Explore social bias from a psychological perspective.
Join our online social bias course for a better understanding of social biases in the workplace and wider society. You’ll examine:
- the social and cognitive determinants of social bias
- types of social bias, including unconscious bias or implicit bias
- how our digital world affects social bias
- the effects of social bias on individuals and society, including prejudice and discrimination
- strategies for tackling social bias in ourselves and in our society.
Study with us anywhere, online, with expert psychologists and active researchers. And set your own study hours on this course that fits around full-time work.
Who is this social bias short course for?
This distance-learning course is open to anyone interested in understanding social bias, its causes and effects.
You do not need qualifications or previous experience in the field of psychology to join us for this course.
What you’ll study
From the moment we’re born, we exist in a world filled with social bias.
Social bias exists in our brain and it exists in our cultural environment. Yet, the consequences of social bias are often deemed socially unacceptable and, in many cases, illegal.
In this course, you’ll study a range of topics relating to social bias, including:
- Humans are biased animals – Examining sources of bias in the human brain, cognition, and environment
- Biased behaviour – The effects of discrimination on individuals and society
- The self and our social identity – Perceiving ourselves and others as members of social groups
- Social cognition – How the brain processes information about people
- Stereotypes – How we measure stereotypes and their influence
- Prejudice – How we measure prejudice and its influence
- Unconscious bias – How we measure unconscious bias and its influence
- Social bias in a virtual world – How our digital world might increase and decrease social bias
- Tackling social bias – Strategies for tackling social bias in ourselves and in our society
- Cultural evolution – Cumulative cultural evolution as a source and solution to social bias.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Source and interpret a range of psychological research.
Critically evaluate psychological research relating to the causes and consequences of social bias.
Apply psychological research relating to social bias in everyday life.
Fits around full-time work
This course is designed to fit around work. With flexible hours and 24/7 study access.
You’re in expert hands
We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.
NHS and alumni discounts
NHS staff get 10% off this online course. University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off.
How you’ll study
Our distance-learning Psychology of Social Bias course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level by our School of Psychology.
Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.
You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- reading materials
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.
You’ll learn from practising psychologists with extensive research experience of social bias in practice, and also teaching at university level.
You’ll also learn from your fellow students. You’ll be studying online alongside individuals from a range of backgrounds who may be based all over the world.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Dr Doug Martin
Doug is a Senior Lecturer in our School of Psychology. He’s an experimental social psychologist primarily interested in social cognition. Much of Doug’s current research examines the social and cognitive factors that lead to the formation of stereotypes.View Doug’s profile
Where this will take you
Towards a Masters
You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:
PgCert Psychology in the Workplace
Explore occupational psychology online with UK university psychologists. Choose from a range of online workplace psychology courses and build a graduate qualification tailored to you.View PgCert Psychology in the Workplace
Masters in Psychological Studies
A full-time, on-campus MSc programme designed to introduce graduates from other disciplines to the study of psychology, as a first step to pursuing a career in this area.View MSc Psychological Studies
Build your learning
The Psychology of Social Bias is part of our series of online workplace psychology courses.
Use these short courses to build your skills and earn more credits towards postgraduate qualifications:
- Human Factors in Industrial Practice
- Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace
- Organisational Culture and Conflict
- Organisational Psychology
- Safety Critical Skills in Industry
All these online courses are part-time and fit around full-time work.
Whatever your industry, you’ll gain career-enhancing skills and expertise on this course.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
- or relevant experience that supports this level of study.