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Mental Health and Illness


Admission requirements

Required courses:

  • Introduction to Psychology


Mental Health and Psychopathology provides an introduction to the study of psychological dysfunction and psychiatric disorders. The course is designed to introduce students to various clinical presentations of psychopathology that may occur throughout human development. The course focuses on the definition, phenomenology, etiology, and treatment of the major syndromes. We will critically review theories of the causes and mechanisms of mental illness, ranging from social to neurobiological approaches. In the context of disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders and anxiety disorders, we will look at how genetic, neurobiological and social factors contribute to the development of mental illness, as well as how social and cultural factors mediate the severity of or may even prevent the development of mental illness. Current empirically based psychological and biological interventions will also be reviewed.

Course Objectives

After this course, students will:

  • Be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of major psychiatric syndromes

  • Know how to interpret signs and symptoms in classification and diagnoses, and understand the strengths and limitations of current diagnostic systems

  • Know the relevance of genetic, psychological and social factors in the development of psychiatric disorders.

  • Be able to process recent research findings relative to the development and description of maladaptive behavior

  • Know the rationale and evidence concerning psychological and biological treatments of psychopathology.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction


Assessment Method


Reading list



Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Prof.dr. A.J.W. van der Does,