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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.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand variables related to health risk assessment.
  • Demonstrate significant knowledge of the relevant medical/physiological aspects of symptom presentation in their primary area of focus.
  • Conceptualise cases from a biopsychosocial perspective and identify appropriate evidence based interventions.
  • 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
  • Develop and reflect on your basic skills for health psychology work including for example career planning and time management.


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.

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. In addition to the 11 seminars and tutorial, you will also attend 5 skills workshops associated with this module. To successfully complete the module, you will need to engage in your own personal study. Opportunities for formative assessment and feedback are built into the module in the form of in-class teaching and learning activities. These may include, for example: small group work and presentations; small-group and whole class discussions; observed exercises; spontaneous and/or planned questions and answers; and individual activity sheets. Staff provide verbal feedback during these activities to help you gauge and develop your knowledge and understanding.

Independent Study154
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

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

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

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

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



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 60%
Skills portfolio 
Written assignment 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 40%
Essay 60%
Skills portfolio 

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


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:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students are expected to fund their own printing and photocopying costs, if any.


Core texts should generally be available 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. The library will also have at least one copy of textbooks listed as additional background reading , or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies.

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

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