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MCH3035 : Storytelling and Collective Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Darren Kelsey
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • 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


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.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00non-synchronous online teaching material - supplementary to 1hr lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00On-campus lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:0080:00N/A
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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination2M20Workshop Group Exercise
Case study2A70Students choose ONE of the following options: Written analytical case study; Conversational podcast; Video essay; Archival film. Further guidance is provided within module materials and contact hours.
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Participation and engagement.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal2MOutline plan of case study
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative research proposal requires you to submit an outline plan with ideas for your case study. You will not receive a grade for this assignment, but submission of the proposal followed by your engagement with verbal feedback via office hours is compulsory.

The case study (70%) provides you with the opportunity to produce your own analysis via a choice of written or practical skillsets - including but not limited to films and podcasts. You will evidence knowledge and skillsets gained on the module by applying key concepts covered in lectures, readings, seminars and other course material. Your project will be original and demonstrate your ability to develop ideas for independent research and/or content production.

The oral examination (20%) requires you to prepare and deliver one seminar 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. As part of a team, you will contribute whatever your strengths are to designing and facilitating an engaging seminar.

The professional skills assessment (10%) will account for module engagement and participation. This is not based on attendance monitoring. Module citizenship, formative plans, feedback discussions, office hour attendance, communication etiquette, problem solving, and peer-to-peer engagement are just some examples that contribute towards academic engagement that is acknowleged and rewarded on this module.

Reading Lists