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Study information

Children and Young People's Mental Health

Module titleChildren and Young People's Mental Health
Module codeERPM008
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Darren Moore (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

2020 NHS Digital data showed that 1 in 6 children and young people had some form of diagnosable mental health condition and that this is a risk factor for a range of negative outcomes. This module will introduce you to the key mental health and wellbeing issues which children and young people face in contemporary society. This might include a focus on depression, anxiety and self-harm, but also childhood vulnerability, adverse childhood experiences, trauma and loss. It also considers the context, behaviour and features in education and society that impact on children and young people’s mental health.

This is a compulsory module on the MSc Psychology Conversion programme. There are no pre-requisites to this module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to help you to develop:

-       A broad and critical understanding of children and young people’s mental health, drawing on knowledge from contemporary practice, policy, theory and research and from a range of different academic disciplines

-       An appreciation for the ways in which mental health issues might combine with children and young people’s developmental needs and difficulties (e.g. in relation to adverse childhood experiences or autism).

-       Familiarity with contemporary research in this area of interest and with the ways in which this research might be conducted with participants in these populations

-       An understanding of the roles that professionals play in working to support children and young people experiencing mental health issues (particularly the role of educators and the support available to young people through schooling)

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. review and critically evaluate current evidence on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people
  • 2. demonstrate awareness of the complexity in defining mental health and wellbeing and the implications for children of certain definitions
  • 3. describe and evaluate some of the interventions and models of care which are currently used to support children and young people in relation to mental health
  • 4. draw on theory, research and practice to identify some of the key mental health and wellbeing issues which children and young people experience in contemporary society

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. acquire basic and essential factual and conceptual knowledge of the subject, and demonstrate understanding of this knowledge
  • 6. consider the complex interplay of research, policy, practice in this area of study
  • 7. address well-defined problems systematically, think critically and creatively, and begin to appreciate the complexities of the issues

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. take responsibility for your own learning, with appropriate support
  • 9. develop clear and logical arguments in your written work
  • 10. manage information, collect appropriate information from a range of sources and undertake essential study tasks under guidance

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary over time, it is envisaged that the syllabus will consider a range of issues that relate to the contemporary study of children and young people’s mental health. The syllabus will consider theory, research and methodology in this area of psychological study. Indicative examples of what may be covered include: 

  • Theoretical perspectives that can help to understand children and young people’s mental health 
  • School mental health 
  • How family influences children and young people’s mental health 
  • Internalising difficulties
  • Externalising difficulties
  • Risk and resilience factors 
  • Physical and mental health 
  • Social mobility and mental health 
  • How wellbeing relates to mental health 
  • Early intervention 
  • Social and emotional learning

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching33Lectures, seminars, and workshops
Guided Independent Learning30Set and supplementary reading
Guided Independent Learning10Collation and review of lecture notes
Guided Independent Learning12Undertaking additional class tasks and activities (e.g. on ELE) and preparing for seminars
Guided Independent Learning65Completion of formative and summative assessment tasks

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written essay750 word equivalent2-8, 10Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written Essay1004000 wordsAllWritten feedback and grade

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written essay (4,000 words)Written essay (4,000 words)AllAugust/September reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in the written essay and case study you will be required to resubmit these assignments. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%; deferred marks are not capped.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative basic reading list:


  • Aldridge, J. M., & McChesney, K. (2018). The relationships between school climate and adolescent mental health and wellbeing: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Educational Research88, 121-145.


  • Burton, M, Pavord, E. and Williams, B. (2014) An Introduction to Child and Adolescent Mental Health. London: Sage.


  • Carr, A. (2000). What works with children and adolescents? A critical review of psychological interventions with children, adolescents and their families. London: Routledge.


  • Dogra, N., Parkin, A., Warner-Gale, F., & Frake, C. (2017). A multidisciplinary handbook of child and adolescent mental health for front-line professionals. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


  • Deighton, J., Lereya, S. T., Casey, P., Patalay, P., Humphrey, N. & Wolpert, M., (2019) ‘Prevalence of mental health problems in schools: Poverty and other risk factors among 28 000 adolescents in England’, British Journal of Psychiatry. 215, 3, p. 565-567


  • Garvis, S., & Pendergast, D. (Eds.). (2017). Health and wellbeing in childhood. Cambridge University Press.


  • Owens, R. L., & Waters, L. (2020). What does positive psychology tell us about early intervention and prevention with children and adolescents? A review of positive psychological interventions with young people. The Journal of Positive Psychology15(5), 588-597.


  • Laver-Bradbury, C. E., Thompson, M. E., Gale, C. E. & Hooper, C. E. (2021). Child and adolescent mental health: Theory and practice. Hodder Arnold.


  • Wei, Y., Kutcher, S., Blackwood, A., Glover, D., Weaver, C., MacKay, A., & Weist, M. D. (2015). School mental health: global challenges and opportunities.

Key words search

Mental health, wellbeing, children, young people, adolescents

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date