module specification

PC6071 - Clinical Psychology (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Clinical Psychology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 116
80 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 75%   Coursework assignment (2000 words)
Coursework 25%   Reflective essay (1000 words)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces students to Clinical Psychology as an applied area within the discipline to allow informed decisions about further education and training in clinical psychology. During this module students will have an opportunity to critically appraise key perspectives and definitions of ‘abnormality’ and learn how to assess range of mental disorders while considering cultural context, ethical standards and treatment. The module also provides opportunity for students to knowledge and understanding of mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders and neuropsychological disorders. In addition, students will learn about service users’ groups and will be given an opportunity to hear patients’ stories in order to understand how experiences of service users can enhance mental health services and make clinical psychologists better researchers and practitioners.

Students will also gain hands on experience in psychometric assessment and test scoring using tools such as Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI-III) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7), thus providing additional transferable skills for future employment or post-graduate study. They will be introduced to range of clinical skills such as reflective practice, CBT and sensitive listening and questioning skills. The aims of this module have been developed in accordance with NICE guidelines and the British Psychological Society code of conduct and ethics.

Prior learning requirements

Any introductory psychology module


Topics will be selected from the following:
definitions and historical perspectives on ‘abnormality’; contemporary perspectives in clinical psychology and psychiatry (e.g. medical, social, behavioural and existential conceptualisations of mental disorders and ‘abnormality’); assessing and diagnosing mental disorders (e.g. observation, interviewing, testing, practical, ethical and cultural issues); classification and description of the major disorders (ICD-10 and DSM-5); anxiety and mood disorders; schizophrenia; neuropsychological disorders; personality disorders; and suicide.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered through a variety of teaching and learning methods. A combination of group and individual activities will take place within a framework of lectures, seminars and workshops. Supplementary guided learning via WebLearn and self-managed private study will be provided when suitable.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Discuss key perspectives on mental health and ethical issues related to assessment and diagnosis
2. Critically evaluate the main principles of clinical diagnosis, assessment and treatment for a range of mental and neuropsychological disorders
3. Develop awareness of social, cultural and political factors related to the mental health system
4. Understand the importance of service users’ experiences in shaping research, policy and mental health services

Assessment strategy

A coursework assignment of 2000 words (excluding references) will address key principles of diagnosis, assessment and treatment for disorders covered in the module. A reflective essay of 1000 words (excluding references) will require students to reflect on the impact of service user involvement and participation in a clinical context. Formative assessments and constructive feedback will be provided throughout the module to help students to prepare for the summative assessment. Students must obtain an aggregate mark of 40% or higher from the two assessments to pass the module.


Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2019). Abnormal psychology (8th Eds). McGraw-Hill Education

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.
Davey, G. (2014). Psychopathology: Research, Assessment and Treatment in Clinical Psychology. BPS Blackwell.