Module code: PSYM127

Module Overview

This module supports trainees to develop the competencies they require to be able to treat adult patients who are presenting with mild-moderate common mental health difficulties using evidence-based low-intensity interventions. The module builds on the engagement and assessment skills and knowledge that trainees developed in module PSYM126. Additionally, the module continues to help trainees to grow as reflective practitioners who can critically engage with their practice and the evidence base that informs this.

Module provider


Module Leader

FISHER-SMITH Emily (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 50

Lecture Hours: 27.5

Tutorial Hours: 1

Practical/Performance Hours: 30

Guided Learning: 37.5

Captured Content: 4

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Engagement skills

  • Evidence-based low-intensity interventions

  • Modes of delivery

  • Record keeping

  • Evaluation skills

  • Critical reflection

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test 1HOUR (OPEN BOOK) ONLINE TEST WITHIN A FOUR HOUR WINDOW 100
Practical based assessment AUDIO RECORDING Pass/Fail

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The programme’s assessments are intended to be authentic. This means that they are designed to assess (and also to support the development) of the skills and competencies that Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners require in real clinical practice. They should therefore enhance trainees’ employability. For example, the requirement to submit an audio recorded treatment session should promote trainees’ digital capabilities. Equally, the need to engage in formative peer and self-assessment should promote trainees’ resourcefulness and resilience. This is because these assessments require trainees to engage constructively with feedback. The exam should support trainees to develop their global and cultural capabilities given that it requires them to engage critically with this area.

Summative assessment

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Examination, 1-hour within a 4-hour window, open book, online, 100% (addresses learning outcomes 1 - 17)

  • Practical based assessment, pass-fail, audio recording of a live treatment session assessed according to predefined criteria (addresses learning outcomes 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13)

Both assessments must be passed within 2 attempts to pass the module. The graded assessment (the exam) is marked at FHEQ level 7 and has a pass mark of 50%. The audio is a pass-fail assessment.

Formative assessment

Trainees learning (and success) on the audio recording is supported through the module’s self, peer and tutor led formative assessments. The rationale for using extensive assessment and feedback is to help trainees to develop their resourcefulness and resilience. Specific formative opportunities include ongoing feedback from peers and tutors during clinical skills sessions and a practice treatment session.

Trainees’ exam skills are developed through opportunities to engage with an example exam and to discuss their answers in small group contexts.


Trainees are provided with verbal and/ or writtenl feedback on their intervention skills (to support their audio submission) from their peers and tutors on an ongoing basis in clinical skills sessions. They are given verbal and written feedback from an appropriately qualified member of staff on their formative session and written feedback on their summative treatment session.


Trainees do not receive feedback on the examination.

Module aims

  • Equip trainee PWPs with the skills and knowledge needed for them to be able to safely and effectively engage and treat adult patients who are presenting with mild-moderate common mental health difficulties in NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression.
  • Strengthen trainees' professional competencies as resourceful, resilient and reflective practitioners.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically evaluate a range of evidence-based interventions and strategies to assist patients in managing their emotional distress and disturbance. KCT
002 Demonstrate critical knowledge of, and competence in developing and maintaining a therapeutic alliance with diverse patients during their treatment programme, including dealing with issues and events that threaten the alliance. KCPT
003 Demonstrate competence in planning collaborative low-intensity psychological treatment programmes for common mental health problems, including appropriate frequency of contacts, managing the ending of contacts and development of relapse prevention strategies. KCPT
004 Demonstrate critical understanding of and competence in selection of appropriate cases for low-intensity treatment, aligned to NICE guidance and the NHS Talking Therapies Manual. For example, people whose primary problem is social anxiety disorder or PTSD should only be offered a high intensity intervention. KCPT
005 Demonstrate in-depth and critical understanding of, and competence in, a range of low-intensity, evidence-based guided self-help psychological interventions (delivered virtually and in-person) where these are NICE recommended for anxiety disorders and depression, selecting one or more of these intervention strands delivered in an adequate dose for work with patients, linked to their goals and outcome measures (that might have been collected digitally). o Behavioural activation o Graded exposure o Cognitive restructuring (including behavioural experiments) o Worry management o Problem-solving o Promoting good sleep o Promoting physical activity o Medication support KCPT
006 Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of, and competence in using the COM-B behaviour change model and strategies in the delivery of low-intensity interventions. KCPT
007 Critically evaluate the role of case management and stepped care approaches to managing common mental health problems in primary care including ongoing risk management appropriate to service protocols, NICE guidance and mode of delivery e.g. digital / in-person. KCPT
008 Demonstrate critical knowledge of, and competence in supporting people with medication for common mental health problems to help them optimise their use of pharmacological treatment and minimise any adverse effects. KCPT
009 Demonstrate critical knowledge and competence in delivering low-intensity interventions using a range of methods including one-to-one treatment (in-person, via video consultation, via telephone, interactive text or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT)) and guided self-help groups (in-person or via video). Including interventions for OCD and Panic Disorder. KCPT
010 Demonstrate critical knowledge and competence in selecting and revising mode of delivery, as necessary on an ongoing basis depending on patient choice, suitability, etc (including discussing the pros and cons of digital work). KCPT
011 Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding to map core skills into text-based interventions. KCPT
012 Demonstrate competence in guided self-help group facilitation skills to successfully deliver and lead evidence-based groups and workshops. This includes involving everyone to generate a useful discussion, managing challenges to engagement such as someone monopolising the discussion or someone not talking at all, and responding flexibly to questions from the audience. KCPT
013 Demonstrate competence in succinct and accurate note-taking skills. KCPT
014 Demonstrates critical knowledge of (and competence applying) relevant professional and ethical guidelines (such as the NHS Talking Therapies manual, BPS's ethical framework, the professional and ethical guidelines of UCL's CBT competencies framework, HEE's Health and Care Digital capabilities framework, and Digital Health Skills' digital competency) to in-person and digital treatments. This includes managing consent to record and managing risks such as those associated with digital working. KCPT
015 Demonstrates a capacity to critique the literature related to low intensity interventions including a critical understanding of the limitations of research involving minoritised groups (broadly and disorder specific) e.g. small sample sizes. KCPT
016 Demonstrates a capacity to critically reflect on the self in relation to others e.g. values, beliefs, reactions, assumptions and to take responsibility for subsequent actions (including tolerating ambiguity in relation to diversity) in treatment contexts. KCPT
017 Demonstrates critical knowledge, competence and commitment to eliminating all forms of discrimination from the experience of staff and in relation to treatments. This includes reducing patient inequity of access to treatment and treatment outcomes of mental health services (across all protected characteristics and other characteristics associated with inequity). For example, by making reasonable adjustments and undertaking culturally informed interventions. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Reflective capacity is an essential attribute for PWPs given that it has been associated with enhanced decision-making, better patient care and improved health service delivery. The importance of reflection is evident in the module’s learning outcomes because many of these require trainees to draw on this meta-competence. Given this, trainees are supported to develop their reflective capacity, knowledge, and skills relevant to the module’s learning outcomes through reflective methods of teaching and learning. This is consistent with the approach taken in modules PSYM126, PSYM128 and PSYM129. The specific methods used to support reflective learning include:

  • Clinical skills practice session (at least 50% of taught days)

  • Self-practice and self-reflection.

  • Observation and feedback.

  • Case-based learning.

  • Interactive lectures

  • Group discussion

  • Independent study

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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSYM127

Other information

In line with the 5 pillars of the University of Surrey’s Curriculum Framework, the module aims to support trainees to develop strengths in the following areas:

Resourcefulness and resilience

Building on the resourcefulness and resilience that developed through module PSYM126, this module continues to enable trainees to enhance themselves in these respects. The module achieves this through learning activities that help trainees to develop their capacity to engage in more sophisticated, autonomous and complex decision-making. This is promoted through clinical skills practice sessions and case-based learning in relation to evidence-based low-intensity interventions. Trainees are also supported to strengthen their ability to effectively use feedback to inform their learning using the same methods (peer and self-assessment) that were employed in module PSYM126.

Digital capabilities

Following module PSYM126, trainees’ digital capabilities continue to be promoted in this module. This is achieved through the requirement for trainees to actively engage with learning resources on the University’s virtual learning environment and through synchronous online teaching and learning sessions. Trainees’ digital capabilities are assessed as part of the module’s audio recording which requires trainees to demonstrate their ability to treat a client by phone. They also form part of the module’s exam which necessitates trainees use online research databases to identify literature that can be used to inform their answers.


This module continues to enhance the employability skills that trainees started to develop during module PSYM126. These include transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and time management. These skills are promoted through group-based learning activities and observed practice clinical sessions. Some of these transferable skills (such as time management and communication skills) are assessed in the module’s audio. Additionally, trainees are helped to develop employability skills that are more specific to their role in relation to low-intensity interventions. This is supported through interactive lectures, modelling, self-assessment and clinical skills practice sessions.

Global and cultural capabilities

In module PSYM126, trainees started to develop their ability to assess diverse clients from an inclusive, anti-discriminatory values base. This theme is further developed in this module as trainees are encouraged to apply similar principles to their intervention work. For example, trainees are expected to consider issues such as social inclusion in their intervention plans and to critically evaluate the limitations of the evidence base in relation to diversity and context. This is achieved through interactive lectures, case-based learning and group discussion. Trainees’ ability to adopt a critical stance in these respects is assessed as part of the module’s exam.  


Following module PSYM126, this module continues to assist trainees to develop their knowledge and awareness of the relationship between psychological wellbeing and sustainability concerns. It achieves this using lectures, group discussions and case-based learning that provide learning opportunities for trainees in these regards. For example, trainees are encouraged to critically reflect on how they might address social issues such as health inequalities in their client work.

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 2024/5 academic year.