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Abnormal Psychology

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In this double module you will have the opportunity to explore models of abnormality and implications for their treatment.

Drawing on a range of perspectives within psychology, you will be encouraged to contrast, compare and challenge theories to understand a 'best fit' eclectic mix of evidence-based explanations of behaviour.

The course is open to all and assumes no prior knowledge. The course is also an optional module in the Pathway to a degree in Healthcare.

Learning and teaching

This will include the following:

  • defining normality
  • normal development and theory of mind
  • psychological approaches to abnormality
  • abnormal development
  • attribution theory
  • stereotypes and prejudice
  • theory behind therapeutic models
  • assessing the success of therapy, schizophrenia, stress, anxiety, depression, OCD, social phobia, self-harm, eating disorders

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects. For this course the assessment is: two essays, or one essay and a report presented to class.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

  • Davison, G. C. & Neale, J.M. (6th Edition) (1994) Abnormal Psychology. Wiley.
  • Dawkins, R. (1989) The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press
  • Gross, R. (1996) Psychology, The Science of Mind and Behaviour. Hodder & Stoughton
  • Gross, R. & McIlveen, R. (2000) Abnormal Psychology. Hodder & Stoughton
  • Rosenham, D. L. & Seligman, M. E. P. (1995) Abnormal Psychology. W. W. Norton

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.