PY3PMH-Psychological Approaches to Mental Health

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Craig Steel


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Psychological approaches to mental health


This aim of this module is to introduce students a number of psychological approaches used to understand a range of mental health problems (e.g. panic disorder, social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Students will engage in critical thinking about these theoretical approaches. The module will also cover clinical interventions, predominantly in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy. Content will also cover the assessment of symptoms, and students will be engage in the use of relevant measures.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the student will be able to (i) critically evaluate varied psychological approaches to mental health (ii) demonstrate a knowledge of how clinical interventions are based on psychological theory and (iii) have an awareness of how clinical assessments are conducted.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research, theory and clinical practice in large and small groups. The module additionally provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their skill in summarising a broad clinical topic into concise information, in the form of a poster presentation.

Outline content:

This module comprises seven 2-hour seminars. The content will comprise lectures, group discussion and practical activities. Seminars 4-7 will include dedicated time for the student poster presentation sessions. We will critically evaluate the main psychological theories which have been used to understand mental health problems. The main focus will then move to clinical assessment and interventions, and cognitive behavioural therapy in particular. We will also consider the evidence-base for specific interventions, and critique the approaches taken to establish this evidence-base.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The course will include a variety of learning methods, for example, seminars, interactive discussions, practical activities and student presentations (in the form of poster presentations). Students will also administer some self-report psychological assessments.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14 1
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 99.00 1.00
Total hours for module 100.00

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

Summative assessment- Examinations:

1.5 hours 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

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 poster presentation.


Formative assessment methods:

Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam. 

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall 

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September 

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


    Things to do now