Module details for Flying Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Taking a pluralistic view this module will introduce students to common mental health conditions, exploring how we approach and understand mental health, from historic, social, therapeutic, and individual perspectives. Using the lens of film and television students will be posed with questions such as ‘what is madness?’, ‘how does society position people with mental illness?’, and ‘how do we best respond to challenges to our mental health?


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with a foundational understanding of common mental health problems, along with knowledge and understanding of distinct contemporary and historical perspectives on mental health. Students will be encouraged to consider how representations of mental illnesses are connected to society and contextual frameworks of understanding, to recognise the needs for social and individual action to maintain good mental good health, and to have insight into the interventions used to aid recovery from mental health problems. In addition, this module will provide students with activities which could enable them to maintain their own mental health and resilience.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Identify a range of historical and contemporary perspectives on mental health, mental ill health, and psychiatric disorders.

2.  Describe a range of common mental health conditions and have knowledge of what individuals might experience in having such a condition.

3.  Recognise and identify how representations of mental health in film and literature can impact popular understanding and how this can influence stigma.

4.  Understand and provide examples of interventions and activities which help maintain mental health, or support recovery from mental health conditions.

Indicative Content

1 Common mental health conditions, symptoms and treatment

Including depression, anxiety disorder, eating disorders, and personality disorders

2 Historical and cultural perspective on mental illness

Examining the perspectives of professional, carers, society and individuals with mental health problems to explore how we all ‘think’ about mental health.

3 Diagnosis and the anti-psychiatry movement

Who holds the power to decide what is normal in terms of psychological well-being and behaviour? And what impact does this have on mental healthcare provision?

4 Media Representations

The impact of film and literature on attitudes and understandings of mental health.

5 Resilience, treatment and recovery

Factors influencing recovery including treatment, management, and frameworks for enhancing well-being and resilience.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 10
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Practical Activity 10
Assessment 40
Independent 130
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.