Module code: PSYM033

Module provider


Module Leader

UZZELL D Prof (Psychology)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework REPORT 1 50%
Coursework REPORT 2 50%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

Environmental psychologists are often required to work with professionals as well as researchers from other disciplines, such as the engineering and environmental sciences, the design professions or other social sciences. This course aims to prepare you for such multidisciplinary work providing you with an understanding of the opportunities as well as difficulties of working across disciplinary borders. Environmental psychologists are also often called upon for their expertise in a wide range of environmental settings – this course will introduce you to the concept of the practitioner-researcher, i.e., the psychologist who uses their research training and skills to investigate or provide critical insight on a variety of people/environment situations.

Module aims

The Inquiry and Design module aims to integrate research training with the theories and substantive findings of environmental psychology. Whereas the module Key Questions in Environmental Psychology has a theoretical focus, examining foundational work in environmental psychology, this module focuses more on multidisciplinary methodological issues, and exploring and understanding the concept of the ‘practitioner-researcher'

This will be done by exposing students to examples of client centered research in order to illustrate practical issues surrounding the planning, design, management and dissemination of research. The module will draw on case studies that will not only provide an insightful understanding of the practical problems which arise when undertaking research, but it will also illustrate a range of methods central to contemporary environmental psychology research, and applicable in different settings, e.g. urban, rural, domestic, retail, office, recreational, transport, public space. There has been a trend in recent years for environmental psychologists to work in multi-disciplinary teams, and this module will also discuss the opportunities and benefits that this generates, as well as some of the difficulties

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
To be trained in problem analysis and formulation, intervention, assessment and evaluation as appropriate to a range of environmental settings in order to enable them to conduct empirical research of their own. (C, K, T, P) KCPT
To be able to develop interpersonal, technical and creative skills required for their effective transition to the world of work by providing opportunities to take personal control of their own development, promoting individual and team working, enhancing decision making skills KCPT
To be aware of cognate disciplines, including but not exclusively, architecture, planning, design and environmental sciences in order that they are aware of the perspectives and orientations of these disciplines and can engage in a mutually informative dialogue KCPT
To be able to model a professional approach to colleagues and potential clients mindful of equality issues and acknowledging human rights of those with whom they come into contact KCPT
To be able to link theoretical and empirical questions to social and environmental issues with a view to understanding the practical applications and action implications of environmental psychological theories and empirical findings KCPT
To be able to communicate results to others within the social sciences and the professional world of architecture, planning and environmental science KCPT
To be knowledgeable about procedures and practices for the ethical conduct of research KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Translating research client derived problems into theoretically-driven research questions
The planning and design of research projects
Working in multidisciplinary settings
Conducting applied research for clients
Preparing and writing client focused recommendations

Examples of research projects include conflict on shared-use routes; people’s behaviour in fires and emergency situations; fear of places and spaces; the communication of risk in restorative environments. In addition there will be invited speakers who will be either researchers with an international reputation in environmental psychology research, or former graduates from the course who will talk about how they have applied what they have learnt on the course to their current employment.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Equip students with the professional and paractical skills to enable them to undertake a piece of environmental psychology research with confidence, using a variety of methodologies, such that they will be able to engage with a client in terms of negotiating a brief, plan, design and manage a research project, including staffing and budgets, as well as subsequent dissemination of results and impact. 

The learning and teaching methods include:

Practical workhops in which students will be required to choose a methodology, design a research project answering a specific research question, and then prepare a poster that outlines their project. They will then make a presentation of their project to the class. In preparation for the second assignment, students will conduct a small-scale study in which they collect and analyse data using their project design. The workshops will begin with a lecture session providing instructions on the process.

2 hour seminar x 11 weeks. This will involve a combination of lecturing and group exercises.
128 hours independent study. This will involve a combination of reading, and data collection and analysis for the assignments.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

their problem analysis and formulation, intervention, assessment and evaluation as appropriate to a range of environmental settings
their ability to conduct empirical research of their own.
Their interpersonal, technical and creative skills
Their awareness of cognate disciplines
Their ability to link theoretical and empirical questions to social and environmental issues
to be able to communicate results to others
to be knowledgeable about procedures and practices for the ethical conduct of research

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Report 1: A poster outlining their proposed project– 50% (addresses learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Submission: Week 9

Report 2: a short empirical report based on the results of their study, but concentrating on reflections of their experience – 50% (addresses learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) Submission: Week 12

Formative assessment

Students will conduct presentations during the sessions and will receive formative feedback.


Peer and tutor feedback on the presentations

Reading list

Reading list for INQUIRY AND DESIGN :

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.