Module code: PSYM132

Module Overview

This module provides students with advanced knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and treatments from childhood, through adolescence, and into older adulthood. Using a lifespan perspective, this module will provide insight into up-to-date research and treatment relating to mental health.

Module provider


Module Leader

GILLIGAN-LEE Katie (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C848

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

• mental health from birth to old age

• therapeutic interventions for children, adults and older adults

• mental health within a societal context

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Paper Presentation Slides 10
Coursework Poster 25
Examination EXAM 120 minutes 65

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to

  • demonstrate a reflective understanding of key concepts in mental health research and treatment and their relevance to different groups

  • apply knowledge of research and theory to a real case study, allowing students to demonstrate the ability to draw on a range of sources of information to formulate and solve a problem, and justify their decisions based on critical evaluation.

  • engage with the wider published literature surrounding key topic areas and demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate this literature.

  • to read and review literature critically, formulate an argument, and present and discuss research

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • One poster (poster will cover a 'debate' chosen from a list of possible topics) (25%)

  • One paper presentation where students will work in groups to prepare slides to accompany a presentation of an assigned research paper to the rest of MSc cohort for discussion (10%)

  • a 120-minute examination during the semester 2 exam period, where students answer two questions out of six. One of these questions is a case study vignette to analyse (65%)

The formative assessment for this module consists of: 

  • Where possible, students will receive verbal formative feedback during the class exercises.

  • The module convenor will engage with the SurreyLearn discussion board and respond to queries or issues that arise there.

  • For paper-presentations, formative feedback will be given by the seminar leader on the slides, the presentation style and the use of critical evaluation.

  • Students will receive written feedback on their poster and exams as per the standard University convention. If there are consistent themes emerging from the poster feedback, these will be discussed with students en masse. Should students wish for more detailed feedback on their own performance, they will be encouraged to meet with the poster marker


Module aims

  • Provide students with an advanced understanding of how mental health issues are presented and treated at different stages of development
  • Encourage students to take a critical approach to research into mental health
  • Introduce a range of therapeutic interventions and consider their use with different groups
  • Develop students’ understanding of how to assess and formulate a case, and evaluate different potential therapeutic options

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a reflective understanding of key concepts and treatments in relation to mental health, and their relevance to a range of groups KCP
002 Critically evaluate research into mental health KC
003 Demonstrate an ability to distinguish between and critically evaluate different therapeutic approaches KCPT
004 Ask questions from a range of different angles, drawing on theory, evidence, and critical insight KCPT
007 Formulate and solve problems, both individually and as part of a team CPT
005 Engage with the wider published literature surrounding key topic areas and demonstrate critical evaluation of this literature KCPT
006 Demonstrate an ability to synthesise and communicate information from a critical perspective CP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 125

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 3

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  •  introduce students to research into mental health, along with a range of therapeutic interventions

  • encourage students to take a critical approach to research into mental health

  • provide students with the skills to formulate a case and evaluate a range of therapeutic interventions for potential treatment

  • engage and critically evaluate wider published literature on key topics

  • develop critical analysis, presentation and discussion skills

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2hrs lectures (11 x each week)

  • group discussions

  • in-class exercises

  • independent reading

  • student led paper discusssions

SurreyLearn discussion board and lecture slides: Lecture slides will be available on Surreylearn at least 48 hours before each lecture. Surreylearn will also be a key resource for supplementary materials, links, and a dedicated discussion board.


Students will be encouraged to engage with the wider, and recent, published literature for each of the key topics covered. Lecturers will provide key references that students will be required to familiarise themselves with. The module will be supported by a number of core textbooks to support an understanding of key theories and models; however, the emphasis is very much on engagement with journal articles and other recent publications

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Other information


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.