Module Catalogue 2023/24

MCH3035 : Storytelling and Collective Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Darren Kelsey
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module focuses on storytelling and collective psychology in contemporary society. Focusing on a number of texts and contexts in media, journalism, film, politics and popular culture, you will learn how to critically analyse the archetypal conventions of storytelling and mythology by exploring and applying key concepts in collective psychology.

Students will also develop knowledge on how myths and ideologies develop over time and how they are adapted to serve cultural and political changes in society. You will learn how myths reflect social norms, values and ideals whilst also understanding how myths cause, reinforce or replicate social conflicts and social change.

Lectures, readings and assessments will enable students to critically reflect on their own media practices as well as the work produced by other practitioners. In doing so, we will critically reflect on the role of storytelling in our personal lives, considering how these stories shape the environments in which we live. We will explore the impact that storytelling has on our personal and collective wellbeing, while considering how our collective wellbeing impacts upon stories about ourselves and others.

The module will introduce Kelsey’s (2017) discourse-mythological approach (DMA). You will learn how to use this framework and conduct psycho-discursive analysis – within the module, during future studies and in prospective professional practices.

Students will demonstrate their own understanding of storytelling and collective psychology through interactive seminar workshops and independent research projects. In doing so, you will produce your own case study by adopting and applying your choice of concepts and approaches offered on the module.

Outline Of Syllabus

The discourse-mythological approach.
Conceptual appraoches to mythologies and affective storytelling.
Conceptual approaches to collective pscyhology.
Carl Jung, archetypes and psychoanalysis.
Shadows and the unconscious mind.
Analytical case studies on storytelling in media, journalism, film, politics and popular culture.
Heroes, tricksters and other archetypes in past and present stories.
Persona studies in media and popular culture.
Collective storytelling, tribalism and polarization.
Philosophy for life, mental health and personal wellbeing.
Storytelling for the future.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module will possess:
- Advanced knowledge of literature and key concepts on mythology and archetypal storytelling.
- Advanced knowledge of approaches to collective psychology.
- Advanced understanding of Kelsey’s discourse-mythological approach and its application.
- Advanced knowledge of interdisciplinary toolkits and synergies in psycho-discursive research.
- Advanced understanding of storytelling conventions in personal spaces and professional practices.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module will possess:
- Ability to critically analyse storytelling techniques and conventions in media texts.
- Ability to understand the role(s) of mythological storytelling in social and historical contexts.
- Ability to adopt/adapt psycho-discursive toolkits for analysing stories.
- Ability to identify/analyse archetypal conventions in fiction and non-fiction texts/contexts.
- Ability to identify/analyse the relationship between storytelling and collective psychology in society.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00On-campus lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:0080:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00non-synchronous online teaching material - supplementary to 1hr lecture
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00On-campus seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study157:0057:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce literature and concepts on mythology and archetypal conventions of storytelling. Case studies presented in lectures through research-informed teaching will enhance knowledge of literature and contextual frameworks of ideology.

Research-informed teaching will adopt Kelsey’s discourse-mythological approach and its application in order to provide students with the necessary toolkits for analysing myth and ideology, which they will adopt and build upon through their independent study and assessments.

Lectures (case studies) analysing political economy will explore contextual nuances of mythology through the production values and agendas of media practice. Historical contexts to examples covered in lectures and workshops will advance student knowledge of the diachronic and synchronic dimensions to mythological storytelling.

By adopting approaches from lectures and readings, students will demonstrate their ability to critically analyse mythological storytelling techniques in media texts through workshops, presentations and independent study. The teaching methods that inform these activities will encourage students to adopt multi-modal analytical toolkits for analysing discursive constructions of mythology. These skills will enable students to identify archetypal conventions of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will develop the reflective skills necessary for understanding mythology in social and historical contexts by appreciating its significance regarding power, society and culture.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination1M20Workshop Group Exercise
Case study1A70Independent research case study (3000 words)
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Participation and engagement.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal1MOutline plan of case study
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative research proposal requires students to submit an outline plan for the case study. This should provide evidence of an idea to focus on in the case study and examples of key concepts that will be applied - including relevant literature on those concepts. You will not receive a grade for this assignment, but submission of the proposal followed by your engagement with verbal feedback is compulsory.

The case study (70%) provides you with the opportunity to conduct their own independent project by analysing a relevant non-fiction or fiction text of your choice. You will evidence knowledge and skillsets gained on the module by applying key concepts covered in lectures, readings, seminars and other course material. Your case study will be original and demonstrate your ability to develop ideas for independent research.

The oral examination (20%) requires you to prepare and deliver a seminar presentation and/or facilitation on a specific week/topic/lecture from the module. You must ensure that you are allocated an oral examination date/seminar in the first week of the module.

The professional skills assessment (10%) will account for your classroom contribution and module citizenship. This is not based solely on registered attendance - seminar contribution, feedback discussions and peer-to-peer engagement will be monitored on a weekly basis.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.