Psychopathology - PSYC6220

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Janet Briggs checkmark-circle


This module will concern issues relating to mental health and psychopathology. Controversies in defining 'abnormality' will be examined from different perspectives. Methods of diagnosis and different approaches to explaining psychological disorders will be discussed along with approaches to treatment. We will also consider ethical and social issues relating to a diagnosis of psychological abnormality. Topics will include:
• Controversial issues in defining normality and abnormality.
• Critical evaluation of current diagnostic and classification systems.
• Comparison of different approaches to explaining abnormality.
• Developmental, anxiety, mood, personality and psychotic disorders.
• Controversies in evaluating different approaches to therapy and effectiveness


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


BSc (Hons) Social Sciences
BA (Hons) Health and Social Care

Method of assessment

Examination 2 hours 50%
Essay 2,000 words 32.5%
Presentation 17.5%.

Reassessment methods: This module will be reassessed by 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Kring, A., Johnson, S., Davison, G. & Neale, J. (2013). Abnormal Psychology (12th ed.). Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Understand the problems in defining and measuring 'abnormality' and explain different models of abnormality

8.2 Describe and evaluate the criteria used in the classification and diagnosis of personality disorders, mental illness and developmental disorders

8.3 Critically evaluate approaches to the treatment of psychological health problems

8.4 Understand the ethical and social issues surrounding a diagnosis of abnormality

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Show proficiency in using online journals, library and web resources to locate specialised material

9.2 Demonstrate an advancement in communication skills reflected in essay writing and seminar discussion

9.3 Apply material on broad theoretical perspectives to controversial social problems and issues

9.4 Demonstrate an advancement in knowledge of research methods and ability to evaluate research involving


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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