How People Function

The details
Health and Social Care (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 20 March 2020
09 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC B740 Nursing (Adult),
BSC B740CO Nursing (Adult),
BSC B740DO Nursing (Adult),
BSC B740OD Nursing (Adult),
BSC B742 Nursing (Adult) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B742CO Nursing (Adult) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B760 Nursing (Mental Health),
BSC B760CO Nursing (Mental Health),
BSC B760DO Nursing (Mental Health),
BSC B760OD Nursing (Mental Health),
BSC B762 Nursing (Mental Health) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B762CO Nursing (Mental Health) (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module will provide an introduction to biopsychosocial function to support the student's developing knowledge, understanding and analysis of altered psychological and physiological functioning of the individual.

This module is delivered concurrently within the MSc pathway (L7). This module guide addresses only the BSc (L4) pathway.

Module aims

• To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology in relation to the functioning person

• To develop knowledge and awareness of the influence of psychosocial functioning in relation to nursing practice

• To develop a basis for the principles of altered biopsychosocial function

• To provide students with the opportunity to link biopsychosocial function to the practice of nursing

• To develop knowledge and practice of clinical skills in relation to the functioning person

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the [learner] should be able to:

1. Describe the biopsychosocial and spiritual factors that can affect the functioning of an individual across the life span

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between mental and physical health within the individual and the potential impact on health and recovery
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the normal and altered anatomy and physiology of the human body.

4. Identify the potential biopsychosocial origins of common psychological and physical health conditions and treatment options including pharmacology and therapies

5. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of being adaptable to a changing care environment recognising when and how to act appropriately when faced with deterioration in the individuals physical or psychological functioning.

Module information

This module is part of the Pre- Registration BSc and MSc in Mental Health or Adult Nursing. It is one of the first modules of the programme and mental health and adult student nurses learn together. The module encourages students to recognise and build upon existing transferable skills whilst developing new expertise in communication skills, problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, use of technology in exploring evidence based practice that underpin modern healthcare interventions.

Students will also build upon and develop new knowledge on biosciences, psychosocial, sociological and spirituality issues in healthcare and their impact on the individual, families and the wider community. This learning will underpin the students emerging ability to recognise and respond to altered physical and/or mental health and use an evidence based approach to provide informed and compassionate care when on placement.

Throughout the module students learning will be informed and enhanced by the inclusion of service user input with the use of clinical scenarios and placement experience.

The module is underpinned by the values of the NHS Constitution and the 6 C's.

Learning and teaching methods

Overview: Students studying for the undergraduate and postgraduate pathways will study this module together. * Teaching – catalyst lectures will be delivered on key themes for the module to a mixed group of students * Learning – academic level specific tutorial groups will explore teaching content * On-Line Discussion – tutorial discussion will be followed by academic level differentiated on-line discussion groups. There will be asynchronous discussion between the level 4 student groups at Colchester and Southend campuses with a similar provision for the level 7 students * Moodle – the VLE will contain entry level content which will direct students to either Level 4 or Level 7 directed reading and support activities. There will be open access so Level 7 students primary reading can access the level 4 sections of Moodle and vice versa. * Outcomes – module outcomes are academic level specific * Assessment – the assessment strategy involves the same tasks but the level of critical ability required for successful completion will vary dependent on academic level. Lectures: Lectures by module leads and external and internal experts. A range of teaching approaches will be used including face to face lectures, tutorial, reflective and reflexive writing, role play, clinical and practice placement experience. Learning will be supported through, tutorial, clinical mentorship, e-platform materials, e-discussion, expert clinician input and expert client input. This broad support for learning will allow a range of perspectives, learning styles and data sources to inform the student's development. Skills/IT Laboratory: During the placements during this module, students are able to build upon their bioscience knowledge and start applying the principles in the context of their clinical practice. There is an emphasis on students learning essential practical nursing skills within a simulated safe environment in order to be safe for practice. Independent: There is allocated time within the module for all independent study and students are encouraged to undertake this to support learning Placement: The student will undertake placement in a relevant practice environment supported by a trained mentor. Online: Learning will be supported by on-line resources to which the student will have access on and off campus. These include guided learning packages, web sites, forums and general information resources. Students will be expected to complete on-line mandatory training in the following areas: 1. Fire Safety 2. Manual Handling 3. Safeguarding Children 4. Infection Control 5. Personal Safety & Security Awareness 6. Information Governance & Record Keeping 7. CPR: Resuscitation 8. Disability Awareness 9. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adult 10. Equality & Diversity 11. Health & Safety Awareness 12. Risk Assessment 13. Food Hygiene 14. NHS Values ( Including compliments and complaints) Tutorials: * Students are expected to arrange meetings with their personal tutor at least once during the module. * Personal and group tutorials are and can be arranged with the module lead Skills: There will be allocated time to learn, practice and acquires clinical skills to ensure students are fit for placement. The development of skills alongside the acquisition of knowledge will occur within the workplace (see placement).


  • Gatford, J. D.; Phillips, N. (2016) Nursing calculations, Edinburgh: Elsevier.
  • Goodman, Benny. (2019) Psychology and Sociology in Nursing, Exeter: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Dougherty, Lisa; Lister, Sara E. (2015) The Royal Marsden manual of clinical nursing procedures, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Trenoweth, Steven. (2011) Nursing and mental health care : an introduction for all fields of practice, Exeter: Learning Matters.
  • Collins, Eve; Drake, Mandy; Deacon, Maureen. (2013) The physical care of people with mental health problems : a guide for best practice, Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • Stickley, Theo; Wright, Nicola. (2014) Theories for mental health nursing : a guide for practice, Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • White, Kevin. (2009) An introduction to the sociology of health and illness, Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • (no date) Social determinants of health / edited by Michael Marmot and Richard G. Wilkinson..
  • Blows, William T. (2016) The biological basis of mental health, London: Routledge.
  • Smith, Joyce; Roberts, Rachel. (2011) Vital signs for nurses : an introduction to clinical observations, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Gabe, Jonathan; Monaghan, Lee F. (no date) Key concepts in medical sociology.
  • Docherty, Charles; McCallum, Jacqueline. (no date) Foundation clinical nursing skills.
  • Peate, Ian; Nair, Muralitharan. (2017) Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology for nursing and healthcare students, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.
  • (no date) Fundamentals of applied pathophysiology : an essential guide for nursing and healthcare students / edited by Muralitharan Nair and Ian Peate..
  • Clarke, Janice. (2013) Spiritual care in everyday nursing practice : a new approach, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Marks, David. (no date) Health psychology : theory, research and practice / David F. Marks, Michael Murray, Brian Evans and Emee Vida Estacio..
  • (no date) Care in nursing : principles, values, and skills / edited by Wilfred McSherry, Robert McSherry, Roger Watson..
  • Taylor, Vanessa; Ashelford, Sarah; Raynsford, Justine. (2016) Pathophysiology and pharmacology for nursing students, Los Angeles: Learning Matters.
  • Norman, Ian J.; Ryrie, Iain; dawsonera. (2013) The art and science of mental health nursing: principles and practice, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Brady, Anne-Marie; McCabe, Catherine; McCann, Margaret. (2014) Fundamentals of medical-surgical nursing : a systems approach, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Nash, Michael. (2014) Physical health and well-being in mental health nursing: clinical skills for practice, Maidenhead: Open University.
  • Morrissey, Jean. (no date) Communication skills for mental health nurses / Jean Morrissey, Patrick Callaghan..
  • White, Kevin. (2017) An introduction to the sociology of health and illness, Los Angeles: SAGE.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework COLCHESTER Nursing Care Study - Essay
Coursework SOUTHEND Nursing Care Study - Essay
Coursework COLCHESTER - care study resubmission
Coursework SOUTHEND - care study resubmission
Written Exam Exam retake 100%
Written Exam How People Function - Exam

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Natasha Morrison, Alison Taylor, Jim Sumpter, Practice Education Partner Practitioners & Service Users
Cerys Somers/Hannah Duncan E: ipladmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 304 hours, 181 (59.5%) hours available to students:
15 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
108 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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