PSY3033 : Eating and Weight Disorders

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of this course is to provide a summary of weight and eating-related syndromes and symptoms, including clinical eating disorders, eating disordered behaviour, and obesity. It focuses on issues around cause, diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment options for eating and weight disorders, concentrating primarily on psychological therapies. The course will have a major input from clinicians and researchers who have experience in investigating, developing and delivering treatment therapies and long-term care programmes to those with eating and weight disorders.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered include:

Determinants of Eating Behaviour
Clinical Definitions of Eating Disorders
Body Image, Media and the ‘Ideal’ Body
Conceptual models and causal risk factors for Eating Disorders
The Assessment and Treatment of Severe Eating Disorders
Psychological Treatments for Eating Disorders
Neurocognitive Impairment in Eating Disorders
Disordered Eating in Children and Adolescents
Obesity and Body Image in Children and Adolescents
Obesity in adults
Weight Stigma
Psychological Treatments for Obesity
Psychological Readiness for Bariatric Surgery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation for summative assessment via unseen case study activity
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation for the examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Weekly online (formative) case study activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Interactive lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading162:0062:00Suggested further reading and exploration of the literature
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Seminar on specialist topics
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Formal lectures and informal classroom discussions and tests present a systematic perspective on the subject with reference to alternative perspectives. In the interactive lectures, external speakers draw on their clinical and research experience and use film clips and other media to illustrate topics covered in the more formal lectures. The implications of these illustrations are then discussed and debated by the class.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A802 essay questions from a choice of 6.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2M20Unseen exercise in formulating a case study
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MEssay outlines under exam conditions in response to exam question examples.
Written exercise2MGraduated exercises in case formulation completed via the VLE - feedback provided to whole group orally at the next weekly lecture
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A 120 minute unseen essay examination (two questions from an open choice of six) is used to allow students to demonstrate both factual knowledge, and – by their organization of material – abstract systematic understanding of topics in an objective and rigorous manner.

The students will complete an online assessment via the VLE, in which they will be given a previously unseen case study. They will be expected to: (1) indicate the likely diagnosis and provide evidence from the case study to support their decision; (2) develop a case formulation that demonstrates their knowledge of the conceptual models of eating disorders and explains the probable distal and proximal factors that contributed to the onset of the symptoms, as well as the processes that are likely maintaining the problem; (3) outline the most appropriate course of treatment for the patient, considering both physical and psychological components, and making clear links between the treatment plan and case formulation.
The online assessment will give students the opportunity to synthesise and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course, and prepare them for the exam.

Formative assessments
The formative assessment allows learners to demonstrate their skills in clinical case formulation, providing an opportunity to use weekly case studies on the VLE to reach diagnoses, develop a conceptually-based case formulation and outline the most appropriate course of treatment for the patient. In this way it provides experience in line with each of the learning objectives and prepares learners for the format and requirements of the summative assessment. Feedback via ‘model answers’ is then provided.
A seminar in which learners produce essay plans for 2 previously unseen exam questions (per seminar) without reference to their notes. The lecturer then reviews the marking scheme used for these essays. The activity provides learners with the experience of planning exam essays and of comparing their answers to the marking schemes.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

The form of assessment will not vary from the original.

Reading Lists