Psychology of Collective Action (C8566)

15 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

On this module you’ll examines the psychology of collective action – one of the primary tools groups around the world use to challenge or defend the social, economic and political conditions and systems they live in.

Examples include movements such as those fighting around:

  • labour rights
  • gender rights
  • racial justice
  • anti-colonialism/imperialism
  • environmentalism.

Methods vary too, including nonviolent (including petitions, protests and strikes) and violent methods (such as riots or militant group tactics).

By drawing on theories and empirical evidence from social psychology, you will examine:

  • what motivates people to engage in collective action in different contexts, and using different methods
  • how collective action affects individuals and society
  • the social psychological dynamics involved.


100%: Lecture


30%: Coursework (Test)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: