PSYC3022 Psychopathology

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


3rd year

Credit points:

6 (out of 144)



Mode(s) of delivery:

On-campus and Online Delivery




This unit is a core coursework unit for students in the BPsychSc. This unit introduces students to the fundamentals of abnormal psychology from a descriptive, theoretical and experimental perspective.

Unit description

This unit introduces students to psychopathology, systematically examining the history, classification, causes and treatment of psychological disorders. The unit takes an integrative approach and critically examines the contribution of psychological, biological, and socio-cultural factors to the expression of psychopathology across the lifespan. The unit begins by considering the historical context of psychopathology and the development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) currently in its 5th edition before considering in detail anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance use disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis, eating disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, personality disorders and cognitive disorders. Ethical and legal issues relevant to the provision of mental health services within the Australian health system will be considered.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • define, classify, and identify the major psychological disorders
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theoretical and empirical research findings from biological, socio-cultural and psychological perspectives concerning the causes and treatment of the major psychological disorders
  • critically discuss the key concepts and issues associated with the current approach to the classification of psychological disorders
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the legal, ethical and professional issues associated with individuals experiencing psychological disorders and their treatment
  • demonstrate written and spoken communication skills appropriate for discussion of psychopathology

Unit content

  • Introduction to Psychopathology
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Schizophrenia and psychosis
  • Mood disorders
  • Substance use disorders and addictive disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sexual Dysfunctions,Gender Dysphoria and Paraphilic Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Mental Health in Australia: Ethical and legal perspectives

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly 2.5 hour lectures and 9 weekly 1 hour tutorials. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. Lectures will be captured electronically at the time of delivery. These recordings of the slide content and oral presentation will be available for downloading as soon as it is feasible after the lecture.

Assignment summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space.

Recommended text

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the School of Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.