Wellcome - Understanding Psychological Disorders

Ref: C3531625

We shall be asking fundamental questions about what it means to be normal; the nature of mental health and illness; the reliability of diagnosis and the classification of disorders. We will consider the criteria for diagnosis; some of the popular explanations and the effectiveness of some of the treatments for: Schizophrenia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, Eating disorders, Autism and some Personality Disorders. As well as two hours together using zoom the tutor will provide at least two hours of further opportunities for participation on Canvas with videos, podcasts and diagnostic tests to comment on, quizzes, online discussions and other material. This course is educational rather than therapeutic and is not intended to provide practical help for those seeking diagnosis or support with their own mental health. It will not enable you to diagnose yourself or others. Expect challenging ideas and lively discussion but no easy answers.

Course aim

To examine what it means to be seen as psychologically abnormal and the implications of a diagnosis of a mental disorder in our society. To understand and critique the classification, explanation and treatments for a range of psychological disorders.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is open to all but if you are currently experiencing serious mental health issues then it is unlikely to be helpful. If you are unsure if it will be suitable then you can request that the tutor contact you by phone for a preliminary chat. The tutor is not a mental health practitioner.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • identify key characteristics used in the diagnosis of common psychiatric conditions and to be able to evaluate the reliability and validity of some of these.
  • understand and assess the evidence for popular explanations of some psychological disorders and evaluate the effectiveness for some of the treatments offered.
  • discuss the value and limitations of psychiatric labels and reflect on how these influence our own behaviour and that of others.
  • feel more prepared take part in action for positive change regarding your own or others perceptions of psychological abnormality in our society.
  • become more confident accessing and selecting sources of information online and using digital technologies such as Zoom and Canvas.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Live zoom sessions will include a presentation of key ideas with plenty of time for discussion. Between sessions students will be set about 2 hours of tasks each week. For example a documentary or short video/podcast/article to comment on plus quizzes with lots of follow up video & web sources.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • Your tutor will comment on online discussions and moderate quizzes as well as providing group and individual e-mails.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • No prior knowledge or experience is assumed.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Information will be provided on Canvas before the first session with suggested reading and other course information but none of this is essential.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • A follow up course 'Welcome - Perspectives on Mental Health' will be available this term. Both these courses are supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Download full course information sheet

Wellcome - Understanding Psychological Disorders

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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