SHE Level 6
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MDC824549
Module Leader Lindsey Burns
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module addresses organisational and social contexts relevant to mental health and critically explores their themes and processes in relation to theory and practice of applied psychology. The module locates the various professional domains (e.g., Sport and Exercise Psychology; Health Psychology) within a range of organisational domains (e.g. voluntary sector, NHS, EAP's), considering these in terms of their underpinning philosophies, demands and expectations. This exploration will encompass a range of perspectives, including those informed by theories of organisations, teams and professions. A specific focus of the module will be the relationship between healthcare settings and applied psychology theory and practice. This will involve, a deep exploration of severe psychological distress and its treatment, and will include a critical exploration of topics such as psychiatric classification, diagnosis, theories of psychopathology, psychopharmacology in mental health. Allied to this will be an exploration of the potential role of psychometric testing in psychological work. A second strand of the module will turn to wider issues of the social context itself, considering social-constructionist, sociological and a range of other critiques of psychological practice. Integral to these is the notion of oppression. The module will explore the nature and basis of oppressive practice and consider what is meant by an anti-discriminatory stance, considering this in terms of a range of perspectives including those of the service user. This will provide a basis for a further exploration of cultural and spiritual diversity and the implications of this for applied psychology. The module also provides the opportunity for supported and supervised teaching and training in applied psychology


The module will explore the following topics: -360b7 Organisational contexts; b7 Theories of organizations and groups; b7 Multi-disciplinary team working; b7 Professionalism; b7 The history, philosophy and practice of psychiatry and its contemporary role in mental health; b7 The relationship between Health Psychology/Sport and Exercise Psychology and the 'medical model' in mental health; b7 The biopsychosocial model; b7 Psychodiagnosis and classification; b7 Theories of psychopathology and severe mental health disorder; b7 Psychopharmacology; b7 Psychometric testing in mental health; b7 Critical psychiatry, the recovery movement and the survivor movement; b7 The social organization of applied psychology and psychotherapy; b7 Social oppression and its relationship to psychology; b7 Anti-discriminatory practice - working with disability, sexuality, gender, ethnicity and class issues

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:1. Critically reflect on the complex relationship between healthcare contexts and applied psychology practice 2. Synthesise key dimensions of a range of contexts, the professional dilemmas these may present, and the conceptual basis for developing innovative solutions to these;3. Critically appraise the nature, basis and treatment of severe psychological distress in contemporary mental health practice and the implications of this for practitioner psychologists;4. Critically evaluate of the role of psychometric testing in applied psychology;5. Critically evaluate personal practice as a practitioner psychologist;6. Communicate a critical appraisal of the evidence-base and developing professional knowledge to inform decisions and communicate professional dilemmas and practice;7. An integrated and critical awareness of sociological, cultural and critical perspectives on the theory and practice of psychology in the Mental Health domain and the capacity to demonstrate a personal stance on these;8. An advanced and conceptually sophisticated understanding of human diversity and the potential for oppression in the context of mental health and psychological working, and the capacity to develop an effective anti-discriminatory stance.9. Evidence of a highly critical, personal and reflective evaluation of the planning and delivery of a series of applied teaching sessions to at least two groups of learners.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will engage in a series of interactive workshops supported by GCULearn VLE.

Indicative Reading

-360b7 American Psychiatric Association. (2005). DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , (4th Ed). Washington, DC: APA. b7 Banton, R., Clifford, P., Frosh, S., Lousada, J. & Rosenthall, J. (1985). The politics of mental health. London: Macmillan. b7 Bentall, R. (2007). Madness explained: Psychosis and human nature . London: Penguin Books. b7 Billington, R., Hockey, S., & Strawbridge, S. (1998). Exploring self and society . London: Macmillan. b7 British Psychological Society. (2004). Special Edition on counselling psychology and psychological testing. Counselling Psychology Review 19(4). London: BPS. b7 Clegg, S.R. (1989). Frameworks of power . London: Sage. b7 Douglas, M. (1987). How institutions think . London: RKP. b7 Hammersley, D. (1995). Counselling People on Prescribed Drugs. London: Sage. b7 Healy, D. (2004). The Creation of Psychpharmacology. Harvard University Press. b7 Hodges, J. (2005). Cognitive Assessment for Clinicians. Oxford University Press. b7 House, R. (2003). Therapy beyond Modernity: Deconstructing and Transcending Profession-centred Therapy. London: Karnac. b7 Johnstone, L. (2000). Users and Abusers of Psychiatry. London: Routledge. b7 Joseph, S. (2001). Psychopathology and Therapeutic Approaches: An introduction . Houndmills: Palgrave. b7 Kearney, A. (1996). Counselling, Class and Politics: Undeclared influences in therapy. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books. b7 Lago, C. & Smith, B. (2003). Anti-Discriminatory Counselling Practice. London: Sage. b7 Lemma, A. (1996). Introduction to Psychopathology. London: Sage. b7 Marris, P. (1996). The Politics of Uncertainty: Attachment in Private and Public Life. London: Routledge. b7 Newnes, C., Dunn, C. & Holmes, G, (Eds) (1999). This is Madness: a Critical Look at Psychiatry and the Future of Mental Health Services. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books. b7 Newnes, C., Dunn, C. & Holmes, G, (Eds) (2001). This is Madness Too: Critical Perspectives on Mental Health Services. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books. b7 Patterson, J.E., Albala, A.A., McCahill, M.E. & Edwards, T. (1996). The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology. New York: Guilford Press. -360b7 Proctor, G. (2002). The Dynamics of Power in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Ethics, Politics and Practice.Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books. -360b7 Roth, A. & Fonagy, P. (2005). What Works for Whom: a Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research, 2nd Ed. London; Guilford Press. b7 Slater, L. (2008). Welcome to My Country: Journeys into the World of a Therapist and Her Patients. US:Anchor Books. b7 Smail, D. (2005). Power, Interest and Psychology: Elements of a Social Materialist Understanding of Distress. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books. Reading lists will be updated on an annual basis with reference to relevant peer reviewed journals.

Transferrable Skills

Literature searching; problem solving; collaborative working; presentation skills; advanced communication and writing skills; creativity and innovation; critical thinking; time management; critical dialogue.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 160.00
Practicals (FT) 110.00
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Practicals (PT) 110.00
Independent Learning (PT) 160.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 1.00 30.00 50% 2000 word assignment
Coursework 2 1.00 40.00 50% 3000 word critical review
Coursework 3 1.00 30.00 50% Teaching and trainng logbook and reflective report (1500 words)