Module Catalogue 2023/24

PSY1008 : Personality and Mental Health

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zachary Petzel
  • Lecturer: Dr Gavin Clark
  • 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 mental health. 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 psychopathology, what it is and how we classify it.

Classic personality theories will be covered (e.g., biological, behavioral, social, cognitive, psychodynamic, and humanistic approaches), in addition to how situations and environments may interact with personality (e.g., theories of Mishel and Bandura).

The mental health section of the course will cover the main types of disorders (e.g., anxiety, personality disorders, depression, psychosis) and introduce the main theoretical perspectives used to understand and treat these 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 psychopathology and how such behaviour is classified in a clinical context

- discuss how mental health issues may develop and how this may be accounted for by the classic personality

- 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 mental health formation from a variety of sources

Intended Skill Outcomes

- apply, evaluate, and critique the classic personality theories and contemporary personality research

- discuss the extent to which different clinical disorders can impact behaviours and normal activities

- demonstrate a basic understanding of the application of clinical treatments for mental health, evaluating and
critiquing the effectiveness of different methods of treatment

- gather appropriate information from a variety of sources

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present-in-person
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading221:0022:00Journal articles, textbook chapters, other relevant resources to supplement lectures and workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study156:0056:00Students’ independent study of course materials and reflection on course topics
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture material will be used as the main way to impart basic knowledge and to stimulate interest in the topics. The interactive workshop sessions will allow further discussion of concepts taught via the lecture material and give the opportunity for students to engage in course material through taking part in small scale psychological experiments, critiquing psychological theories, and discussing contemporary research. A series of case studies presented in the workshops will also allow students to gain important perspectives of individuals living with a psychological disorder. This will help students to appreciate the difficulties in interpreting and applying material to psychological disorders. It will also provide a springboard to discuss the aetiological and treatment approaches, grounded in real life examples. Use of face-to-face group discussions and classroom polling throughout the course will further facilitates student interactions and provides ample opportunities to practice the type of multiple choice questions used in the final summative assignment (formative practice). The private, independent study time will allow students to carry out in depth review of the information imparted through lecture materials, to consolidate their learning and generate their own views that can be shared with others during in-person workshops 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
Digital Examination902A100Multiple choice questions (90), unseen, PIP Inspera invigilated.
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. Examination preparation work will take place within the interactive workshops.


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.