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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HECS3189 Media Depictions of Mental Health (Online)

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Gary Morris

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Certificated evidence of ability to study at level 3

This module is mutually exclusive with

HECS2044Mental Health Issues and the Media
HECS3066Mental Health Issues and the Media
HECS5149MMedia Depictions of Mental Health (Online)

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

THIS MODULE IS OFFERED AS A DISCOVERY / OPTIONAL MODULE IN SEMESTERS 1 and 2 This is an online module which provides students with opportunities to analyse the role and impact that the media has in the portrayal of mental health issues. The essence of this module being an exploration of how people's perceptions are influenced and attitudes shaped through exposure to various media products. There are 9 online and 2 classroom sessions which cover a diverse range of media types including television, literature, film, magazines, Internet and newspapers. Themes will be examined in terms of the negative or positive values being attributed such as the perpetuation of stigmatizing or stereotypical associations or the range of educative and health promotion strategies employed. Students from a wide variety of backgrounds both professional and non-professional are welcome. Assessment: Essay (2,500 words)


This module presents learners with opportunities to examine the differing types of messages portrayed by the media concerning mental health issues. It engages learners with a range of influences governing media content and the resultant reception by those accessing it.

There are many opportunities within this module to explore negative, stigmatising depictions and their impact upon societal attitudes concerning mental illness. This is countered by a reflection upon health promotion strategies employed by selected individuals and groups and carried by a range of media products.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
(i) critically analyse the portrayal of mental health issues through a selected media source
(ii) review and evaluate how societal demand influences the media portrayal of mental health issues
(iii) discuss and evaluate the link between social exclusion and media representation
(iv) analyse the extent to which stigma and labelling remain headlined through media images
(v) critically explore how mental health issues are positively promoted through a range of media sources
(vi) critically reflect upon how their personal views may be influenced by media messages that focus upon mental health issues.

Skills outcomes
Knowledge transfer, inter-professional learning, inter-agency working, collaborative working.


The core content of this module is delivered online and students hoping to access this module must have access to the Internet and facilities for playing video clips. The aim of this module is to analyse the role and impact that the media has in the portrayal of mental health issues.

This includes an exploration of a diverse range of sources including both fictional and factual representations. Examples of fictional sources will include television, literature and film whilst the factual sources include user-centred publications, tabloid and broadsheet reporting, internet sites and governmental reports.

Considerations will be given to the perpetuation within media sources of stigma and labelling and how they have become associated with mental health issues. There will be a balanced approach which will address both positive and negative reporting which influences present thinking.

Shared learning and critical reflection will promote discussion and provide opportunities for self-appraisal.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning92.0018.00
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Private study/independent learning includes assignment preparation (25 hours), personal reflection (25 hours) and reading (28 hours)
- Teaching is carried out predominantly through the independent access to pre-prepared online sessions
- There are 9 tutorial sessions in total with material geared towards duration of 2 hours each.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Ongoing monitoring of student progress is done session by session reviewing student responses to designated questions at the end of each online tutorial.
- Further monitoring is carried out through tutorial contact both within 2 designated dates and at other times required by individual students. This contact can be either face-face or via e-mail or telephone access.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:37:16


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