Abnormal Psychology - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Drug use and Sex / Sexual References and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment - Written assignment (2000 words (30%) , Invigilated Exam (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,700.00
Domestic continuing 828.00
HECS 793.00
International 2,950.00
International continuing 1,078.00

Tuition fees are reduced for continuing registered SWI students.
Please login to view the applicable amount.

This unit of study is designed to introduce students to the ways in which human  behavioural patterns have been conceptualised as 'abnormal' or dysfunctional. In examining such abnormal behaviours, students are introduced to the major diagnostic manual used by Australian psychologists, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The unit focuses on major examples of psychological disorders in terms of their phenomenology and nosology, as well as theories about aetiology. Specifically, this unit aims to develop understanding of the differences between normality and abnormality and to develop your understanding of a variety of mental disorders and the psychological and other treatment regimes available to psychologists and others for the purposes of helping individuals with a variety of disorders.

Please note: assessment values are indicative only, details will be advised at the start of the unit.

After successfully completing this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Compare and critique the ways in which human behaviours have been identified as 'abnormal' or dysfunctional
  2. Compare the features of major systems of classification of mental disorders, and explain how they are applied to individual cases
  3. Critically review the major features of a multi-dimensional approach to understanding mental disorders (biological, sociocultural and psychological)  
  4. Describe and characterise the phenomenology and aetiology of major classes of mental disorders: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and addictive behaviours, personality disorders and developmental disorders.
  • Assignment — Written assignment (2000 words (30%)
  • Invigilated Exam (50%)
  • Test — Weekly Online (20%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PSS330B — Abnormal Psychology (Previously Psychology of Mental Health)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Phenomenology, aetiology, epidemiology, and treatment of various classes of mental disorders will be explored.
2Introducing the notion of abnormality
3Classes of disorders examined in depth schizophrenia and psychosis, developmental disorders
4Ageing, personality disorders, anxieties and phobias, mood disorders, and dissociation
5Eating disorders and addictive behaviours

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Printable format materials

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Abnormal Psychology - Global 17th edition

    By:Butcher, James

    ISBN: 9781292157764


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Ready to enrol?

    Start studying this unit now.


    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.