The Psychology of Mental Health (PSYL10154)

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The Psychology of Mental Health (PSYL10154)

Semester 2, Tuesday 11:10am-1:00pm

BPS core areas - Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology


What will be covered?

The current course will explore the application of Psychology to the field of mental health, with a clear focus on the most common mental health complaints. The module will review the theoretical, practical and ethical underpinnings of the area and will consider different populations/areas of practice with a series of lectures on specific mental health disorders (typical content might include, Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders, Sleep Disorders etc).

How will it be delivered?

Lectures and Discussion in class. Students will also be asked to engage in discussions (at points during the lectures). Ted talks, podcasts, blogs and relevant documentaries will also be provided on the learning platform.

Lecture recording policy: Lectures will not be recorded.

What skills will be gained?

In completing this module students will develop the following transferable skills: analytical skills, evaluating research evidence, application of statistics in mental health, structuring and presenting arguments, group work, visual literacy.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Consider how Psychological perspectives can aid our understanding of mental health and illness.

2. Understand the theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches that underpin research in the mental health field.

3. Demonstrate a knowledge of clinical groups, mental health and their subtypes, making reference to theory and empirical evidence.

4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the existing literature in mental health.

5. Recognise the importance of appropriately defining and diagnosing mental health disorders and understand the techniques used for their assessment and treatment.


30% Mid-term Presentation (submission deadline Thursday 13th February, 12.00 noon​)

Students will be given case studies detailing some clinical behaviours associated with some mental health disorders. Student will focus on one of the case studies and record a presentation which will include a summary and overview of the disorder (i.e. diagnostic info, cause, clinical profile etc). Then must outline interventions (supported by psychological theory or empirical evidence) typically used to reduce the behaviours noted in the case study. Students will engage in some peer marking (students will be asked to swap their case studies with other students and peer mark the work).

70% Final Exam (June Exam Diet)

Students will be asked exam questions which suit the arguments and discussions that were centred around each disorder (e.g. role of genetic and neurobiological factors in the development of anxiety disorders, psychological factors for predicting who is most at risk of developing depression, aetiology of personality disorders etc). Students should provide an essay answer on 2 questions.

To help prepare for the exam, examples of exam questions will be posted on an interactive note wall that is embedded in the learning platform. Students will be asked to outline how they would approach the question and also provide essay plans of what information they would cover. The course organiser will provide feedback (via Learn) on which approach is most beneficial and/or what information is most relevant.

Relationship Between Assessment and Learning Outcomes

To carry out the mid-term presentation and answer questions during the exam, students will have to consider the psychological perspectives, theoretical frameworks, and methodological approaches to the different mental health issues or interventions highlighted (LO1; LO2). For both methods of assessment the students must also demonstrate a general knowledge of the clinical groups including the aetiology, subtype, clinical profile (LO3) and show comprehension of appropriate assessment and interventions (LO5).  The exam questions (the 70% final term exam component) will additionally allow students to demonstrate critical understanding of the existing literature in mental health (LO4). 

Reading resources

Indicative reading:

Cromby, J., Harper, D., & Reavey, P. (2013). Psychology, mental health and distress. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Resources list:

The complete list will be available on Learn before the start of the course.

05/09/2019 - 1:10pm