand, predict and improve people's decisions for real-world issues (eg "how can we help doctors better diagnose patients?", "how do we motivate people to exercise more often?", "how can we encourage people to be more prosocial?").

PS515-6-AU
The Psychology of (Self)-Improvement
(15 CREDITS)

So-called pop science, and in particular "self-help" sections in book stores are growing at fast pace. But is the information provided always grounded in psychological theory and supported by enough empirical evidence? This module combines all areas of psychology to explore research around psychological (self)-improvement. Utilising Essex Psychology staff expertise, we will unravel popular topics around improvement by exploring the theories and empirical evidence underlying popular beliefs. We will cover the breadth of the discipline to address questions such as: Why do we procrastinate and how do we stop? What causes insomnia and how do we sleep better? Why is it so difficult to break bad habits and how can we achieve it nevertheless? How can I improve my self-esteem? What causes anxiety and what are techniques to calm our mind? Why are stereotyping and prejudice so prevalent and how can we help to reduce them? Different personalities, different behaviours – how do you identify what your individual needs are? Questions such as these will be addressed by critically examining underlying research evidence and carefully looking at tools that have been proposed to be useful to answer these questions in the public and clinical domain. To help strengthen your ability to translate psychological research into real-world practices, you will also be provided with a work-based learning opportunity by critically appraising existing practices in organisations.

PS516-6-SP
Psychology in the Real World
(15 CREDITS)

This module closely links to the Department's mission to foster an "Understanding of our place in the world". It will feature a range of state-of-the-art psychological research as conducted by Essex based researchers and demonstrate what and how their area of research has contributed to society. It will outline how principles of psychological science are relevant to everyday life and will address questions such as "How has cognitive psychology started today's AI revolution", "What are the therapeutic uses of virtual reality for the treatment phobias and anxiety", "Does training people where to look improve performance", "What role does sensory processing play in the understanding and treatment of migraines", "Who is taking drugs and what interventions can psychology provide", "What gestures can be useful for clinicians", "What can psychologists contribute to information design", or "Can psychology tell us anything about how we search for our keys, or find milk at the supermarket"? Questions such as these will be addressed by critically examining "what the problem is" and what research evidence we can use to answer these questions to have an impact beyond academia. As part of your assessment, you will work on a "real-life" problem, i.e. a problem that an existing company or organisation is facing and you will contribute to them addressing the issue basing your advice on content learned throughout the module. This focus on "real-life" problems will be beneficial for you in future employment where it may be relevant to translate your existing knowledge into company specific strategies.

SC301-6-FY
Rethinking Modernity
(30 CREDITS)

How do you understand contemporary society? What role do key topics like modernity, post-modernity, feminism and capitalism play? And what do contemporary theorists like Foucault and Bourdieu say? Learn why philosophical knowledge is vital for sociological understanding, while deepening your own awareness of the subject.

SC302-6-SP
Crimes of the Powerful
(15 CREDITS)

In the popular imagination and, to a large degree, in criminology itself, crime is associated with the poor and powerless. However, it is clear that the most serious and harmful crimes are actually committed by apparently legitimate states, corporations and the political economies that they support. These crimes include torture, mass murder and rape of civilians, as well as large-scale financial crimes committed and facilitated by global corporations and financial institutions, and the destruction of the planet. This module will examine these crimes of the powerful, focusing specifically on organisations, their extraordinary power in the contemporary world, and their relative immunity to sanction.

SC304-6-FY
Globalisation and Crime
(30 CREDITS)

What effect does globalisation have on crime and justice? How do we deal with global crime issues, like terrorism or illegal migration? Can we prevent large-scale crime, such as genocide? Study the changing nature of criminology, looking at contemporary developments, alongside the problem of balancing human rights with human security.

SC304-6-SP
Globalisation and Crime
(15 CREDITS)

What effect does globalisation have on crime and justice? How do we deal with global crime issues, like terrorism or illegal migration? Can we prevent large-scale crime, such as genocide? Study the changing nature of criminology, looking at contemporary developments, alongside the problem of balancing human rights with human security.

SC306-6-AU
Crime, Media and Culture
(15 CREDITS)

In this module, we want to enable you to critically assess contemporary thinking and research on the relationships between crime, media and culture. These relationships have long been the subject of intense debate and this option offers an account of crime stories in the media that is more interested in their social character: the ways they are produced, circulated and read. In doing so it will also move beyond their symbolic meaning – by emphasising the work such stories perform in the wider social order, how they alter over time, shape political processes and clarify moral boundaries.

SC308-6-SP
Race, Ethnicity and Migration
(15 CREDITS)

This module provides an introduction to theoretical, historical and contemporary debates around race, ethnicity and migration. It will engage you with substantive topics but will also practically illustrate the inner workings of research in the field through a practical ‘Getting a feel for research’ embedded in the module design. We focus on the deep implications that these notions carry for thinking about identity, culture, and social hierarchy; but also for studying ethnic tensions, prejudice and political mobilization.

SC311-6-SP
Childhood Innocence and Deviance
(15 CREDITS)

Discover how questions of childhood and youth have driven wider debates in criminology and sociology. Ask why, how, and with what, effects children and young people have been constructed as subjects with rights, relational citizens with needs, offenders to be reformed or punished, and victims to be protected. Explore children and young people’s experiences of (il)legal youth cultures, systems of youth justice, education, child protection, family intervention and other efforts to counter social exclusion.

SC340-6-FY
The Current Issues in Social Science
(30 CREDITS)

This module gives students an opportunity to apply social science to address key issues facing society at the local, national and global level. For example, what is the impact of the war in Yemen or in Syria? What is the impact of Brexit? How does global warming affect us? What are the major challenges in the 21st century? This module will tackle a different theme each term to better understand how Social Science can be used to understand the big issues.

SC361-6-AU
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
(15 CREDITS)

What is it to be an American Indian today? Has the slavery legacy contributed to contemporary debates on criminal justice? What are the politics for a Latino presence? Examine social, political and economic encounters between European settlers, American Indians, African-Americans and Latinos that shaped the USA, from colonisation to today.

SC361-6-FY
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
(30 CREDITS)

What is it to be an American Indian today? Has the slavery legacy contributed to contemporary debates on criminal justice? What are the politics for a Latino presence? Examine social, political and economic encounters between European settlers, American Indians, African-Americans and Latinos that shaped the USA, from colonisation to today.

SC361-6-SP
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
(15 CREDITS)

What is it to be an American Indian today? Has the slavery legacy contributed to contemporary debates on criminal justice? What are the politics for a Latino presence? Examine social, political and economic encounters between European settlers, American Indians, African-Americans and Latinos that shaped the USA, from colonisation to today.

SC362-6-SP
Visual Cultures: the Social Meanings of Photography and Art
(15 CREDITS)

This module examines how photography and other forms of visual art provide meanings and interpretations of societies.

SC364-6-AU
Mass Media and Modern Life
(15 CREDITS)

What impact has the printed press had on our social and cultural life? What about radio, cinema, TV and recorded music? And how important is all this in the light of new technological advancements? Examine the development of our mass media culture, from the nineteenth century to the present day.

SC364-6-FY
Mass Media and Modern Life
(30 CREDITS)

What impact has the printed press had on our social and cultural life? What about radio, cinema, TV and recorded music? And how important is all this in the light of new technological advancements? Examine the development of our mass media culture, from the nineteenth century to the present day.

SC364-6-SP
Mass Media and Modern Life
(15 CREDITS)

What impact has the printed press had on our social and cultural life? What about radio, cinema, TV and recorded music? And how important is all this in the light of new technological advancements? Examine the development of our mass media culture, from the nineteenth century to the present day.

SC382-6-AU
Crime, Policy and Social Justice
(15 CREDITS)

Should criminal justice systems only manage offenders and victims? What wider role could they play in securing social justice? Explore the history of criminal justice and examine key theories within an international dimension. Find out how our current criminal justice policies are framed, funded and fought out.

SC385-6-AU
Modelling Crime and Society
(15 CREDITS)

The first term of the module begins with simple OLS regression and provides a framework for modelling strategy and variable selection. Students are then taken through extensions to the basic OLS model, with categorical predictors, interactions and non-linear terms. Next, we introduce models for categorical outcomes: binary logistic and multinomial logit. The term concludes with a discussion of practical topics in data analysis - how to deal with complex sample designs, weighting and non-response adjustments.

SC385-6-FY
Modelling Crime and Society
(30 CREDITS)

The first term of the module begins with simple OLS regression and provides a framework for modelling strategy and variable selection. Students are then taken through extensions to the basic OLS model, with categorical predictors, interactions and non-linear terms. Next, we introduce models for categorical outcomes: binary logistic and multinomial logit. The term concludes with a discussion of practical topics in data analysis - how to deal with complex sample designs, weighting and non-response adjustments.

SC387-6-AU
The Age of Trauma
(15 CREDITS)

What is ‘trauma’ and how is its history connected to that of war in the modern age? How have stories of trauma become a feature of contemporary society, and why? This module traces the history of trauma in the age of ‘total war’, from the two World Wars, through the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, to the present, linking the history and sociology of medicine to the cultural and social history of modern warfare.

SC387-6-FY
The Age of Trauma
(30 CREDITS)

What is ‘trauma’ and how is its history connected to that of war in the modern age? How have stories of trauma become a feature of contemporary society, and why? This module traces the history of trauma in the age of ‘total war’, from the two World Wars, through the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, to the present, linking the history and sociology of medicine to the cultural and social history of modern warfare.

SC387-6-SP
The Age of Trauma
(15 CREDITS)

What is ‘trauma’ and how is its history connected to that of war in the modern age? How have stories of trauma become a feature of contemporary society, and why? This module traces the history of trauma in the age of ‘total war’, from the two World Wars, through the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, to the present, linking the history and sociology of medicine to the cultural and social history of modern warfare.

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