• University of Liverpool logo

Beyond Diagnosis: Is Psychiatric Diagnosis helpful?

An introduction to the history, practice and functions of psychiatric diagnosis.

3,787 enrolled on this course

Abstract image showing busy nightlife in modern city
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Explore the benefits and drawbacks of psychiatric diagnosis

The issue of medical diagnosis in mental health has always been contentious, with many professionals questioning the reliability and validity of psychiatric diagnosis.

On this course, you’ll get an introduction the history, practice and functions of psychiatric diagnosis.

You’ll find out about some of the benefits of psychiatric diagnosis, as well as the possible negative outcomes.

You’ll understand the principal criticisms of psychiatric diagnosis, including validity, utility and underlying theoretical assumptions.

You’ll explore some of the possible alternatives to psychiatric diagnosis.

What topics will you cover?

  • The nature of psychiatric diagnosis.
  • The practice and uses of psychiatric diagnosis.
  • The controversies surrounding the benefits and possible negative consequences of psychiatric diagnosis.
  • Possible alternatives to psychiatric diagnosis.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe what psychiatric diagnosis is, and the current debates and issues surrounding it.
  • Describe the practice and uses of psychiatric diagnosis
  • Explain the benefits of psychiatric diagnosis
  • Explain the possible negative consequences of psychiatric diagnosis
  • Summarise the main criticisms of psychiatric diagnosis

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in mental health and psychology, but may be of particular interest to health and social care professionals.

Who will you learn with?

Lead Educator and Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool.

I am a post-doctorate researcher at the University of Liverpool. I am interested in the ways we assess mental health difficulties and in alternatives to psychiatric diagnosis.

Who developed the course?

University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLbeyonddiagnosis to talk about this course on social media.