Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Issues in Clinical Psychology
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Individual Presentation  (30 minutes presentation plus 20 minutes Q and A)  50%
Semester Assessment Written Essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Individual Presentation  50%
Supplementary Assessment Written Essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the concept of abnormality
2. Demonstrate understanding of a wide range of disorders (e.g. depressive disorder, eating disorders).
3. Analyse research evidence from the relevant mental health literature
4. Demonstrate advanced communication skills through reasoned debate on topics relating to mental health, using research evidence to support their perspective
5. Apply a range of approaches to understanding mental health (e.g. cognitive, behavioral, genetic, biological, evolutionary).
6. Evaluate mental health issues from an ethical viewpoint.

Brief description

This module introduces students to the highly fascinating and yet often-seemingly-enigmatic domain of mental disorders. It provides a thought-provoking overview of the major theories, interventions, discussions/controversies in relation to psychopathology. Special attention will also be accorded to understanding abnormality from an evolutionary perspective.


Abnormal Psychology is widely acknowledged as one of the key subfields of Psychology, and has generally been offered as a core Psychology module in most other universities around the world. In addition, it is generally a highly popular topic among Psychology students and hence current student experience (in addition to potential future student numbers) could be further enhanced by the introduction of such a module in the Psychology Department.


  • What is abnormality?
  • * Key approaches to abnormality * Evolutionary perspectives of mental illnesses * Assessment and interventions
  • Depressive disorders
  • * Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma and stress-related disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • * Neurodevelopmental disorders * Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number In order to be effective at analyzing evidence in a constructive manner, students will be encouraged to develop their statistical lenses over the course of the module.
Communication The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form, will be a key attribute that students will develop (and be assessed on) in both the group debates and essay assignment respectively.
Improving own Learning and Performance Over the course of the module, students will be enthusiastically encouraged to always question conventional thinking and evidence about mental health and to constantly re-evaluate what they have learned from a “skeptical scientist” viewpoint. Such exercises can be done in both lectures and seminars.
Information Technology Lectures will be conducted with the aid of PowerPoint slides and video clips while students will also be strongly encouraged to be as creative as possible about using any types of information technology they can think of in their group debates.
Personal Development and Career planning By gaining a better appreciation of psychopathology in general and how abnormality is being differentially defined (e.g. via distinct perspectives), students will potentially develop the skills to approach mental disorders (and possibly many other issues in their lives) with a more open, integrative mind. Such a mentality will stand them in good stead in whatever career they embark on in the future.
Problem solving Throughout the entire module, students will be strongly encouraged to evaluate evidence critically and to be creative at tackling complex problems that are often conspicuous in abnormal psychology.
Research skills Students will be required to make a credible case for their ideas/arguments in both the essay assignment and the group debates by means of evidence from empirical research.
Subject Specific Skills Students will acquire a broad, useful, analytical understanding of abnormality and will be able to view sufferers of mental disorders from a different, more empathetic perspective upon the completion of this module.
Team work Students must learn to work effectively as a team for the group debates in order to benefit fully from such a unique learning experience.


This module is at CQFW Level 5