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Educational Psychology (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

What makes us educable? What factors are involved in education? What are the barriers - personal and social – to attainment? What are the forms and purposes of assessment? These are some of the questions addressed in this introductory course about the theory and practice of psychology in education.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No prerequisites for entry, although this may be regarded as an appropriate progression route for students who have studied Psychology: An Introduction.

Content of Course

1. What is educational psychology and what contribution can it make to education and psychology. Cognitive development: the legacies of Piaget and Vygotsky.

2. Cognitive development continued: the role of play.

3. Learning in school and adulthood: approaches to learning; learning styles; meta-cognition; multiple intelligences.

4. Motivation: defining motivation; some theories of motivation; reasons for underachievement.

5. Assessment and evaluation in practice and research: why and how it is done; uses and limitations.

6. Theories of instruction: comparisons and evaluations.

7. Technology, peers and learning: delivering content or new affordances for quality learning?

8. Language as a medium for education: use of language in academic disciplines.

9. Learning difficulties and special needs: a spectrum of needs and issues of inclusion.

10. Support for learning: can educational psychology help? What have we learned?

Teaching method(s)

The 10 sessions will comprise lectures, class discussion and exercises. Handouts and video excerpts will be used to support teaching and stimulate discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe the principles underlying the theory and practice of educational psychology;

  • Identify the factors contributing to effective education;

  • Understand the potential barriers to effective learning;

  • Evaluate current practices in education, including assessment;

  • Apply the principles of this course to their own educational experience and that of and others.


Core Readings

  • Stapleton, M., 2001. Psychology in Practice: Education. London: Hodder.

Class Handouts

Details outlining theme and issues of content.


10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.