The University of Southampton
Courses

GERO6023 Mental Health and Ageing (DL)

Module Overview

The module will provide a critical assessment of evidence relevant to mental health and ageing, with a concentration on dementia, one of the most common and serious disorders in later life. The module will take an international perspective, providing an understanding of prevalence, treatment and policy on mental illness in later life in both the developed and developing world. Students will gain an understanding of the key challenges and debates in diagnosis, treatment and policy on mental illness in later life.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to engage students in a critical debate on the conceptualisation, measurement, diagnosis, treatment and policy on mental health and mental illness in later life.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ ageing from a psychological and cognitive perspective
  • Discuss mental illnesses, e.g. depression, psychosis and dementia, in later life and the policy response from an international perspective
  • Critically evaluate evidence for best practice in dementia and other mental illnesses in later life, using data from different countries/regions (e.g. China, India, Africa, UK, USA)
  • Apply theoretical approaches, e.g. from Gerontology and Psychology, to treatment and policy issues affecting older people with mental illnesses and their carers.
  • Use written communication skills developed through the preparation of assessed coursework
  • Use critical skills in preparing an evidence review report

Syllabus

The module will include online lectures covering: normal and abnormal memory changes in later life; life course determinants of mental illness in later life; prevalence of mental illness in later life around the world; the different types of dementia; how dementia alters brain physiology; treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia; theory of personhood; psychological and pharmacological therapies; long-term care in the community and residential setting; informal care and carer burden; policy challenges and how these are responded to around the world; loneliness in later life; and recent research priorities.

Special Features

One or two outside experts are invited to give online guest lectures on particular topics; for example, an academic from other universities researching a particular topic, an international author, a policy analyst, or a senior manager in local government or in the third sector.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is taught by means of lectures. The lectures of the module focus on mental health and ill health, with a particular focus on dementia. Examples from around the world, including developing countries, will be used where relevant. Learning activities include lectures, tasks and problem-solving related to the lectures and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance of each session.

TypeHours
Independent Study176
Teaching24
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Krishnamoorthy, E.S., Prince, M.J., & Cummings, J.L. (2010). Dementia: A Global Approach. 

Johnson, M.L. et al. (eds) (2005). Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. 

Woods, R. & Clare, L. (eds) (2008). Handbook of the Clinical Psychology of Ageing. 

Cook, A. (2008). Dementia and Well-Being: Possibilities and Challenges. Policy and Practice in Health and Social Care Series.. 

Innes, A., Kelly, F., & McCabe, L. (2012). Key Issues in Evolving Dementia Care: International Theory based Policy and Practice. 

Stuart Hamilton, I. (2012). The Psychology of Ageing. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 50%
Evidence Review  (3000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Conference expenses

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as any conference registration fees).

Hardware

Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to already have access to a PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard. Headphones are sent to the Distance Learning students in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. Module Outlines) via the post at the beginning of their programme, as part of their tuition fees. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.

Software Licenses

Licenses relating to software used in the programme (eg. SPSS, NVivo) are purchased by the University, and students can download them from the iSolutions website using their username and password.

Stationery

You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.

Textbooks

Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available electronically on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books. Students on the DL programme receive key textbooks as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of the programme via post. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Travel Costs for placements

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. All students on the MSc Gerontology (DL) or MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme are invited to attend a 4-day Residential Course in Southampton, however for those students who are in receipt of Commonwealth scholarships, this Course is obligatory, and the travel, accommodation and basic subsistence costs are covered as part of their Scholarship.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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