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PSY8036 : Cultural and Historical Issues in Clinical Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kate Swainston
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is to produce students who are culturally competent. They will have a good understanding of the historical evolution of attitudes to, and ideas about, mental health issues. They will also have a grounding in present day differences with regard to beliefs about the aetiology and treatment of mental health problems in a range of cultures, including their own. Knowledge of theories gained in other modules will thus be historically and culturally contextualised.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered will include: what is culture and what are our assumptions about our culture; history of western mental health; cross cultural attitudes in a variety of geographical areas including China, Japan, South East Asia, South Asia, South America and Eastern Europe; culturally sensitive methodologies.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion921:0092:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Non-synchronous online delivery of teaching materials and activities to support student learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching122:0024:00Present in person: Lectures/seminars - discussions & group activities
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study761:0076:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous online structured activities will be the main way to impart factual knowledge and to stimulate interests in the topic areas. Lectures will provide the basic building blocks in order to allow students to begin to engage with the material in the seminar sessions, which will be based around discussion, debate and group work. Critical appraisal of the ideas presented, interpretation of research findings and communication skills will be practised in these seminars. Working in small groups will encourage collaboration and teamwork.

To attain the intended knowledge outcomes and skills in full, it will be essential that students engage in private study before and after the taught sessions. Students will be directed to carry out their own research into the subject area. This will foster their critical thinking and independence which will in turn feed into their assessment preparation.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1003000 words (excluding references)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In order to encourage critical thinking about culture, students will need the time and space afforded by the choice of an essay as the summative assessment, to think deeply about this topic and to wrestle with the historical and cultural issues at the centre of the module. The essay is of sufficient length to allow a certain amount of discursive freedom whilst at the same time requiring concision.

Reading Lists