Psychology of Trauma - 2017

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: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment (60%) , Invigilated Exam (40%)

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 Swinburne students.
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This unit seeks to introduce students to the nature of traumatic reactions and the ways in which people recover from trauma. Students will develop an understanding of the history of the concept of traumatic stress and will be aware of the diagnostic criteria relevant to trauma reactions including Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  1. Explain the key developments in the history of the trauma concept
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the diagnostic decisions that are made in the diagnosis of ASD and PTSD
  3. Analyse and appraise the key theoretical models of traumatic responses
  4. Distinguish and describe pathogenic responses from post-traumatic growth
  5. Analyse and distinguish theoretical terms and critically evaluate psychological interventions in trauma
  6. Apply current research findings to issues related to the psychology of trauma
  7. Demonstrate scientific writing skills within the context of psychology.
  • Assignment (60%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

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.

You must also complete two (2) Level 2 studies in Psychology before starting this unit. Do not enrol into this unit if you have successfully completed PSY20002.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Definition, diagnostic history and models of trauma
2Theories of trauma as applied to issues such as cancer, childhood experiences, war and combat, childbirth
3Treatment and primary care topics include sleep, domestic violence, critical incidents response, sensitive practice, client-centred care

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation 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.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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