Module code: PSY1023

Module provider


Module Leader

MASON O Dr (Psychology)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 126

Lecture Hours: 21

Tutorial Hours: 3

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAM (90 MINUTES) 75

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module introduces students to the main psychological approaches to personality, focusing on key theorists and the empirical evidence testing each theory.

Module aims

This module aims to introduce students to the main approaches to personality that have developed over the history of psychology. Each theory will be considered critically from a past to present perspective, covering the key aspects of the theory and the ways in which the concepts have been developed, tested and applied, right up to the present day. Links will be made between theories and across other areas of psychology

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Describe how different theorists view personality and its development
2 Explain key influences on the development of classic theories in personality psychology
3 Relate the concepts of personality theories to contemporary psychology and everyday life
4 Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of personality theories
5 Synthesise theories of personality to illustrate their different perspectives on human nature and influences on behaviour

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Each week, we will discuss one key theoretical approach to personality. We will also consider practical issues in studying, measuring, and applying personality, and synthesise the different theories in relation to each other and different areas of psychology.

Topics will include:

Introduction to personality and the nature-nurture debate
Freud and psychoanalytic approaches to personality
Humanistic personality theories
Learning personality theories
Social cognitive personality theories
Cognitive personality theories
Trait approaches to personality
Biological personality theories
Methods of researching and assessing personality
Revision and synthesis

Tutorial 1: Essay preparation

Tutorial 2: Personality research study

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This module is made up of weekly lectures, two tutorials, and independent study.

The online Virtual Learning Environment, SurreyLearn, will be a key resource for supplementary materials, links, and a dedicated Discussion Board (

Interactive quizzes in class and practice questions on SurreyLearn will provide formative feedback on students’ progress. 

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in both an essay and exam, as well as learn how to critically discuss empirical evidence in an essay format.

 Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

An essay (4 pages, 25%) and exam with a combination of short answer questions and multiple choice questions (90 minutes, 75%)

Formative assessment

A mid-semester quiz takes place.


Extensive summative feedback is given on the essay by the markers and this is discussed in a one-to-one tutorial. 

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sociology with Psychology BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.