Political Psychology (L3013)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Political psychology is an interdisciplinary field that brings together political science and psychology. It’s concerned with the psychological dimensions of politics.

We’ll be looking at how psychological processes help us understand a variety of concepts, theories and approaches that social scientists use to study the political word.

In doing so, we will explore some of the major issues in political psychology and their applications to political life.

Some of the topics we will be covering are:

  • the history of political psychology
  • personality in elites and mass publics
  • belief systems
  • the structure of political attitudes and attitude change
  • mass media
  • the determinants of vote choice and participatory behaviour in general
  • the role of emotions in political behaviour.

In exploring these, we’ll also be looking at processes such as political cognition, political affectivity, information processing and decision making.


100%: Seminar


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

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 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 2024/25. 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: