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Module PPP-3002:
Stress Anxiety, and Health

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Judith Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

This module will outline the main thinking about stress in terms of nature and definitions and highlight three main ways stress is studied. Students will participate in identifying how stress impacts upon us all in our living and work lives and how events can become acute and chronic stressors. An emphasis will be placed on the biological basis of our stress response and the impact on health. Students will also investigate behavioural responses to stressful demands placed upon us, and how we cope and why. By the end of the module, the complexities of the relationship between stress, health and illness should be clear.

Course content

Topics include the physiology behind the stress response and how this impacts on health. Stress and anxiety disorders will be considered and relevant psychological interventions discussed. Stress will be viewed across the lifespan, with a focus on prenatal, postnatal, childhood, adulthood and older adulthood. Social relationships and stress, resilience and coping, prevention and wellbeing, and personality will also be covered in lectures.

Assessment Criteria


A- to A** - The work displays comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of stress, coping theories and stress appraisal, reflecting extensive background study - The work is highly focussed, well structured, logically presented and with defended arguments - The work considers the topics in an original way - The work is presented to a high standard with accurate information and no factual errors


D- to C+ - The work only demonstrates knowledge of key areas/principles of stress, coping theories and stress appraisal - There is limited evidence of originality or of background study - The work contains some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure Arguments are presented but they lack coherence - The work contains factual errors with little evidence of problem solving - The are weaknesses in the standard of presentation and its accuracy


B- to B+ - The work displays a sound knowledge of stress, coping theories and stress appraisal but with some limitations - There is evidence of background study - The work has a defined and logical structure but with some weaknesses in the way in the arguments are presented - There is some original interpretation of topics - The work is presented carefully with accurate information and few factual errors

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of stress as a stimulus (stressors).

  2. Critically evaluate theories of acute and chronic stress and demonstrate an understanding of the links between stress and illness.

  3. Critically evaluate and synthesise coping theories, definitions and understand the distinction between coping styles and coping strategies.

  4. Appreciate the nature and function of social support and how it influences stress appraisal, coping response and illness outcomes.

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the link between emotional expression and it’s influence on stress appraisal, coping response and illness outcomes.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Students will choose one essay question from a choice of three.

EXAM Final Exam 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


10 x 2 hour lectures (1 week will be reading week and 1 will be revision week).

Private study

This will cover weekly reading time, preparing and taking assessments.


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
  • 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.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

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.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.


Resource implications for students

Students may need to print course content from blackboard.

Reading list

Talis list will be set up when the module has been validated.

Lazarus, R. S. (1993). From psychological stress to the emotions: a history of changing outlooks. Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 1-21.

Morrison, V. & Bennett, P. (2009). An Introduction to Health Psychology, 2nd addition. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Graham, J. E., Christian, L. M. & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2006). Stress, age and immune functions: towards a life-span approach. Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 29, 389-400.

Adler, N. E. & Mathews, K. A. (1994). Health psychology: why do some people get sick and some stay well? Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 229-259.

Rice, P. L. (1992). Stress and Health. California: Brooks/Cole.

Snyder, C. & Lopez, S. J. (2005), Handbook of Positive Psychology. USA: Oxford University Press.

Semner, N. K. (2006). Personality, stress and coping. In M. E. Vollrath (eds.). Handbook of Personality and Health. London: John Wiley. (pp.73-113).

Tennen, H., Affleck, G., Armeli, S et al. (2000). A daily process approach to coping: linking theory, research and practice. American Psychologist, 55, 620-625.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: