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MSc Health Psychology

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Facilitating Change 1

Unit code PSYC69741
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit covers the key interventions within clinical and health psychology that are designed to facilitate change, improve well-being and promote recovery. This unit is linked to Semester 2 course Facilitating Change 2 (for MSc Clinical & Health Psychology). Facilitating Change 1 content includes understanding the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing; assessment and formulation; CBT for mental health conditions and the application of this approach to physical health conditions.



The unit aims to:

  • Provide an introduction to the core principles and features of contemporary, theory- and evidence-based approaches to facilitating psychological change in people with health problems.
  • Encourage a critical analysis of the strengths and limitations of psychological interventions.
  • Equip students with an awareness of the reciprocal links between theory, research and clinical practice in the development and evaluation of psychological interventions.
  • Provide illustrative examples of a range of interventions, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Encourage students to start developing an awareness of the factors that are common to different psychological interventions, and those factors that differentiate them.
  • Provide understanding of assessment and formulation.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course unit, students will be able to;

  • Understand the importance of assessment and formulation.
  • Understand the science and practice of CBT.
  • Gain knowledge of a range of issues and innovations in facilitating change in psychology.
  • Gain an appreciation of how a range of interventions are practiced.
  • Understand the features of good communication and interviewing skills
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the science and practice of interventions.
  • Apply writing skills to the task of writing a case report.
  • Develop an understanding of human change processes within a range of settings.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be delivered in 10 x 2-hour face-to-face sessions and will include lectures, group discussions, experiential tasks and demonstrations of interventions. To assist in preparation for the sessions, students will be provided with electronic resources on Blackboard including PowerPoint slides, key papers, web links and discussion boards.

Assessment methods

1. Case Report (1500 words, worth 30%)

2. Essay-based Exam – 1 hour (worth 70%)

Recommended reading

Cromby, J., Harper, D., & Reavey, P. (2013). Psychology, Mental Health and Distress Paperback. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Harvey, A. H., Watkins, E., Mansell, R., & Shafran, R. (2004). Cognitive Behavioural Processes Across Psychological Disorders: A Transdiagnostic Approach to Research and Treatment. OUP

Leahy, R. L. (2004). Contemporary Cognitive Therapy. Guilford Press.

Lindsay, S., & Powell, G. (2008). The Handbook of Clinical Adult Psychology, Third Edition. Routledge. (earlier editions also appropriate)

Kuyken, W., Dudley, R., & Padesky, C. (2009). Collaborative Case Conceptualisation. Guilford Press

Rollnick, S., Miller, W. R., & Butler, C. C. (2008). Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior. Guilford Press

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 3
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 127

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Daniel Pratt Unit coordinator

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