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SDK228 Springboard Weekend

2nd-4th September 2016, Warwick University.
Online booking has now closed, please contact secretary@oups.org.uk for availability.

The Science of the Mind; Investigating Mental Health

For students about to start SDK228 in October and for those just interested in the topic of mental health

This weekend has been set up by OUPS to help students who are about to start SDK228 to prepare for the course. For many of you, this might be the first time you have studied a subject like the science of mental health. The weekend school is intended to give a very gentle ‘hand-holding’ guide to SDK228. It will present a foundation for your studies by providing you with an overview of the important aspects of the course and giving you a framework for studying the course. It may also be of interest to those people who are interested in mental health issues even if you are not studying the course. It examines the extent to which we can understand mental wellbeing and treat mental health conditions such as depression and dementia by focusing on the brain and its functioning.

Aims of the SDK228 Springboard Weekend

To present a weekend of lectures which offer a broad look at SDK228.

The weekend will introduce some of the more accessible parts of the course as well as some of those likely to give trouble (based on past experience). It will look at some of the broad over-arching themes of the course such as the biopsychosocial model of health and ill-health and how they relate to each other. Since students come from a diverse range of perspectives, different bits of the course can cause difficulty for different students. For example, a student without a science background might find the biology difficult, whereas a person who has done science might find some social science concepts problematic. In addition there will be a gentle introduction to experimental methods and diagnosis, which is an important part of SDK228.

What does the weekend offer?

The SDK228 Springboard Weekend will offer a full programme of eight talks, running from Friday evening (registration from 3pm; dinner at 6pm; evening lecture at 8pm) until Sunday tea time (3.30pm). As well as providing an introduction to, and overview of the course, it will be an ideal opportunity to meet with other students who are about to start SDK228 at the same time as you and also to talk to some of those involved in the production of the course, who will be tutoring on the weekend. The weekend is being held in parallel with other events for psychology courses so there will be the chance to meet and talk with students who have already studied SDK228 and get some first-hand opinions and tips from them.

The weekend is not all hard work! On Friday and Saturday evenings there will be social events which give you ample opportunity to relax and socialise with other students


Both tutors are highly experienced at making materials accessible to students:

  • Professor Frederick Toates is Professor of Biological Psychology at the Open University, where he has over 35 years experience of teaching and tutoring. An author on SDK228 as well as many OU other courses, including SDK125, DSE212, DSE141 and SD226, his most recent book is Biological Psychology (3rd edition, Pearson Education, Harlow), which forms a popular and recommended text in a number of universities throughout the world. His book on B.F. Skinner has also recently been published.  Fred has taught undergraduate classes not only in the UK but also in Moldova, Romania, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the USA. Many of you will know Professor Toates from his involvement in the student forums, where he often provides very helpful and timely explanations in response to students' queries.
  • Professor Neil Frude has been tutoring at OUPS events for many years. He is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist within the NHS, Research Director of the South Wales Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has published a number of books on topics as diverse as family relations, violence and clinical psychology and devised the first “book prescription scheme” for delivering self-help therapy for anxiety, depression and other problems. Such schemes now operate nationally across England, Wales and several other countries. These days, Neil’s major preoccupation is Positive Psychology (as he put it: “These days, I’m up to my eyes in Happiness”). Students really appreciate the way in which Neil uses his enthusiastic teaching style and his clinical experience to bring psychological issues to life. Neil was the external assessor for SDK228.  

What's included ?

Costs are fully inclusive of all accommodation, meals, tuition, handouts and also include social events. Please note that all meals are still included in the non-residential option.


The weekend takes place at Conference Park, University of Warwick. Accommodation is in single bedrooms on campus.

Warwick is an award winning conference venue with excellent facilities. Access to the sports facilities, including the swimming pool, are included in the price. The university's central location with excellent transport links makes it easily accessible from all over the UK and Europe. There is ample free car parking.

Travel and directions

Click here for satnav postcodes and directions to the University of Warwick.

For campus maps go to Warwick Campus Maps.


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