Course content

The course comprises a number of modules, each 7.5 HECs, of which Scientific Methods and Statistics, 7.5 HECs, is obligatory. Students are required to choose 3 other course modules. A selection of the following modules is given each semester. Admission to some modules may be limited.

The modules are:

1. Neuropsychology, 7.5 HECs

Aspects of the neural basis of human behaviour and mental function. The brain and nervous system structure and function are addressed in detail as well as the methods and theories of functional neuroanatomy and cognitive neuropsychology. This module is divided into a general part that everyone reads and a more specialised part related to the student's own interests.

2. Cognitive psychology, 7.5 HECs

This module concerns different cognitive functions, in particular attention, learning, memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. Connections between the brain and cognitive disorders also form a part of this module. Various methods used to study cognitive processes (for example, think-aloud-methodology and latency measurement) are introduced.

3. Motivation and emotion, 7.5 HECs

On the one hand, this module focuses on motivation in terms of processes underlying certain driving forces and the regulation of human behaviour such as action-consequences and thinking. On the other hand, this module focuses on the study of emotion in terms of emotional reactions and sentiment. Traditionally, the study of emotions involves certain interactions between three components; namely, the cognitive, the physiological, and the expressive component.

4. Perception and psychophysics, 7.5 HECs

This module aims to provide a basic understanding of perception and psychophysics. Both the child's perceptual development and the adult's ability to function in a complex environment will be discussed, together with certain theoretical models. Research applications will be presented in terms of ergonomics and interaction of the ‘human-physical’ environment. The module is divided into two parts; a general part that everyone reads and a more specific part related to the student's own interests in the area.

5. Group psychology and interview methods, 7.5 HECs

An aim of this module is to further students' theoretical and practical knowledge of small groups, group processes and interview methods. Different theoretical perspective will be highlighted and discussed during lectures and seminars. Practical group dynamics will form an element of this module, in the form of a groupdevelopment study on the basis of students' participation in their own interview group, or in the form of external observation of group processes.

In relation to the teaching of groups, group processes, and interview methods, different issues will be considered that affect interpersonal processes and their importance for interviews and other interpersonal meetings. Emphasis is placed on individual active participation in interview-group-work, particularly in terms of being able to contribute and accept constructive criticism.

6. Personality theories, 7.5 HECs

The focus here is on certain representative theories of personality. Different perspectives, personal development, the structure, dynamics and pathology of personality will be presented and compared. An overview of theories, their historical development, and scientific underpinnings, will provide a framework for the elected examples.

7. Introduction to clinical psychology, 7.5 HECs

This module concerns psychological and biological theories of mental illness, as well as various diagnostic techniques and related therapies. Various forms of treatment and prevention will be discussed in terms of mental health care within the family and more generally in society. Some clinical measurement methods will also be presented.

8. Adult development, 7.5 HECs


This course is an in depth examination of adult development. Emphasis is placed on mastering fundamental developmental principles. The interface between biological, cognitive, and social development will also be traced and explored through adulthood. Students will examine traditional and contemporary developmental theories/research and will evaluate these theories/research on empirical, practical, and heuristic grounds. Adult development will be discussed in a holistic fashion.


9. Organizational psychology, 7.5 HECs

This module aims to provide a framework for thinking about various aspects of organizational psychology by highlighting certain phenomena studied extensively in the organizational psychology research literature. Organisational conditions and organizational change will be studied from both the perspective of the individual and in terms of the organizations structure. Emphasis is placed on factors that influence organizational structure, management of organizations, organizational change, and how individuals operate in organizations. In addition, this module will provide an orientation to theories of organizational psychology in a scientific context. Particular attention is paid to the comparison and integration of different theoretical models of what organizations are, how they work, and how they can be described.

10. Work psychology, 7.5 HECs

Aspects of basic psychological knowledge as applied to working life. Emphasis is placed on basic knowledge derived from social, organisational, and physiological psychology. Psychological and social conditions are analysed as well as their impact on performance, job satisfaction and stress, learning and professional development. Applications in personnel-work and work environment operations will be presented. Research will be introduced and examples of measurement and analytical methods discussed.

11. Stress and health, 7.5 HECs

This module concerns aspects of psychological, biological, and social factors central to the field of stress and health. Within this remit, this module includes description and discussion of various topics such as the concepts of stress and health; psychobiological mechanisms, the interaction between stress and (un)health, burnout, lifestyle, pain and chronic illness, drug addiction and interaction between users and providers, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and, primary and secondary prevention. Gender, age, socioeconomic status, culture, and various lifestyle factors will also be considered. Main research methods will be introduced with examples from current research projects.

12. Social psychology, 7.5 HECs

An aim of this module is to impart an understanding of certain key social psychological areas, such as, interpersonal perception, social cognition and social influence, aggression, prejudice, altruism, and social psychological methodology. Students will be given the opportunity to choose a specific area for further study.

13. Gender psychology, 7.5 HECs

An aim of this module is to provide basic knowledge of the psychology of sex differences. Themes addressed include different ways of looking at gender and beliefs about femininity and masculinity. Emphasis is on issues of gender-identity development, body perception, health, sports, family, and sex as a society structured principle. Gender research will be discussed in terms of scientific and methodological aspects illustrated on the basis of ongoing research projects.

14. Forensic psychology, 7.5 HECs

An aim of this module is to provide a basic orientation to forensic psychology and its sub-disciplines. Emphasis is placed on child and adult witnesses' ability to process and communicate memories of traumatic events. This module will also deal with knowledge of psychopathology with an emphasis on antisocial development and psychopathology. Other topics to be discussed include interview techniques in connection with the police, witness confrontation, and methods of testimony verification. Finally, this module will also include an orientation to criminal profiling, what it is used for, and how this area has come to grow and develop. Throughout, the reactions and treatment of people affected by crime will be highlighted.

15. Special work, independent study of modules 1-14, 7.5 HECs

An aim of this module is to provide training in the analysis and comparison of theories, and evaluation/application of research results within a chosen area. In exceptional cases, the focus may be on theoretical work alone. This module will also provide training in oral and written presentations. Work may be conducted individually or in a group of a maximum of two students. Students are expected to present their own ideas about how further study should take place (inclusive literature representing some 600 to 700 pages, or empirical work, etc.). There are no ready made departmental suggestions or rough outlines; it is up to each student to identify an appropriate subject area, relevant literature and so on.

16. Scientific methods and statistics, 7.5 HECs (OBLIGATORY)

This module is intended to highlight and explain the differences between various types of research (both quantitative and qualitative methods are discussed). Basic principles for scientific work, and the various steps included in the research process (identification and problem formulation, methodology and design choice, analysis, interpretation and explanation) will be dealt with in detail. Descriptive statistics and statistical analysis (hypothesis testing) using t-tests and one-way analysis of variance will form a part of this module. An important component concerns the practical use of existing statistical programmes. A laboratory exercise which culminates in a short scientific report shall be conducted by small groups of two to four students.

More information

Application information in the Stockholm University course catalog, with course plan.