module specification

PY7191 - Psychopathology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Psychopathology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 160
112 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   1500 word assignment
Coursework 50%   1500 word assignment
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This introductory module will focus on the theoretical explanations of psychopathology from a biological, social, behavioural and cognitive perspective across the lifespan. Using formal classification systems including the DSM-5, it will provide an eclectic and multidisciplinary approach to understanding psychopathology. Various theoretical frameworks in both understanding and management of psychological problems will be explored.

Module aims

1. To examine psychological difficulties across the lifespan.
2. To develop an introductory understanding of psychopathology from a biological, behavioural, cognitive and psychosocial approach.
3. To critically review psychopathology from a phenomenological, psychodynamic and experimental perspective.
4. To critically evaluate how comorbidity, dual and differential diagnoses affect both the assessment and treatment of psychopathology across the lifespan.


Psychopathology across the lifespan psychopathological theories including cognitive, behavioural and psychosocial approaches; psychopathology from a phenomenological, psychodynamic and experimental perspective. 
Psychopathologies in accordance with the DSM and ICD guidelines across a broad range of topics  (Anxiety disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, Affective Disorders; Elimination disorders; Personality disorders; Schizophrenia, sexual dysfunction, somatoform disorders and Sleep disorders).  
Clinical considerations including Dual diagnosis, differential diagnosis and co-morbidity.

Learning and teaching

Mixed methods approach. Formal lectures combined with work shop activities and interactive group sessions.

Delivery and discussion of the module syllabi will be via interactive lectures and tutorials (11 X2hrs). In addition to the weekly seminar workshops which will provide a forum for the application of theory to practical problems (11 hrs), students are expected to work in groups to learn from each other and learn how to independently use other resources available, e.g. library, the internet, Web Learn and own organisation.  Hence a total of 11x3 hrs interactive sessions including seminar activities are designed to discuss various topics in the lectures and the pre-circulated seminar workshop activities. The module will also have its own dedicated Web Learn site to enables staff and students to readily contact each other and offers an on-line support/learning.

Workshops and seminars:
Information and materials relating to the workshop will be circulated once the course has commenced.   The seminars and workshops will familiarize students with various aspect of the course.  All workshops will relate to lecture topics and may be tested in the examination.   Hence, each student is expected to do the prior reading and consult few recommended texts and be actively involved in the seminar activities and group discussion.

The usual programme each week will comprise of a lecture followed by seminar workshop activities and group discussion. The workshops will use the content of the lecture and pre-circulated material for class discussion and group work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able:

1. To demonstrate a detailed knowledge of psychopathology
2. To assess the usefulness of employing  an eclectic, multidisciplinary approach to psychopathology
3. To critically review various theoretical frameworks in both the understanding and management of psychological difficulties.
4. To have a critical understanding of the theoretical models of psychopathology and how research supports it.
5. To develop students skills via learning and assessment methods aimed at increasing employability skills

Assessment strategy

Two 1,500 word assignments
Assignment 1: This coursework will be based on a clinical case example
Assignment 2: This coursework assignment will test the critical evaluation and reflective skills of the students in the subject specific context.

Assessment Percentage Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 (1500 word assignment-case study) 50 1,2,3,4,5
Assignment 2 (1500 word assignment) 50 1,2,3,4,5



American Psychiatric Association., (APA, 2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th Ed.  Arlington. American Psychiatric Publishing. Washington. [Core reading]

Chandler, C., (2010). The Science of ADHD: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Chichester, West Sussex, UK ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. [Core reading]

Chandler, C., (2015). Psychobiology. BPS Textbooks in Psychology. West Sussex. Wiley & Sons Ltd

Comer, RJ., (2012). Abnormal Psychology.  New York. NY. Worth Publishers. [Core reading]

Davey, G.C., (2014). Psychopathology: Research, Assessment and Treatment in Clinical Psychology (BPS Textbooks in Psychology). West Sussex Wiley & Sons Ltd. [Core reading]

Field, M., (2015). Essential Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. London, Sage Publications Ltd

ICD-10  (1992). The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. World Health Organisation.

Kirk, H.W., Weisbrod, J.O.A., Ericson, K.A., (2003). Psychosocial and Behavioural Aspects of Medicine. Baltimore and Philadelphia. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. [Core reading]

Kraepelin, E., & Diefendorf, AR., (2012). Clinical Psychiatry; a Text-Book for Students and Physicians. Ulan Press. [Core reading]