Attention: Distraction, daydreaming and diversity (C8895)

15 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

The extent to which we are able to control and focus attention can profoundly impact our daily lives, from our academic performance to our personal safety during driving. Why do some people appear to find it easier to avoid distraction than others? Why do some people find their attention powerfully drawn to particular things?

To address these issues, this module first draws on current theories of attention to consider which mechanisms might influence individual differences in attention. We will then apply this theoretical framework to explore the evidence in relation to a range of individual differences factors that have been associated with attention, including affective traits, addiction, cultural differences and neurodiversity. The module also has a strong focus on strengthening research skills such as the critical analysis of research studies in the field.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: