PY0422 - Introduction to Psychopathology

What will I learn on this module?

In the module Introduction to Psychopathology (PY0422) you will learn about mental illness. In the first block of teaching, you will be exposed to psychological and biological theories of behavior and their corresponding treatment derivatives. At the end of the first block and through the remaining teaching blocks, you will learn the major psychiatric disorders as defined in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). You will learn the salient diagnostic features of the mental disorders along with the theories of the etiology of mental illness, and the neurobiological correlates of abnormal behavior. You will also learn major psychotherapeutic and biological treatment options available to treat mental illness. Alongside these aspects you will also become conversant in ethical and legal issues particularly relevant to mental illness.

How will I learn on this module?

In the Introduction to Psychopathology (PY0422) module, you will learn through didactic lectures, interactive multiple-choice question sessions (IMCQs), online-directed learning activities other formative assessments, and independent study. In addition to the discussion of lecture slide material, you will learn through the presentation of clinical cases and clinical videos illustrating psychopathology. You will also learn through formative assessments (multiple choice question format) given intermittently throughout lectures through TurningPoint interactive response software (clickers). During IMCQ sessions you will learn through individual, peer, and through the discussion of clinical vignettes related to the diagnosis, etiology, and treatment of psychopathology with Academic members of staff. You will make response using TurningPoint’s audience polling device (clickers). In addition to the formative assessments administered during live lectures, you will also learn through formative assessments (multiple-choice question format) administered through the SAKAI course management software system and the ExamSoft testing platform. Summary feedback will be offered for quizzes and exams delivered on ExamSoft, which includes an overview of your strengths and weaknesses based on category and the subject of the material to provide information for further improvement. All feedback is aimed to feed forward so you can apply it to your future assessed pieces of work throughout your study.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Academic members of staff provide support during office hours and via email to clarify concepts and/or direct you to relevant resources You will also have the opportunity to participate in supplemental small group sessions led by a tutor or demonstrator to help you to comprehend and apply key concepts covered in lecture. Online practice questions are provided to help you evaluate your comprehension of module content and to help you grasp key concepts. All teaching and assessment material, including web-based practice problems and quizzes, case reports and other supportive material, is posted on the electronic course management site (SAKAI) and announcements regarding any changes in scheduled delivery will be posted on the module site and emailed to all students. Detailed objectives, practice problems, web based practice quizzes, and other supportive material are posted to the course management site to help guide you through the module. The discussion forum folder on SAKAI is a powerful tool of the course where you may post your questions regarding administrative as well as academic issues and will be encouraged to take part in the discussion. Forums are monitored by Academic members of staff. Academic, learning and personal support is provided through the SGU offices of the Dean of Basic Science, Department of Educational Services and Dean of Students.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Enumerate the symptoms of the major psychiatric disorders and apply the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria to clinical scenarios to differentially diagnose psychiatric diseases

2. Describe the psychological/ environmental and neurobiological contributions to psychiatric illness

3. Specify the major biological and psychological treatment approaches for each of the major mental disorders

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

4. Develop effective approaches to study & learning, including self-management and self-evaluation & contribute effectively in partnership with others as a member of a team.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Develop conversancy in ethical/legal issues relevant to psychiatric patients

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessments are provided through practice questions hosted on the electronic educational platform (SAKAI), 3 IMCQ sessions, and in-class clicker questions during each lecture.

Summative Assessments
1. Graded Online Quiz 1 (MLO, 1, 2, 3)
2. Exam 1 (MLO, 1, 2, 3, 5)
3. Graded Online Quiz 2 (MLO, 1, 2, 3)
4. Exam 2 (MLO, 1, 2, 3)
5. Graded Online Quiz 3 (MLO, 1, 2, 3)
6. Exam 3 (MLO, 1, 2, 3, 5)
7. Graded Online Quiz 4 (MLO, 1, 2, 3, 4)
8. Exam 4 (MLO 1, 2, 3, 5)


Enrolment in the DipHE Medical Sciences



Module abstract

The Introduction to Psychopathology (PY0422) module provides students with a broad and insightful view of the world of mental illness from a biopsychosocial perspective. This module introduces important principles from learning theory with an emphasis on the way these concepts help to explain how people acquire maladaptive emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. The module also covers psychological, pharmacological, and brain stimulation treatments of mental illness. Mental disorders involving a wide gamut of symptomatology are discussed, ranging from anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders to disorders of addiction, neurodevelopment and neurocognition. Critical thinking skills and problem solving are honed as students become fluent in the art of differential diagnosis. Students who complete this module leave the module with an understanding about maladaptive behaviour that can assist them in their personal and professional lives, regardless of their specific vocational interest.

Course info

Credits 10

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 5 Year Programme

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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