Module PPC-4006:
Mental Health & Wellbeing

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Fay Short

Overall aims and purpose

This module provides you with an opportunity to critically evaluate theories relating to the mental health, psychological wellbeing, and emotional standing of a client. You will develop an understanding of the role of biology and pharmacology in mental health care. You will also evaluate both the benefits and limitations of this medical approach to psychology, and compare this approach to alternative models. In applying these different perspectives, you will consider a range of classified disorders (e.g. mood, anxiety) to recognize and support those presenting with specific difficulties. Content will be illustrated with case study examples so that you can apply your knowledge. In addition to this focus on mental distress, you will be introduced to interventions designed to enhance mental wellness through wellbeing, resilience, and positive psychology training. You will be supported in debating the academic content with consideration of professional practice, therapeutic theory, and research evidence.

Lecturers: Caroline Bowman, Fay Short, Sue Critchley, Oliver Turnbull, John Parkinson

Course content

Topics covered in this module include: • Wk22 Introduction • Wk23 Psychopharmacology • Wk24 Anxiety • Wk25 Mood • Wk26 Sexuality • Wk27 Eating • Wk28 Substance Use • Wk29 Psychosis • Wk30 Dissociation • Wk34 Personality • Wk35 Trauma and Disease • Wk36 Skills for Placement • Wk37 Bank Holiday • Wk38 Wellbeing, Resilience, and Positive Psychology

Assessment Criteria


• Some insight into the assessment, symptoms, risks, and treatment for different forms of mental distress • Strong knowledge of Mental Health & Wellbeing • Clear understanding and mostly free of factual errors • Some analysis showing critical evaluation and links between ideas • Some originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Some independent research • Coherent arguments with evidence for most claims • Focused and well structured • Good presentation with accurate and appropriate expression • Mostly correct format in appropriate referencing style


• Limited insight into the assessment, symptoms, risks, and treatment for different forms of mental distress • Some knowledge of Mental Health & Wellbeing • Understanding of the main concepts, but with factual errors in non-core concepts • Limited analysis showing only obvious points of evaluation and links between ideas • Highly limited originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Highly limited evidence of independent research • Arguments presented but lack coherence with evidence for only some claims • Focused but with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure • Acceptable presentation with appropriate expression • Attempt at correct format in appropriate referencing style


• Insightful awareness of the assessment, symptoms, risks, and treatment for different forms of mental distress • Comprehensive knowledge of Mental Health & Wellbeing • Detailed understanding with no factual errors • Critical analysis showing evaluation and synthesis of ideas • Originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Extensive independent research • Logically defended arguments with evidence for all claims • Highly focused and well structured • Excellent presentation with accurate and appropriate expression • Correct format in appropriate referencing style

Learning outcomes

  1. Synthesise psychological, social, and pharmacological theories in order to recognise and support specific client difficulties

  2. Explain and evaluate the presentation, diagnosis, causal factors, and interventions for a range of psychological disorders

  3. Debate the applications of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological strategies and interventions, with critical evaluation of their empirical evidence base and potential risks

  4. Debate and evaluate the psychological and biological explanations and interventions for relieving mental distress and enhancing mental wellness

  5. Orally present critical insights into a therapeutic case study

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Gateway Test 0
Oral Group Exam 40
Insight and Evaluation 50
What is Mental Health 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Your lectures will focus on the core theories and concepts for each of the topics in the curriculum content.


Your case study discussions will involve small group discussions focusing on case studies related to the lecture topic for that week.

Private study 158

Transferable skills

  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

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 oral form.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

• Assess clients using a range of methods to determine nature of difficulty, suitability of intervention, and risk factors. • Engage in the ongoing process of formulation by producing a comprehensive framework for the client's presentation and a therapeutic strategy for intervention. • Understand and apply a range of psychotherapeutic strategies and interventions, with critical awareness of their empirical evidence base and potential risks. • Maintain a high degree of self-awareness by reflecting on ongoing practice with clients, knowledge of current psychological and therapeutic interventions, personal issues, and professional development. • Evaluate practice through routine outcome monitoring, interpreting and applying research literature to interventions, and conducting research to contribute to evidence base.


Reading list

Carlson, N. R. & Birkett, M. A. (2017). Physiology of behavior. Essex, UK: Pearson. Davey, G. (2014). Psychopathology: Research, assessment and treatment in clinical psychology. Oxford, UK: BPS Textbooks in Psychology Series with Blackwell Publishing. van Rijn, B. (2014). Assessment and case formulation in counselling and psychotherapy. London, UK: Sage.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: