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The University of Southampton

PSYC8033 Child and Adolescence

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to work with children, adolescents and their families in varied clinical settings (child mental health teams, hospital settings, multi-agency teams). The module content is informed by BPS guidelines (including Good Practice Guidelines: training and consolidation of clinical practice in relation to children and young people (2006)) and clinical guidelines (e.g. NICE guidelines).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module offers trainees a review of child development and an introduction to the importance of parental well-being on child mental health. It will provide skills and techniques – predominantly from a CBT model, but also using attachment theory- for assessing and treating children and adolescents presenting with a range of mental health difficulties. This includes working with parents and families. The module will provide a background to the NHS organisational structures for child and family work, along with an overview of relevant legislation and good practice guidance.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate systematic knowledge of the application of developmental psychology to emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents.
  • Implement acquired knowledge of child neuropsychological assessments and measures.
  • Critically appraise the evidence base for psychological interventions in childhood and adolescence, including parenting.
  • Evaluate key ethical issues to make informed judgements about the complex clinical needs of children and families with safeguarding issues.
  • Demonstrate a systematic acquisition of the organisational structures of child mental health provision in the UK, including key documents and guidelines.


The child and adolescent teaching module begins with a two week teaching block which covers essential areas of clinical practice, including child development, Safeguarding issues, engaging young people and their families, and assessment and treatment planning. This is followed by a number of days of teaching looking at the application of attachment theory and CBT to presentations of anxiety, depression and anger, followed by teaching on working with children and adolescents who present with complex difficulties (e.g. trauma, Children Looked After, children in a hospital setting). Trainees will also be introduced to different treatment protocols including narrative therapy, Cognitive Remediation therapy, EMDR, IPT and DDP.

Special Features

The module involves experienced clinicians (mainly Clinical Psychologists, but occasionally other professions such as midwives, nurses and Educational Psychologists) in the delivery of teaching, including internationally renowned experts. Visual teaching aids are used, including videos, and there are opportunities for role plays throughout the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will comprise a number of different methods including lectures, seminars, problem-based learning, directed reading and independent study. Skills-based competencies will be taught through demonstrations and simulated role plays. Formative feedback will be given to trainees after role-plays and presentations from Problem Based Learning tasks. Some teaching sessions will be attended by trainee Educational Psychologists in order to foster multi-agency professional relationship.

Independent Study50
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

What Good Looks Like in Psychological Services for Children, Young People and their Families..

The Handbook of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology: A Contextual Approach.

What Works for Whom? A Critical Review of Treatments for Children and Adolescence..

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children: Position paper.

Reading List. A suggested reading list is updated every year, in order to incorporate new texts. Additionally, local practising psychologists are asked to provide the titles of books, or key journal articles, which have informed their practice during the year.

Prevention: What Works with Children and Adolescents: A Critical Review of Psychological Prevention Programmes for Children, Adolescents and Their Families..

Clinical Practice of Cognitive Therapy with Children and Adolescents: The Nuts and Bolts..

Herbert,M (2006). Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: From Theory to Practice. 

McLeod, B.D., Jensen-Doss, A & Ollendick T.H. (2013). Diagnostic and behavioural assessment in children and adolescents: a clinical guide.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (5000 words) 50%
Timed written response  (2500 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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