BEng Electronic Engineering with Industrial Experience

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Understanding Mental Health

Course unit fact file
Unit code UCIL20112
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit explores why mental health and wellbeing are important to all of us. The

challenges people experience to their mental health are estimated to cost the UK economy
as much as £105 billion each year. As a frequent topic of conversation in politics and the
media, mental health generates significant intellectual and professional disputes. The unit
will introduce you to some of these discussions, including how people's experiences have
come to be labelled as 'mental illness' in some cultures but not others.
You will gain new perspectives on longstanding questions in the field, such as the 'nature
vs nurture' debate, causes of mental health issues, and the history and controversies
relating to psychiatric labelling, diagnosis and interventions. You will consider contrasting
theoretical perspectives - specifically biological, social and psychological models - on
mental health issues and their management. Within a historical and social context, you will
evaluate the evidence-base for these perspectives, and consider their implications. You
will also be introduced to research, theory and practice that have helped shape mental
health interventions.


The unit aims to help you expand your thinking about mental health and wellbeing in

broader terms and also reflect on the ways in which we might protect and improve our own mental health and wellbeing and that of others.

This online unit will be delivered via Blackboard. It is made up of five modules, which will be released at intervals. The unit is highly interactive and adopts a blend of approaches, including video inputs, interactive exercises and case illustrations.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, you will be able to:

• Describe and evaluate differing theoretical approaches to understanding mental health and wellbeing

• Identify the common factors associated with the development and maintenance of mental health issues

• Discuss the impact of mental health issues on individuals and society, including cultural and economic impacts

• Compare and assess different interventions aimed at improving mental health and enhancing wellbeing

• Recognise key ways in which the law relates to mental health

• Research and prepare written communications aimed at both specialist and nonspecialist/public audiences

• Apply the knowledge gained towards increasing self-awareness and protecting your own mental health and wellbeing and also providing support to others



Module 1: Understanding Mental Health Part 1
A historical overview of how we have come to the current understanding of mental health problems in contemporary Western societies. The module then provides an overview of some of the main biological perspectives on mental health.

Module 2: Understanding Mental Health Part 2
The psychology and sociology of mental health. This module continues to explore contemporary understanding of mental health and wellbeing by examining a range of psychological and social factors that influence mental health.

Module 3: Definitions and interventions for mental health and wellbeing
This module considers the different ways in which mental health and wellbeing are defined within our society and examines some of the main interventions available for people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Module 4: Mental health and wellbeing: wider perspectives and the law
This module examines wider, global public health perspectives on mental health and the potential reasons for the uneven spread of mental illness across populations and cultures.

Module 5: Evidence based interventions for yourself and others
This module will introduce you to interventions that can protect and improve your own mental health and wellbeing and help others.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and Learning Methods

This online unit is delivered entirely via Blackboard. It is a highly interactive unit that adopts a blend of approaches including video inputs, and case studies, from leading researchers and practitioners from the School of Health Sciences, School of Law and School of Social Sciences and others.


5 x online modules released at intervals.

Knowledge and understanding

Reflectivity - participation in lectures and seminars, the group project and independent study all require the ability to reflect on the personal implications of the topic material and on one's pre-existing prejudices and assumption.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Basic skills for working with people experiencing psychological difficulties

Ethical awareness and sensitivity to cultural, contextual and interpersonal factors


Employability skills

Analytical skills
Group project and independent study require the ability to consider key topics from a range of perspectives.
Group/team working
The group project, in particular, will demand excellent team-working skills.
Ability to make clear, structured arguments and support them with evidence.
Project management
Group project and independent study require the ability to deconstruct and comment upon key theories, research and practice.
Problem solving
Ability to solve problems and reason scientifically ¿ as an applied science module, such skills will be fundamental to success.
Written communication
The group project, online participatory learning and assessments will all require good literacy and writing skills.
Making critical judgements and evaluations using multiple theoretical perspectives and solutions ¿ this module specifically contrasts and integrates very different perspectives on challenging personal issues.

Assessment methods

Ongoing end of module assessments e.g. short answer tests and online discussions (20%) 500 word newspaper article or 500 word critique of self-help resources or 500 word blog (30%) 1500 word essay (50%)


Feedback methods


1.      Exemplar tasks provided in Blackboard.

2.      Students can submit 10% of total word limit of 3 x written tasks for comment.

3.      Written tasks include an element of peer review


1.      Written feedback on all written tasks

2.      Automated feedback re. correct answers for module quizzes and short answer tests


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 15
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 75

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sara Tai Unit coordinator

Additional notes

  • Please note that students from the School of Psychological Sciences are not eligible for enrolment into this course unit.

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