DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF GHANA
PSYC 101: Elements of Psychology
This course is designed to introduce students to the history, basic theories, research methods and
principles of Psychology. It is aimed at laying the foundation for higher level courses in
Psychology. At the end of the course, it is expected that students will have basic knowledge
ofsome psychological theories and principles underlying behaviour and also be in the position
torelate what they have learnt to issues of everyday life.
PSYC 102: Psychology for Everyday Living
This course deals primarily with issues of everyday life. It employs psychological principles,
theories and research findings in an attempt to explain and understand matters of everyday life.
Itsmain objective is to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of psychology in the daily life
ofthe individual and thus draw links between what students learn in the lecture halls and what they
experience in real life. Specific topics to be covered include motivation and goal setting,
community and diversity, assertiveness and leadership, problem solving and creativity.
LEVEL 200 COURSES
PSYC : Introduction to General Psychology
This course is designed to introduce students to Psychology as a discipline and a profession.
Theemphasis is on the history of psychology, the different orientations available in the field and
thebasics of research in psychology. The course will also look at two interesting areas in
psychology namely, intelligence and social behaviour. By the end of this course, students should
know whatpsychology is, why it is important for them to study psychology and be adequately
prepared forbuilding up on their knowledge in higher levels of their study in psychology.
PSYC 223: Biological Psychology
This course examines the neurobiological bases of behaviour. The course will cover the nature
ofneurons and neuronal communication, the translation of the external world into
internalperceptions (vision, hearing, touch, etc.) and the role of the nervous system in the
cognition skillsof thinking, learning, memory, and language.
PSYC 222: Motivation and Emotion
This course is intended to introduce students to motivational causes of behaviour and the
emotionsexperienced. Understanding motivation and emotion is fundamental to understanding
humanbehaviour. Emphasis will be placed on the theories, sources and types of motivation and
emotion.At the end of the course, students should be able to understand motivational causes of
behaviourand the expression of emotions.
PSYC 224: Introduction to Experimental Psychology
This course is designed to introduce students to the general principles of experimental
researchmethod. Emphasis will be placed on design, control of extraneous variables and ethics
governingpsychological research. At the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able
to designsimple experiment, identify flaws in basic design and control for extraneous variables.
PSYC 331: Statistics for Psychologists
This course deals with statistics and the behavioural sciences. It delves into descriptive and
inferential statistics, populations, samples, parameters, etc. furthermore, the concept of
variability,strategy of inferential statistics, the normal curve and inferences about the means of
twopopulations will also be discussed. One way analysis of variance, two way analysis of
variance,parametric and non-parametric methods, chi square, Kruskal–Wallis H test, the Wilcoxon
test andthe rank-sum test will also be taught.
PSYC 333: Psychology of Personality
The course emphasizes the major personality theories, research and measurements of personality.
It will explore the foundations of normally functioning individuals as well as problems. The topics
will include definitions, psychodynamic, traits, cognitive, phenomenological/existential theories
associated with personality development. The effect of folk stories, “KwekuAnanse” stories
onpersonality development will be examined.
PSYC 335: Developmental Psychology I
This course is concerned with understanding and explaining the changes that occur between
conception and adolescence. Emphasis is placed on the major changes that occur in the physical,
cognitive and the psychosocial domains and their implications for parents, educators, and
*PSYC 337: Learning
This course basically deals with the psychology of learning and its application to everyday
lifesituations. It covers the various types of learning (e.g. Pavlovian, Instrumental, observational
andverbal learning). Specific topics that are taught include: reasons for using animals in research
inlearning, elements/features of classical and instrumental conditioning, use of reinforcement
andpunishment, learning principles and behaviour change.Othersare cognitive learning,
observational learning and various types of verbal learning. At the end of the course,
studentsshould be able to apply learning principles to their own life situations as well as that of
*The course has a compulsory practical component.
*PSYC 332: Cognitive Psychology I
This course is to provide a survey of selected problem areas in cognitive psychology with
emphasison memory. Both experimental work and theoretical accounts of memory will be
covered. Topicsinclude structural and processing accounts of memory – how people acquire, store,
transform, retrieve and communicate information.
*The course has a compulsory practical component.
PSYC 334: Research Methods in Psychology
The course is intended to provide the student with basic skills needed to conduct
psychologicalresearch, develop critical thinking skills regarding research and gain the capacity to
design andconduct research as well as writing research reports. Topics include an overview of the
scientificapproach to knowledge, definitions of basic concepts, types of scientific research, design,
sampling, questionnaire construction, interviews and report writing.
PSYC 338: Abnormal Psychology
This course is designed to introduce students to the psychology of abnormal behaviour. It explores
the history, definitions and current status of abnormal behaviour. The topics include the
fiveparadigms or theoretical models of psychodynamic trait, phenomenological, cognitive
andbehavioural approached to abnormal behaviour. It will examine research, abnormal patterns
offunctioning and methods of treatment.
PSYC 336: Developmental Psychology II
This course examines basic themes in life-span development: the concept of adulthood,
physicaldevelopment including changes in sense organs, cardiovascular organs, sex, reproductive
organsand their psychological consequences. Others arehealth, vitality and diseases, the process
ofageing, cognitive and psychosocial development during adulthood, retirement and widowhood,
culture and aging.
PSYC 342: Psychological Tests and Measurements
This course of study is designed to expose students to the basic conceptual, theoretical, technical
andmethodological principles in the development, administration and interpretation of
psychologicalmeasurements. It is essential that students who intend to offer this course have good
background inBasic Statistics and/or Statistics for psychologist.
PSYC 490: Research Project
This course is research based and runs through the first semester to the second semester.
Studentsare expected to select a topic of their own, conduct an empirical study on it, write a
research reportand submit to the Department.
PSYC 441: Cognitive Psychology II
The course builds up on Cognitive Psychology I and aims to acquaint the student with
importanttheoretical principles and findings in cognitive psychology along with the methods by
which thisknowledge is acquired. Some of the areas of interest are sensation and perception,
attention, visualimagery, thinking and reasoning, decision-making, problem solving, language and
comprehension, individual and gender differences in cognition etc. Application of cognitive
psychology to real-worldsettings and implications will be emphasised.
PSYC 443: Social Psychology
This course focuses on the study of the social dimensions of human behaviour. Unlike other
domains of psychology that focus mainly on the individual as the unit of analysis, social
psychology examines behaviour in its social context. Students will be introduced to the main
theories, research methods and major research findings in social psychology. Emphasis will alsobe
placed on key concepts such as attribution, cognition, attitudes, social influence and manymore. At
the end of this course, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of thebasic
principles of social influences on behaviour.
PSYC 449: Practicals in Cognition II
This course is the practical component of PSYC 401, and is compulsory for all students
offeringPSYC 401. Students are expected to participate in experiments based on the theories
learned inPSYC 401 after which they submit a research report.
PSYC 445: Clinical Psychology
This is an introductory course designed for level 400 students. The course focuses on a
thoroughsurvey of the field, which does not go into all the details typically found in “graduate
study only”.The topics explore the history of clinical psychology, including Ghanaian
development of thefield, its scope, functions and future perspective. The course also covers the
latest developments inclinical research and techniques inhealthpsychology, behaviourmedicine,
psychopathology and mental health.
PSYC 447: Educational Psychology
This course is designed to give insight into the problems of teaching and learning and to
developthe necessary professional skills and competencies for prospective educationist/teachers to
enablethem effectively understand, predict and control the behaviour of learners in the
educationalprocess. To this end, the course should more importantly be perceived as an area of
appliedpsychology rather than a unique subject matter.
PSYC 451: Guidance and Counselling
This course is designed to provide an insight into guidance and counseling. Specific topics to
becovered include the historical development of guidance and counseling, the counseling process,
techniques of counseling, the therapeutic relationship, theory and practice of counseling,
specialproblems in counseling and ethical issues in counseling.
PSYC 453: Psychology ofReligion
Psychology of religion deals with the application of psychological principles, theories and
methods of research in studying religious behaviour, religious cognition, religious motivation, the
role of religion in human life. The course draws on the contributions of other fields of
psychologyand focuses on the attitudes, values and experiences of people and their relationship
with thesupernatural. Topics to be covered include the emergence of psychology of religion,
approaches tothe study of psychology of religion, religious experience, religion and morality, and
religion, coping and adjustment and functions of religion in adult life.
PSYC 455: Introduction to Neuropsychology
This is a course that will introduce students to a general overview of theanatomyof the brain
(both cortical and subcortical). The course is also designed to help students understand the
functions of the structures of the brain with respect to human behaviour and diseases that are
brain-related. The course will be in two parts. The first part is an overview of selected brain
functions (e.g. perception, language, memory, attention, sensory/motor control, executive
functions) in both normal functioning and brain damage syndromes. The second part of the
coursewill review clinical assessment and rehabilitation issues.
PSYC 457: Industrial Psychology
This course is made up of Personnel Psychology and Engineering Psychology. It deals with how
psychological principles, theories, concepts and methods are applied to shape individuals
foreffective job Performance and to also design work, work environments, tools, machines
andequipment to match human abilities and limitations. Some of the areas covered in this course
are: Job Analysis, Personnel Selection, Training and Development human resource, Job
evaluation, Job Design work schedules, Human Factors Engineering characteristics of the work
environment,Employee Health, Safety and Accidents at the workplace.
PSYC 459: Military Psychology
This course deals with selected topical issues in the military. These include leadership and
groupdynamics (unit identity, unit cohesion, morale and heroism), stress and combat performance,
combat stress behaviours, combat misconduct stress behaviours, battle fatigue and posttraumaticstress
PSYC 461: Atypical Development
This course deals with children’s abnormalities in the general context of human development.
Topics to be covered include mental retardation, social isolation syndromes, infantile autism,
minimal brain dysfunction, childhood and adolescent schizophrenia, school phobia truancy,
learning disabilities, academic underachievement and delinquent behaviour.
PSYC 463: Health Psychology
Health psychology focuses on the role played by psychological factors in the cause,
developmentand consequences of health and illnesses. The objectives of this course are to expose
students tosome of the major theoretical and intervention issues in health/illness behaviours. The
course willbe based on a national health perspective, with the main emphasis on behavioural risk
factorswhich constitute the main health problems inGhana. Topics to be covered include stress
and coping, HIV/AIDS, lifestyle diseases inGhanaand disease prevention and health promotion
PSYC 491: Research Seminar
This course is for students who are offering PSYC 410 (Research Project). They are expected
toverbally present their research proposals prior to going to the field for data gathering.
PSYC 446: Comparative Psychology
Comparative psychologists study differences and similarities in the behaviour of animals of
different species. The discipline pays particular attention to the psychological nature of humans in
comparison with other animals. At the heart of this perspective is the notion that human beings,
like other animals, have an evolutionary history that predisposes them to behave in ways that
areuniquely adaptive for survival and reproduction. One of the aims of comparative psychology is
touse insights gained from the study of psychological processes in different species of animals
toadd to our understanding of human psychology. Any way of achieving this aim must depend,
tosome extent, on understanding the evolutionary relationship between animals and man.
PSYC 448: Community Psychology
This course is designed to help students develop a conceptual and pragmatic understanding of
various issues and topics in community psychology. It introduces students specifically to
theprinciples/philosophies of community psychology, community research and program
evaluation, types and models of prevention, stress, coping and social support, psychological sense
ofcommunity and reasons and strategies for social change. At the end of the course, students
should be empowered to apply the principles/models of community psychology to
social/communityproblems and to provide appropriate interventions.
PSYC 452: Environmental Psychology
This course aims at exploring the relationship between psychology and the environment with
particular emphasis on how the latter influences human behaviour. The course, which is a
seminartype, will take a critical look at the natural, the built as well as the psychological
environment andhow they influence behaviour. The course is thus aimed at creating awareness
among students onthe effects (with particular attention on the adverse one) the environment has
over the quality oflife and how to reduce and/or manage them. At the end of the course, it is
expected that studentsshould be able to identify environmental hazards and critically assess the
effects of these hazardsand how to control or manage them.
PSYC 444: Psychology and National Development
This course is designed to help students understand how psychology can be applied in various
areas of national endeavours. The course will treat topics such as introduction to Psychology
andNational Development, Economic Psychology, Psychology and Health, Psychology and
Entrepreneurship, Attitude and Attitude change, Sports Psychology, Psychology and Politics,
Psychology and Law, Psychology and Crime Prevention, Psychology and Poverty alleviation.
PSYC 454: Applied Social Psychology
This course will examine how the theories and principles of social psychology can be applied
tomajor issues affecting contemporary societies. Topics to be covered include intergroup
conflictsand their management, the role of social psychology in the clinic and in politics and in
thecourtroom, and determinants of helping behaviour. Topical issues such as attitudes
regardingsanitation and health will also be discussed. The course will be an interactive one,
providing aforum to share ideas and discuss the strategies that students will develop based on the
theories of social psychology.
PSYC 456: Organizational Psychology
This course deals with the application of psychological concepts, theories, methods and ideas
toproblem of organizations. The course is made up of organizational theory and organizational
behaviour. Topics treated include: the nature of organizations, organizational structure, design
ofeffective organizations, organizational development, organizational climate and
culture,organizational change, organizational decline, organizational learning, group processes
inorganizations, employees work attitudes and motivation, communication in
organization,conflicts in organizations and organizational commitment.
PSYC 458: Sports Psychology
This course focuses on the psychological and mental factors that relate to participation
andperformance in sport, exercise and physical activity and how these may improve personal
development and well-being throughout the life span. Topics to be covered include an introduction
to sports psychology, motivation and self-confidence in sports, aggression and violence in sports,
leadership, cohesion and audience effects, relationships in sports and life skilltraining and
transitions in sport.
PSYC 462: Political Psychology
The course examines the psychological factors that explain political behaviour. Theories and
researches in both Psychology and Political Science will be examined. Other relevant topics
include personality approaches to understanding political leaders and voters, the role of
socialization in the formation of political preferences, how voters process political information,
form impressions of political candidates and make voting decisions. The role of stereotypes
andhow they affect the candidate evaluation process, the uses (and abuses) of persuasion in
politics,the role of the mass media in politics, the effects of political advertising, attack
campaigning, therole of the media in dictating how the public thinks and the role of women and
minorities in politics will be discussed.
PSYC 464: Introduction to Psycholinguistics
This course introduces students to the nature of language, the various processes that underlie
comprehension and how we produce and acquire language. Specific topics to be covered
includecomprehension and utilization of sentences, language production, the representation of
meaning, language and thought and second language learning and bilingualism.