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Psychopathology and the Business Environment


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor and lecturers: TBC
  • Assessment: a two-hour examination (100%)

Module description

The field of psychopathology is central to the theory and practice of psychology. Business psychologists, as practitioners, need to know about the fundamentals of abnormal/clinical psychology.

During the course of solving problems for organisations, business psychologists interview employees and they may encounter situations which need referral (eg to GPs, NHS clinical psychology teams, social workers, police, etc). This module will equip would-be business psychologists with knowledge about psychopathological issues which are outside their professional remit. This is quite crucial if employees are in danger or are facing traumatic circumstances posing a danger to themselves or others. It is important for business psychologists to know about the symptoms associated with conditions such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, postnatal depression, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, eating disorders, and so on.

This module will also help would-be business psychologists learn about problematic situational factors (in business contexts) that can trigger ill mental health and help business psychologists learn about ethics in their profession, particularly client confidentiality and safeguarding clients’ wellbeing.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • know about DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) classifications of mental disorders
  • know about the symptoms of key mental disorders
  • know about the complexity of the causes of key mental disorders (eg interaction of genetics, biology and environment)
  • know about business environmental triggers of key mental disorders
  • be able to review empirical evidence concerning business environment factors and key mental disorders
  • know the key ethical responsibilities of a business psychologist
  • know the structure of the healthcare system and the responsibilities of different professions within that system.

Recommended reading

  • Davison, G.C., Neale, J.M. and Kring, A., Abnormal Psychology (Wiley, 2004).