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Clinical Psychology

Module titleClinical Psychology
Module codePSYM227
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Tobias Stevens (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Clinical Psychology is a major area of Applied Psychology that makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them deal with a range of problems. From depression and anxiety, psychosis and drug problems through to managing the effects of brain injury or the risk of heart attacks. The module involves the use of psychological theories – such as Psychodynamic or Cognitive Behavioural and the collection of evidence for “what works” - to guide practice. In this module clinical psychologists give lectures that provide overviews to major mental health and neuro-developmental disorders, providing you with a valuable insight into how such problems arise, the treatments that may be offered and to what benefit. This module provides a key starting point for anyone considering a future in applied psychology enabling them to understand the true nature of the role.

Module aims - intentions of the module

To provide an overview of how clinical psychologists understand major psychological disorders from a bio-psycho-social perspective. The specific aims of the module are:    

  • To familiarise you with a range of mental health conditions
  • To provide you with an introduction to causes of Mental Health conditions
  • To provide a review of psychological interventions for Mental Health conditions
  • To introduce you to the historical background of mental health and individual differences

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Discuss mental health conditions and the role of clinical psychologists
  • 2. Describe the skills involved in clinical psychology practice, in particular, relating research to practice
  • 3. Outline the interaction of personal, social and physiological factors in the presentation of mental health conditions

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Acquire basic and essential factual and conceptual knowledge of the subject, and demonstrate understanding of this knowledge
  • 5. Review and evaluate published work and identify some of the strengths and weaknesses of this work
  • 6. Address well-defined problems systematically, think critically and creatively, and begin to appreciate the complexities of the issues
  • 7. Understand and apply essential principles in designing research, evaluate and analyse empirical evidence, and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using defined techniques

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Manage information, collect appropriate information from a range of sources and undertake essential study tasks under guidance
  • 9. Take responsibility for your own learning with appropriate support
  • 10. Apply methods accurately and carefully to a well-defined problem and begin to appreciate the complexity of the issues

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will provide a broad overview of various important areas of clinical psychology. Indicative topics will include:

  • A brief outline of the history and nature of the understanding of individual differences as it relates to clinical problems in mental health, and indicating important trends and defining important developments.
  • The general nature of psychological distress and disorder.
  • A description and critique of classificatory systems, and alternative models, whilst referring to particular areas that may include anxiety and depression; psychosis; drug and alcohol misuse; neurological disorders.
  • An overview of treatment approaches at individual, family, social and biological levels.

The lectures will be accompanied by practicals and tutorials.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures (11 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Tutorial (3 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Practical (3 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study93Exam and essay preparation
Guided Independent Study26Wider reading/private study


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group discussions led by Tutor3 x 1 hourAllOral
Practical exercises3 x 2 hoursAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination502 hoursAllWritten feedback on script
Essay502000 wordsAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (50%)ExaminationAllAugust Ref/Def
Essay (50%)EssayAllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in the examination you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August re-assessment period. Where you have been referred/deferred in the essay you will be required to resubmit the essay. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Key words search

Psychology, clinical psychology, applied psychology, cognitive behaviour therapy

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date