SSST Subjects

PS320 Political Psychology


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BA in Political Science and International Relations

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications



Module Code



Module coordinator

Dr Sabina Čehajić-Clancy


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • The main goal of this module is to teach students why psychology is important to understanding various political phenomena. It introduces students to the main psychological approaches pertinent for thinking about, analysing, and understanding political processes.
  • This module will increase student knowledge and understanding of the main research questions, concepts, theories, methodologies and important research findings of recently published empirical studies in Political Psychology.
  • Through various forms of assessment, students will exercise a degree of creative thinking and appropriate judgment in problem solving as they consider and reflect on topical case studies.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • The relationship between politics and psychology
  • Authoritarianism
  • Leadership
  • Attitudes/beliefs/public opinion
  • Propaganda
  • Social influence
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Psychology of nationalism
  • Intergroup conflict
  • Intergroup reconciliation
  • Intergroup emotions
  • Intergroup forgiveness
  • Collective responsibility

Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time
Lectures 40 1 hour 40
Tutorials 40 1 hour 40
Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 70
Total Contact Hours 80
Total Engagement Hours 150

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline
Final Exam 1

3 hours

50% Week 17/18
Mid-semester test 1

2 hours

10% Week 8
Presentation plus short reflective paper 1

10 minute presentation and 1000 word paper

20% By week 12
Term paper 1

2000 words

20% By week 15

Module Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Critically understand the importance of psychology for the study of politics
  • Acquire knowledge about the current state of political psychology
  • Analyse psychological theories and form appropriate responses explaining political processes and behaviour 
  • Evaluate important and wide ranging research findings in the field of political psychology

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  •  Lectures provide the core information (ILO: 1-4)
  • Tutorials complement lectures and provide a forum for readings and class discussions (ILO: 1-4);
  • In-class individual presentations on assigned readings followed by short reflective paper will enable students to explore a relevant topic and contribute their views in a group setting (ILO: 1-4)
  • Individual consultancy with students as needed (including detailed feedback on their work) (ILO: 1).

Assessment Strategy:

  • Mid-term exam (ILO:1-3)
  • Reflective paper (ILO:1,3,4)
  • Term paper (ILO:1-4)
  • In-class presentations (ILO:1-4)
  • Final Exam (ILO:1-3)

Practical Skills:

  • Interpret statistical data relating to Political Psychology
  • Ability to utilise specialised resources for Political Psychology Research
  • Understand theories relating to Political Psychology and articulate ideas in a clear manner

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Lectures and tutorials (PS:1-3)
  • Case study and statistical analysis in class (PS:1,3)
  • Independent guided study (PS: 2)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Individual presentation (PS: 2)
  • Short reflective paper (PS:3)
  • Term paper (PS:1)
  • Exams (PS:1,4)

Transferable Skills:

  • Communication skills: written and oral
  • Analytical skills (Ability to analyse academic issues in a critical and independent manner)
  • Carry out public speaking, with a clarity of oral argument and presentation
  • Engage in discussion with different viewpoints.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Modulereadings and class discussions. (TS: 1-4)
  • Lectures (TS: 1,4)
  • In-class presentation (TS: 1-4)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Individual presentation (TS: 1,3)
  • Short reflective paper (TS:2)
  • Term paper (TS:4)
  • Exams (TS:1,2,4)

Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Cottam, M., (2015). Introduction to Political Psychology. 3Edition, Psychology Press

Supplementary Materials

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.

The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : June 2016

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee

Date approved by School Board of Study

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee

Date of Annual Review


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