The main aim of this module is to offer a balanced and nuanced overview of the different approaches used in the understanding and treatment of schizophrenia and related psychoses. These will incorporate a wide range of biological, cognitive, social and philosophical approaches without being dominated by a single framework or position. Students will learn about and be able to critically evaluate cutting-edge research evidence coming from various interdisciplinary conceptualisations about the nature of schizophrenia and its clinical management. This module will consist of both formal lectures and small group-based activities such as discussions focusing on anonymised case studies and first-person accounts, presentations, and debates based on current and emergent issues in schizophrenia research. Despite an emphasis on theoretical knowledge, students will engage with materials derived from the latest research evidence from multiple sources and frameworks and be encouraged to adopt a pluralist stance. The use of first-personal accounts from individuals living with schizophrenia will enhance the realness and richness of the course content, as well as provide foundations for empathic understanding and dispel misconceptions and stigma frequently associated with schizophrenia.
Module learning outcomes
To establish a developing knowledge of past and present approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia
To develop an empathic understanding of psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) and their nature, aetiology and impact on individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia
To critically evaluate the latest evidence for and against different models and frameworks for understanding schizophrenia
To explore ways of accommodating for pluralistic approaches and demonstrate an ability to be tolerant and inquisitive towards differing views in mental health research and practice
To maintain and actively nourish scientific curiosity about the nature of self, reality, truth and knowledge
Schizophrenia and psychoses: Definitions, diagnosis and basic concepts
Models of delusions in the context of psychosis
Models of hallucinations in the context of psychosis
Neurobiological basis of schizophrenia
Cognitive basis of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia and (the) self
Treating schizophrenia: Pharmacological and psychological approaches
Sterzer, P., Adams, R. A., Fletcher, P., Frith, C., Lawrie, S. M., Muckli, L., Petrovic, P., Uhlhaas, P., Voss, M., & Corlett, P. R. (2018). The Predictive Coding Account of Psychosis. Biological Psychiatry, 84(9), 634–643.