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Given the interdisciplinary nature of the module, you are required to develop an essay topic in consultation with me before Week 10. Please make sure you have agreed an essay topic with me before you start to work on it. You will find a range of resources available at the bottom of this page soon. I will be adding to this through the term. Use the resources, the reading, and class presentations and discussions to identify an area of interest. I will be happy to work with you to develop this into an essay topic. A copy of the University's marking scale is available in the IATL Undergraduate Student Handbook 2018/19. Essays must be submitted electronically, as Word documents, by the deadline. The link for submitting your essays is:

Reflective Journals
Part of the assessment consists of a Reflective Journal. You are strongly advised to keep notes for this after each session. There is some general guidance on Reflective Journals in the IATL Student Handbook. Further guidance on completing your Journal is contained in this word document: Reflective Journals Guidance

Journals must be submitted electronically, as Word documents, by the deadline. The link for submitting your journals is:


Additional Resources

General Information
General information and support, drugs and treatment information, and an A-Z of mental health from the mental health charity Mind.

University of Nottingham teaching videos for conducting psychiatric interviews: psychosis, mania, depression and anxiety.
Jonathan Miller's 1991 5-part series Madness, which looks at the history of mental illness.
Very short (1 and 1/2 mins) video on YouTube of psychiatrist and author Kay Redfield Jamison talking about learning she had bipolar disorder (manic depression).
An uplifting 2009 Independent article on Eleanor Longden, describing her recovery from her symptoms, and the importance of open-minded psychiatric treatment, and her TED profile and a talk on hearing voices.
Neuroscientist Martha Farah talks about psychiatric diagnoses and brain imaging (about 40 mins, YouTube).

  • Madness and Care in the Community: A Medieval Perspective by David and Christine Roffe (1995). British Medical Journal Vol. 311, No. 7021, pp. 1708-1712. The Roffes provide a fascinating glimpse into a particular case, that of Emma de Beston, in 1383, with details of her circumstances, her assessment, and the provisions made for her care.
  • Madness and Its Institutions by Roy Porter (1992), from Medicine In Society: Historical Essays. Edited by Andrew Wear. CUP. In this wide-ranging chapter, Roy Porter sketches a social history of asylums in Europe, providing some thought-provoking analysis along the way.
  • The Administration of Insanity in England 1800 to 1870 by Elaine Murphy (2003), chapter 14 from The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965. Edited by Roy Porter and David Wright. 2003. CUP. This is a short but dense account of the complexities of the asylum system in the 19th century, concentrating on the south of England.
  • Psychiatry and the State in Britain by Hugh Freeman (2005), from Psychiatric Cultures Compared: Psychiatry and Mental Health Care in the Twentieth Century, edited by Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra, Harry Oosterhuis, Joost Vijselaar and Hugh Freeman, 2005, Amsterdam University Press. This is an excellent account by the late psychiatrist and historian Hugh Freeman of the provision of mental health care by the state, focusing on the twentieth century.
Psychiatry and Diagnosis
  • James Davies, a British medical anthropologist and psychotherapist, takes a critical look at psychiatry in his book Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm than Good (2013). The book's preface describes his aims for the book, and Chapter One describes the genesis of the widely used American manual of psychiatric disorders, the DSM, and touches on the issues of psychiatric reliability and validity.
  • In 'The Biopolitics of Defining Mental Disorder' (chapter 4 of Making the DSM-5: Concepts and Controversies, edited by Joel Paris and James Phillips, (2013) Springer) the American psychiatrist and theologian Warren Kinghorn argues that the concept of 'mental disorder' first included in DSM III, and included in subsequent editions of the DSM, serves the political function of defining the clinical domain of psychiatry.
The Mental and the Physical
  • Kenneth Kendler article on the mind-body problem from the American Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 158 Issue 7 (2001).