Module Catalogue 2018/19

PSY1008 : Personality and Abnormal Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Elizabeth Evans
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To introduce students to personality and abnormal psychology. To provide an understanding of the different levels at which personality can be measured and how extremes of behaviour are measured in a clinical context. To inform students about some of the most influential personality theories, and to give insight into how these can be applied to individuals. To provide an introduction to the diagnosis, aetiology and treatment of common psychological disorders from biological, psychological and social perspectives.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to personality, what it is and how we measure it and an introduction to abnormal psychology what it is and how we classify it.

Classic personality theories will be covered e.g. the behavioural genetic theory, the Psychodynamic approach and the Humanistic personality theory.

Students will learn how the situation may affect personality e.g. theories of Mishel and Bandura.

The abnormal psychology topic will cover the main types of disorder, e.g. anxiety, personality disorders, depression, psychosis, and introduce the main theoretical perspectives used to understand and treat such disorders.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the module the students will be able to:

- explain what personality is and how it is measured
- describe common psychological disorders and explain how they are diagnosed
- explain the concept of abnormal behaviour and how such behaviour is classified in a clinical context
- discuss how abnormal behaviour may develop and how this may be accounted for by the classic
personality theories
- demonstrate insight into the issues in personality research and the implications surrounding the
diagnosis of psychological disorders
- discuss the factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of psychological disorders, and the different approaches applied to treating them
- appreciate the interaction between genetic, physiological and environmental influences on human behaviour and psychological disorders

- identify critical issues in personality and abnormal psychology
- gather appropriate information from a variety of sources

Intended Skill Outcomes

- evaluate the classic personality theories
- discuss the extent to which different symptoms can impact upon behaviours and normal activities through case studies
- work as part of a small group

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Present
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Leadership : Present
      • Negotiation : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:0012 lectures are interactive with seminar-style activities.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading210:0020:00Journal articles
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity16:006:00Associated with the assignment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used as the main way to impart basic knowledge and to stimulate interest in the topics. The interactive sessions will allow further discussion of concepts taught in lectures and give the opportunity for students to take part in small scale psychological experiments that illustrate the taught material. A series of case studies presented in the interactive lectures will allow the students to gain experience of listening to the experiences of individuals living with a psychological disorder. This will help them to appreciate some of the difficulties in interpreting and applying material to understand psychological disorders. It will provide a spring-board to discussion of aetiological and treatment approaches, grounded in real-life examples. In addition, the discussion and feedback sessions on these cases will provide students with the opportunity to carry out group work and to gain both formative and summative feedback on a written report. The private study time will allow students to carry out in depth review of the information imparted through lectures, to consolidate their learning and to generate their own views, views that can be shared with others in the interactive sessions and followed up by independent reading.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination602A80Unseen, multiple choice
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M201000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will assess material from all parts of the syllabus, ensuring that students have a good overall knowledge of the topics. The essay will assess students’ skills in written communication and their ability to interpret and apply the material learned in lectures. Preparation work will take place in seminars, developing students' ability to work effectively in small groups although students will write up their own individual essays.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 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 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.