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Module PPP-1002:
Stress & Distress

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Steven Hosier

Overall aims and purpose

This module will introduce concepts of physical and mental health and describe biopsychosocial approaches to health behaviour and mental disorders. The key topics will be taught in lectures.

Course content

Health Psychology lectures will cover definitions of health, models of health behaviour, alcohol use, and stress and illness. Clinical Psychology lectures will cover the classification and diagnosis of mental disorders, explanations of psychopathology, mood disorders, and substance use disorders.

Feedback is provided in the following ways: 1. During lectures. 2. Final lecture examination revision session. 3. Online discussion forum on Facebook. 4. Review time at the end of each lecture. 5. Open invite to meet with tutor to discuss on-going performance, exam results, during office-drop-in times or pre-arranged meeting.

Those elements of the module that received positive feedback last year will be maintained in the next academic year. Feedback identifying areas for possible improvement will be analysed over the summer in order to make appropriate changes for the next academic year.

Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments.


Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.


Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area and clarity of arguments and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe the concept of health.

  2. Outline the main psychosocial factors that influence health behaviours and health-risk behaviours

  3. Describe major models of health behaviour change.

  4. Describe the concept of stress and a key psychological theory of stress

  5. Describe criteria by which abnormality is defined

  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the DSM classification system of mental disorders

  7. Comprehend the major issues involved in assessing mental disorders

  8. Demonstrate an understanding of the major paradigms in abnormal psychology

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM MidtermExam 50
EXAM Final Exam 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

100 hours Private Study


24 hours of lectures


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: