PY3PER-Personality Disorders

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Polly Waite


Summary module description:
PY3PER: Personality Disorders

The aim of this module is for students to develop an understanding of the theoretical constructs and empirical issues in the study of personality disorders, as well as a theoretical understanding of how to treat individuals with personality disorders in an evidence-based way.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of this module, students will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the evidence for the validity and clinical utility of a personality disorder diagnosis for (a) adults and (b) adolescents.
2. Apply their understanding of the key factors that are likely to be involved in the development and maintenance of specific personality disorders (e.g., borderline personality disorder).
3. Appraise the evidence for the effectiveness of different treatment approaches for specific personality disorders.

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain a broader understanding of the interplay between psychological theory, empirical evaluation, and clinical interventions in relation to personality disorders.

Outline content:
Personality disorders are characterized by enduring maladaptive patterns of behaviour, cognition, and inner experience, exhibited across many contexts and deviating markedly from those accepted by the individual's culture. These patterns develop early, are inflexible, and are associated with significant distress or disability. They are also common, affecting around one in twenty people in the UK. We will examine whether personality disorder diagnoses are valid and have clinical utility in adults and adolescents. We will consider the major theoretical explanations for specific diagnoses and critically evaluate the evidence. We will also look at the evidence base for treatment and examine therapeutic interventions for different disorders. Teaching will take place over 7 weeks for 2 hours per week and will be interactive and seminar-based.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will be delivered through the following methods: lectures/small group work; audio and video-tape; exercises and discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14
Guided independent study 86
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise a 2000-word written report.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    The module must be passed with 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-assessment is by re-examination in August / September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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