Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Psychology of Ageing

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION This unit seeks to introduce participants to key topics in relation to working with older people. At the end of the unit, trainees will be aware of important models and concepts in the health and clinical psychology of ageing, be aware of the evidence-base and be able to identify the clinical skills required for work with this client group.

The study-unit will not cover in depth the neuro-psychology of dementia or neuropsychological assessment.

The unit includes a practice placement where trainees will have the opportunity to practice the relevant clinical skills covered during the course.

Study-unit Aims:

This unit is intended to provide trainees with both a conceptual framework for understanding the psychological challenges experienced in old age as well as experience of clinical engagement with older adults. Trainees will be engaged in both psychological assessment and treatment with older adults suffering from depression, anxiety and dementia, as well as planning appropriate interventions to support families and care-givers more effectively.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Describe and evaluate the models and concepts, in the clinical and health psychology of ageing;
- Describe and evaluate current evidence based practice in the field of clinical and health; psychology of ageing;
- Describe and evaluate the various types of older clients and their challenges in seeking psychological support from psychologists in various settings;
- Describe and evaluate the potential risk for discrimination against older clients;
- Describe and evaluate the importance of a commitment and strategies for the development of a more socially just society that promotes human well-being;
- Critically evaluate the width of psychological theory and research in ageing and their application in psychological practice, including both with older clients as well as consultation work with families and other health professionals;
- Evaluate the role of the psychologist in the service where they are placed;
- Display knowledge of theory and research on the practice of psychology of ageing.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Demonstrate competence in conducting assessment and intervention sessions appropriately and independently with older adults suffering from depression, anxiety and dementia, as well as plan appropriate interventions to support families and care-givers;
- Demonstrate competence in consultancy work with significant others and health professionals;
- Demonstrate evidence-based practice in working with older adults;
- Integrate relevant psychological theory and research with their professional work with older clients;
- Integrate a variety of psychological approaches that may be relevant to their problem solving with older clients and/or other health professionals;
- Demonstrate critical reflection and reflexivity in and on their practice;
- Demonstrate the application of ethical standards in their practice;
- Demonstrate sensitivity to issues of ageism when working with older adults and their carers;
- Demonstrate competence in developing a constructive and collaborative relationship with other professionals working with the older client and their families.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts:
Woods, R.T. & Clare, L. eds (2015). Handbook of the Clinical Psychology of Ageing. Chichester: Wiley. (To read: All text)

Articles (to read):
Woods, R.T., Aguirre, E., Spector, A.E. & Orrell, M. (2012). Cognitive stimulation to improve cognitive functioning in people with dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.; 2: CD005562.
Depp, C.A., Harmell, A. & Vahia, IV. (2012). Successful cognitive aging. Curr Top Behav Neurosci.; 10: 35-50.

Supplementary reading (optional reading):
Stuart-Hamilton, I. (2006). The Psychology of Ageing. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Woods, R. T. ed (1999). Psychological problems of ageing: assessment, treatment and care. Chichester: Wiley.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite qualifications: BPsy (Hons)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 45%
Presentation SEM1 Yes 35%
Reflective Diary SEM1 Yes 20%

LECTURER/S Gottfried Catania
Marilyn Clark
Roberta Holland
Marta Sant
Ventura Stephanie Savona
Christian Vella
Kristina Vella (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.