Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Psychology and Biology of Mental Disorders 3H/4H PSYCH4034

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will examine and evaluate different approaches to understanding and treating common psychological disorders.


10 hours over a 5 week block

Requirements of Entry

Entry to Honours Psychology is guaranteed by a B2 average over Psychology 2A and 2B. If taking this course in year 4 student must have successfully completed 3H psychology single honours.

Excluded Courses



Examination 100% you will answer 1 question from a choice of 3

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course will examine and evaluate different approaches to understanding and treating common psychological disorders. The history of these will be considered along with the current forms of such models. The application of these models to treatments will be described and the effectiveness of the treatments assessed.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Describe medical and psychological models of mental disorders as well as discuss the ramifications of such approaches.

■ Identify core symptoms and diagnostic approaches of major mental disorders.

■ Evaluate the contribution of neurobiological and psychological factors in the emergence of affective, psychotic and personality disorders.

■ Describe as well as evaluate different neuroimaging approaches and their application towards studying mental disorders.

■ Discuss and summarise the application of psychological and medical interventions and their effects and mental and neural processes

■ Evaluate the importance of adolescent brain maturation and early intervention for the manifestation and treatment of mental disorders.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.