The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

HLTH6096 Perspectives of Mental Health Care and Treatment

Module Overview

This module aims to enable you to contextualise contemporary mental health care and treatment within economic, historical, philosophical, political and sociological perspectives. This will enable you to bring a greater critical understanding to bear upon your knowledge and experience of mental health provision.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module you will have shown the ability to:

  1. Critically evaluate the current economic challenges and political ideologies that impact on mental health policy.
  2. Critically analyse the contributions of historical mental health policy and practice on contemporary mental health care and treatment.
  3. Critique the contributions of a number of philosophical traditions to the understanding of mental illness and consequent approaches to the mentally ill.
  4. Critically discuss sociological perspectives of mental health and illness, and review these with respect to competing and dominant medical model ideology.


Content of Module

The syllabus content is underpinned by research based evidence and draws upon the national and international expertise of staff within the Faculty:

  • Efficiency, effectiveness and value in the production and consumption of healthcare systems.
  • The economics of health affecting behaviours and the influence of political ideologies on the development of mental health policy.
  • The historical context to, and influence upon, contemporary mental health provision.
  • An introduction to the philosophy of mind and mental illness.
  • Sociological context of mental health provision, including: gender, power, race and culture, along with the lived experience of service users and carers.

Learning and Teaching

Study time allocation

Contact hours:30
Private study hours:220
Total study time: 250 hours

Teaching and learning methods

A number of methods may be used to facilitate your learning, including:

  • Lectures.
  • Guided discussions.
  • Debates.
  • Seminars.
  • Case studies.
  • Socratic dialogue.
  • Problem based learning.
  • Service user and carer narratives.

Resources and reading list

Appignanesi, L. (2008) Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1850 to the Present. London: Virago Press.

Berrios, G. and Freeman, H. (eds.) (1991) 150 Years of British Psychiatry 1841-1991. London: Gaskell.

Carpenter, D., ‘The What Then, What Now and What Next of Mental Health Nursing', in Brown, J., Tee, S. and Carpenter, D. (eds.) (2012) Handbook of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, London: Hodder and Arnold.

Dudley, M., Silove, D., and Gale, F. (2012) Mental Health and Human Rights: Vision, praxis and courage. OUP: Oxford.

Foster, J. and Tew, J. (2005) Social perspectives in Mental Health: Developing Social Models to Understand and Work With mental Distress. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Graham, G. (2013) The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness. London: Routledge.

Lester, H and Glasby, J. (2010) Mental Health Policy and Practice, 2nd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

London School of Economics (2006).  The Depression report; A new deal for depression and anxiety disorders.

London School of Economics (2012).  How Mental Health loses out in the NHS; a report by the centre for economic performance's mental health policy group.

Porter, R. (2004) Madmen, A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors & Lunatics. Gloucestershire:Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2004 [first published as Mind Forg'd Manacles in 1987 by the Athlone Press]).

Rogers, A. and Pilgrim, D. (2010) A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness.OUP; Oxford.

Scott, A., Maynard, A. & Elliott (eds) (2003) Advances in Health Economics.  Wiley Online Library (

Thornton, T. (2007), Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry (International Perspectives in Philosophy & psychiatry).  OUP: Oxford.

Wallace, E.R. IV and Gach, J. (eds.) (2008) History of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology. New York: Springer.


Assessment methods


Any evidence of unsafe practice or attitudes in any component of the summative assessment will result in automatic referral. If you are registered with the NMC or HCPC breaches of Academic Integrity* may result in your employer being notified if there is concern that your professional code of conduct is not of the expected standard.

* Academic Integrity describes acting with honesty and responsibility in one’s own Academic Work, i.e. work undertaken for formative and summative assessments (this includes written work, placement assessment and non-written work, e.g. presentations).


Formative Assessment

Debate of a contentious current health related issue.

Summative Assessment

Poster presentation (10% peer and tutor marked) and submission of a hard copy poster (30%), alongside a 1,500 word critical commentary (60%).  The topic will reflect the formative assessment and will be agreed with the module leader.

Linked modules

Pre-requisites and / or co-requisites

You must meet pre-entry requirements for masters level awards.



Programmes in which this module is compulsory

This module is compulsory in MSc Health Sciences (mental health).

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