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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : School of Health in Social Science

Undergraduate Course: Psychological Perspectives on Health and Care (SHSS10005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a compulsory course for students in the third year of the MA Health, Science and Society. Building on the teaching in the first and second year, this course seeks to support students to develop a critical understanding of the theories and practice of health and mental health from a psychological perspective. The structure will follow the natural life span of individuals, through childhood, adolescence, adulthood to older adulthood, illustrating key psychological concepts and theories and their application on health and care.
Course description Overview

This course aims to support students to develop a critical understanding of health and mental health care from a psychological perspective. Drawing upon the research and teaching expertise of the Section of Clinical Psychology within the School of Health in Social Science, students will develop a knowledge base of the key psychological concepts and theories in relation to health and mental health. Students will also learn to link theories with practice and develop a critical reflection on how theories can inform evidence based practice in health and mental health care. The course structure will follow the natural life span, from childhood, adolescence, adulthood to older adulthood. In the context of this developmental framework, psychological theories and psychotherapies related to common mental health problems including, for example, anxiety, depression, and psychosis, will also be covered.

Contents & Structure

This course will consist of 10 two-hour interactive teaching sessions.

The first one will be an introductory session with an overview of the course structure, learning outcomes, and assessment requirement. This lecture will give an introduction to key psychological theories and concepts and their application to health and mental health across life span. The following topics will be covered across the teaching sessions:

Attachment theories (covering early development but with implications across the life span)
Parenting theories and practice (childhood)
Common mental health problems referred to NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (childhood adolescence)
Emergence of depression and other mood disorders in adolescence (adolescence)
Severe mental health problems and psychological treatments in adults (adulthood)
Health and mental health care in older adults (older adulthood)
Psychological approaches for supporting individuals with physical disabilities and ill health (across life span)
Psychological approaches for supporting individuals with learning disabilities (across life span)

The final session will guide students to critically reflect on what they have learned in this course, in particular the link between theory and practice. This session will include short student presentations which will allow students to consolidate their knowledge, develop communication skills, and receive feedback from their peers and tutor to help them prepare their final essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have studied on at least 2 University / College level social science courses (such as Health Studies, Sociology, Politics, Social Policy, Social Anthropology, Psychology, etc) and achieved a B grade or above.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 4,000 - 4,500 word essay (100%)
Feedback Students will give brief presentations (either in group or individual), in the form of a poster, powerpoint presentation, or other creative ways on a topic of their choice based on the contents of the course. While the format of presentation is up to the students to decide (to encourage creativity), it needs to cover at least one psychological theory and a critical reflection on how this theory can help address a specific health or mental health concern in practice. This presentation will not be graded; the aim is to facilitate students to consolidate their learning and to provide students (both from peers and tutor) constructive feedback to help them approach the summative assessment with more effective skills and confidence.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will develop a critical understanding of the principal psychological theories and concepts in the context of mental health.
  2. Reflect on how psychological theories and concepts can be applied to the social care and health context.
  3. Students will develop a critical awareness of how health and mental health needs and care change across the life span.
Reading List
Carr, D. (2006). The Handbook of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology: A Contextual Approach (3rd Edition). London: Routledge.

Sroufe, L., & Carlson, E. (1999). Implications of attachment theory for developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 113.

Patel, V., Flisher, A. J., Hetrick, S. and McGorry, P. (2007). Mental health of young people: A global public-health challenge. Lancet, 379, 1302-1313.

The British Psychological Society (2014) edited by A. Cook. Understanding psychosis and schizophrenia

Woods, R. & Clare, L. (2008). Chapter 31: Psychological Interventions with people with dementia, part five, intervention. In Handbook of the Clinical Psychology of Ageing, second edition. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPsychology,Health,Mental Health
Course organiserDr Stella Chan
Tel: (0131 6)51 3935
Course secretaryMiss Morven Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3972
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