Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2013-2014 (archived)


Department: Psychology


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2013/14 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Either (i) or (ii) or (iii). (i) PSYC1081 Introduction to Psychology 2 Developmental, Social & Abnormal Psychology OR (ii) PSYC1071 Introduction to Psychology 1: Cognitive & Biological Psychology AND PSYC106 Introduction to Psychological Research OR (iii) PSYC2021 Social & Developmental Psychology AND PSYC2081 Topics in Cognitive Psychology AND PSYC2111 Biological Psychology & Perception


  • Either (i) or (ii). (i) PSYC2021 Social & Developmental Psychology AND PSYC2081 Topics in Cognitive Psychology AND PSYC2111 Biological Psychology & Perception. (ii) At least one Level 3 Psychology module to the value of 20 credits

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and understanding of theory and research in personality and in abnormal and clinical psychology


  • This module will cover theories of personality and the assessment of personality
  • It will also cover historical issues surrounding the study of psychological disorder, the issue of psychiatric classification, the main classes of psychological disorder, including affective disorders, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders
  • It will conclude with a discussion of some issues surrounding clinical practice in abnormal psychology
  • The content will be delivered through one-hour weekly lectures and associated tutorials
  • Individual student support will be provided through a weekly surgery hour

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A broad knowledge of theories of personality and the most common types of mental illness and the key concepts in psychiatric diagnosis, with in-depth knowledge of some topics
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Understand the relationship between theory and data, including the ability to evaluate theories and concepts
  • Ability to formulate research questions and hypotheses
Key Skills:
  • Competent in written communication skills
  • Competent IT skills in word processing and data presentation
  • Effective retrieval and organisation of material
  • Locate, read and review a body of research evidence
  • Critical evaluation of the quality of evidence and arguments
  • Ability to adopt different theoretical positions and see relationships between them

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Acquisition of knowledge and understanding in this area is facilitated by the material covered in lectures and tutorials, and the provision of detailed reading lists
  • This knowledge will be assessed in the written assessments and the written examination
  • These assessments will be essay-based, providing students with the opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to organise, review and evaluate evidence and theory, to provide critical appraisal, and to contrast theoretical positions
  • Feedback on progress in acquiring knowledge in the module is provided in the tutorials and via the written assessments
  • Understanding of the relationship between theory and data is fostered through lectures and tutorials and will be assessed in the written assessments, and the examination
  • Feedback on student progress in developing understanding is provided in the written assessment
  • Scientific reasoning skills will be fostered through feedback on the essays and assessed in the examination
  • The ability to organise and utilise knowledge is developed through preparation for essays and examinations
  • Feedback on the essays allows students to gauge their progress in this area and assessment is via essays and the examination
  • Written communication skills are developed through feedback on the written assessments and in the tutorials, and are assessed in the essays and written examination
  • A key component in the preparation of essays is the acquisition of adequate word processing skills
  • Feedback is provided regarding the adequacy of these skills where necessary

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 2 per term Term 1 & Term 2 1 Hour 4
Lectures 22 1 Per Week 1 Hour 22
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2000 word summative essay 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-hour examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will submit two 2,000 word essays; one in Term 1 and one in Term 2. The higher of the two essay marks will go forward as the summative assessment mark for the module.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University