Warning! This unit contains mature content 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.

Subject details

Students who successfully complete this subject 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, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and addictive behaviours, personality disorders and developmental disorders.
    • Conceptualising and researching distress and mental health
    • Causal factors in mental health
    • Stress and mental health
    • Description and diagnosis of anxiety disorders
    • Description and diagnosis of mood disorders
    • Psychological treatments: the major evidence based approaches
    • Description and diagnosis of dissociative disorders
    • Breaks from reality: schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
    • Problems with reward management: eating disorders and substance-related disorders
    • Pervasive disorders related to the personality
    • Disorders of childhood and adolescence
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Chat Rooms
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Web links
    • Print materials

      • Welcome letter
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials

Equivalent subjects

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

  • SWI-PSS330B

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

SWI-PSY10004-Psychology 101 , or SWI-PSS120
SWI-STA10003-Foundations of Statistics , or SWI-STA102
SWI-PSY30009-Social Psychology , or SWI-PSY20016-Social Psychology
SWI-PSY20007-Developmental Psychology , or SWI-PSS250
SWI-PSY20006-Cognition and Human Performance , or SWI-PSS240
SWI-PSY10003-Psychology 100 , or SWI-PSS110

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject introduces students to the ways in which human behaviour has been conceptualised as 'abnormal'. Students are introduced in depth to the diagnostic manual used by Australian psychologists. Important examples of psychological disorders are introduced in terms of their phenomenology and nosology, as well as theories about aetiology and approaches to psychological treatment. In sum, the subject develops understanding of the concept of abnormal behaviour, and develops understanding of key mental disorders and the major psychological treatments used to address them.

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

  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Test — Online (20%)
  • Assignment (40%)

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

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate SWI-BBP-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Psychological Sciences

  • Major in Psychology
  • Co-Major in Sociology