MH0407 - Theory Module 1: Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice in Health and Ill Health - Mental Health Nursing

What will I learn on this module?

You will be introduced to fundamental concepts of ‘health’ and ‘ill-health’, as a preliminary step within the evolving concept curriculum. You will develop an understanding of evidence-based practice, evolving in complexity over three years. You will explore fundamental concepts to becoming a self-aware, compassionate and knowledgeable mental health nurse. You will explore your values and beliefs, exploring the concepts of resilience, recovery/ discovery, diversity/ sameness, collaboration, assessment and formulation. The way health and ill-health are understood will be considered through evaluation of several concepts including: sociological, psychological and biomedical perspectives. Key concepts surrounding the aetiology of distress will be explored and will include the ‘stress-vulnerability model’, the ‘power, threat, meaning framework’ and ‘attachment theory’. Crucially, we will explore the qualities both the providers and recipients of care bring to the relationship and the key concepts of mutuality and reciprocity and the impact this has on care delivery.

Practicing as a safe and knowledgeable nurse requires familiarity with clinical and professional literature to explore competing theories of practice. It also requires the nurse to be able to interpret and reason with the ‘evidence-base’ and supply a sound rationale for practice (expressed in both written and verbal formats). Evidence-based practice requires nurses to understand a scientific evidence-base whilst demonstrating respect for diversity and the individual’s interpretation of experience, how people live in their communities, what people value, believe and discover what it means to be human. You will explore the delivery of care within the context of co-production.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be empowered to become an independent learner through engagement with an evolving concept curriculum, in which you will take responsibility for developing the knowledge, skills and values to meet the needs of all individuals and their families in your care through innovation and the delivery of evidence based, person centred practice.

You will be engaged in a variety of learning and teaching approaches throughout this module. It will be delivered using ‘Blackboard Ultra’ to support face-to-face workshops and seminars, underpinned by the ‘flipped classroom’ approach (Bergmand & Sams, 2012). It is crucial that you engage with both the directed and self-directed study outside of the face-to-face sessions to ensure that you are fully prepared for all facilitated sessions. This is non-negotiable and sets the expectations of becoming an accountable and professional nurse. The classroom sessions will include individual work, group discussion and debate where you will be encouraged to share learning, consider competing perspectives, and begin to develop a deeper understanding of the key concepts of health, ill health and the therapeutic relationship.

In addition, you will be provided with a ‘Study & Research Skills’ workbook, in which you will actively engage with the directed tasks to develop your academic writing and research skills across the evolving concept curriculum.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a dedicated and highly motivated module team of mental health nursing lecturers with knowledge of the concepts and perspectives considered within the module. You will receive ongoing guidance and feedback to support you to engage with the module. Contact with the module team is available in person, via telephone, email and Blackboard Ultra.

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor, who will meet with you regularly and provide you with consistent pastoral support and access to academic guidance.

You will have access to the module Blackboard Ultra, where you will find a range of learning materials, videos, workbooks and supportive materials.

Support for your overall student experience is also offered via the 24-hour IT Helpline, Student Support and Wellbeing Services, Library Servicesand the Help Desk. You will be encouraged to support one another within your group and to seek guidance from Practice Supervisors in relation to applying the key theoretical concepts within your placement.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Recognise and discuss a range of theories that seek to define health and ill-health, considering the centrality of personal narratives across the psychological, sociological and biomedical paradigms.

Intellectual / Professional Skills & Abilities:

1. Explore and apply the principles of evidence-based practice, in all its forms, and why it is fundamental to nursing practice.

2. Develop your writing skills and demonstrate your ability to produce coherent academic assessments, alongside developing your skills in reading, interpreting and applying professional and clinical sources of information.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

3. Have the opportunity to challenge your personal assumptions and constructs of health and ill-health within the context of the clinical environment utilising a diverse evidence base.

4. Understand the values and ethics of respecting diversity/ celebrating mutuality in forming co-productive relationships which will provide the vehicle to deliver evidence-based, person centred practice.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
The formative assessment will involve using the jigsaw technique (Aronson, 1978). Each class will be divided into small groups, each person in the group will be allocated a topic from the summative assignment. Each person will research their area individually and report to the original group. After this, you will meet with your subject group and share your findings, you will compare, debate and explore the evidence you each bring and collate a final report. You will then meet with your original groups and share the joint findings.

The session will culminate in open discussion with the tutor. There will be an emphasis on the evidence base, and sources and credibility of evidence. You will have an essay plan from the result of your activities.
(MLO’s – 1,2,4,5).

Summative Assessment:
The summative assessment for this module is a 2000-word essay evaluating theories of health and ill health. The emphasis is on demonstrating your development of academic writing skills.

You will need to demonstrate your understanding of the health continuum, consider competing theories of health and demonstrate your ability to reflect on the impact of recovery/discovery of individual’s experiences of mental and physical health and your role within this.

You will receive written feedback following your summative assessment, which will indicate the mark awarded for the module and areas for future development. (MLO’s – 1,2,3,4,5).





Module abstract

This module is an introduction to evidence-based practice in health and ill health. It aims to explore and question how health and ill-health is conceived by the individual, society and the academic and professional communities. As mental health nurses, it is vital that we gain an understanding of how meaning and knowledge is generated about health, in doing so we can work meaningfully with others. You will explore the delivery of evidence-based practice within the context of co-production, mutuality and reciprocity.

Evidence based practice requires nurses to understand a scientific evidence base whilst demonstrating respect for diversity and the individual’s interpretation of experience, how people live in their communities, what people value and believe, and what it means to be human. Through exploring this and developing the key skill of engaging with the ‘evidence’, you will begin to interpret ‘sources’ and begin to understand the concept of ‘evidence-based practice’.

Course info

UCAS Code B740

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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