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PS4094 Communicating Psychology and Neuroscience

SCOTCAT credits:15
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Availability restrictions:Available only to students in the second year of the Honours programme
Planned timetable:11.00 am - 1.00 pm Mon

This module provides final year students within the School of Psychology and Neuroscience with first-hand experience of science communication through a series of expert led master-classes (e.g. Bright Club, BBC, print journalists, science bloggers), presentations and interaction with new media (e.g. podcasts, blogs, Twitter, FaceBook). This module will enable students to gain substantial experience of working to tight deadlines, evaluating how the media translates psychological/neuroscience findings and of communicating complex ideas at various different levels, including presenting work to the press, the public and school children. Topics covered may include: why scientists must communicate with the public; how psychology/neuroscience hits the headlines; evaluating media coverage; using new media to get the message across and designing a science exhibit. While of particular value to students aiming for a career in public engagement, these core skills are equally important for any career that requires good communication, including post-graduate study. In addition students will be required to monitor relevant periodicals and evaluate several new studies in psychology/neuroscience and so should expose students to the latest trends within the field.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for Single and Joint Honours Psychology, Psychology with Biology, Psychology with Film Studies, Psychology with Geography, Neuroscience

UG Pre-requisite(s):PS3021 or PN3313. Average grade of 11 or better in PS2001 and PS2002 from the first sitting or permission of the Psychology Honours Adviser
UG Anti-requisite(s):ID4001 and ID4002

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2-hour lecture, plus office hour and occasional fieldwork.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 26
  • Guided independent study: 124

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 0%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 100%
UG As used by St Andrews:Coursework = 100%
UG Re-assessment:Coursework = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr K Spencer
Module teaching staff:Dr K Spencer, Mr P L Gardner