Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PSYC6003 Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability

Module Overview

The module will examine the psychosocial aspects of a range of illnesses, and to explore the current theoretical models and research findings that inform clinical practice. One of the pre-requisites for PSYC6022

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide you with advanced knowledge relating to clinical issues in health psychology. More specifically, the unit aims to (a) examine the psychosocial aspects of a range of illnesses, and (b) explore the current theoretical models and research findings that inform clinical practice.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand variables related to health risk assessment.
  • Conceptualise cases from a biopsychosocial perspective and identify appropriate evidence based interventions.
  • Demonstrate significant knowledge of the relevant medical/physiological aspects of symptom presentation in their primary area of focus.
  • Understand behavioural observation, objective measures, mental status examination, selfreport measures and/or self-monitoring for patient assessment
  • Understand diagnostic nomenclature appropriate to the patient presentation


This module introduces you to Clinical Health Psychology, a branch of Health Psychology that focuses on the relationship between psychological variables and biomedical conditions. The module deals with the processes of the psychological treatment of, and response to physical illness of patients in the health care system. It will provide you with knowledge and skills relevant to understanding how psychology is applied to the care of the physically ill and how it is applied to maximise the effectiveness of health care delivery. During the module you will study different chronic illnesses and their management and working with patients in the health care system.

Special Features

Guest lecturers provide expert input for selected sessions

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module includes 12 sessions (11 seminars and 1 tutorial) delivered by the module coordinator and invited internal and external lecturers with expertise in particular topics. Seminars emphasise active learning, and require participation in group discussions, debates, and other activities. A range of teaching and learning activities are used in the seminars, including the use of videos and case studies. To successfully complete the module, you will need to engage in your own personal study.

Independent Study164
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

French, D., Vedhara, K., Kaptein, A.A., & Weinman J. (Eds.). (2010). Health psychology. 

Ayers, S., Baum, A., McManus, C., Newman, S., Wallston, K., Weinman, J., et al. (Eds.). (2007). Cambridge handbook of psychology, health and medicine. 

Ogden, J. (2012). Health psychology: a textbook. 

Camic, P. & Knight, S. (2004). Clinical Handbook of Health Psychology. 

Sarafino, E. P. (2008). Health psychology: biopsychosocial interactions. 


Assessment Strategy

The learning outcomes for this module are assessed through one exam and one piece of coursework: Exam - 2 hours (40%) Marked assignment: 3,000 word essay. (60%) Informal in-class activities provide the opportunity for formative feedback. Note on referral: Students who fail the exam will take a resit. Students who fail the coursework will redo the coursework.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 56%
Exam  (2 hours) 40%
Skills portfolio 4%
Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.