The History of Mental Health and Neuropsychology in Paris, France

Ref: 10003127


Third year Psychology students (in the 2019-20 academic year) enrolled on PSYC3066 Cognitive Neuropsychology, PSYC3020 Counselling Psychology and PSYC3037 Clinical Psychology are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 20 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 10. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


This trip to Paris for Psychology students will give them the opportunity to see the tools and history of medicine, and will be able to explore the relationship between brain structure, function and mental health. The trip will be of interest to students investigating the development of mental health and the history of medicine and neuropsychology.

Students will visit museums that have collections of exhibits that are key to the history mental health and neuropsychology.  These will include a visit to Musée Dupuytren now housed at the Jussieu campus of the Sorbonne University consisting of preserved brains of individuals following head injury.  The brains show the clear link between injury and cognitive impairment and were key in the development of the notion of modularity – the idea that the brain has parts specialised for different functions.

Students will also visit the Musée d’Histoire de la Medicine part of L’Université Paris Descartes.  This collection explores the history of medicine from Egyptian times.  The group will have a guided tour from a French historian  to explain how medical techniques have developed and improved over the years.

At the end of the visit students will have learned about how medical thought and knowledge developed; the experimental techniques used to investigate the subject; how structural changes of the brain result in functional losses; how behaviour as expressed through painting changes in mental illness.

Cultural activities

There will also be an opportunity to visit famous sites in Paris, such as the Louvre Museum, This museum and art gallery contains many works but the ones of most interest to psychology students are the paintings by Giuseppe Arcimboldo.  These paintings have been used to assess the perception of patients who have had split brain surgery to help alleviate epilepsy. Such painting help demonstrate changes in perception such as concentrating on the detail of a painting or perceiving the overall figure of the painting.

Moreover, students will have the chance to visit the Musée d’Orsay, best known for its collection of French impressionist paintings.  Of interest to students of cognitive neuropsychology is the collection of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, a painter who had mental health problems and ultimately took his own life.  Observing these paintings sheds light on the output of a person descending into ever increasing illness and can be compared with the output of other individuals with mental health problems.

Students will also have the opportunity to go to the world famous Eiffel Tower from which spectacular views of Paris can be observed.

Travel and accommodation

Accommodation for this opportunity will be booked by the Faculty, and students will be expected to pay the full amount following confirmation of their place by  Friday 16  August 2019 at the latest. Travel (Eurostar) will be booked independently by students.

Contact details

Visa information

To participate in this trip, you are responsible for ensuring that you meet the French immigration requirements. EU nationals will not require a visa to travel to another EU country.

Non-EU nationals will require a visa to travel to France and are responsible for obtaining a Schengen visa. Further information related to obtaining a visa can be found here.

The #DMUglobal team can provide visa support letters as required, and proof of enrolment can be obtained from the Student Gateway. You must ensure that you apply for your Schengen visa as soon as you have been formally accepted to this opportunity by #DMUglobal. You are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements to ensure that you receive your visa prior to departure. Be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Sunday 3 November 2019
  • Return date: Thursday 7 November 2019
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £220
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers (£70), cultural visits (£35), food and drink, visa costs (if applicable)
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £150
  • Deadline for application: CLOSED