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PSY1008 : Personality and Abnormal Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Elizabeth Evans
  • Lecturer: Professor Vera Araujo Soares, Mrs Barbara-Anne Robertson, Dr Amy Fielden, Dr Gavin Clark
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


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.

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 StudyDirected research and reading210:0020:00Journal articles
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study156:0056:00N/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. Use of OMBEA throughout the course further facilitates student interactions and provides ample opportunities to practice the type of multiple choice questions used in the final summative assignment. 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination602A100Unseen, multiple choice
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 in interactive lectures.

Reading Lists