PSYC3022 Psychopathology

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


3rd year

Credit points:

6 (out of 144)




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

Learning and Teaching Process

This unit comprises ten (10) weekly 2.5 hour lectures and nine (9) weekly 1 hour tutorials. Lectures commence in Week 1 of the trimester and will be captured electronically at the time of delivery and will automatically be made available online within the following 24 hours. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory; students should attend, from Week 2, the tutorial class into which they are enrolled. The tutorial classes include a range of student-focused, active, learning activities. Students will be expected to prepare for each class by completing specified activities, such as reading reports, journal articles and case studies. Students are expected to actively participate in seminar activities and it is assumed that students will spend a further 10.5 hours in private study, including reading, preparation, and completing assessments, for each scheduled class.

All students are provided with secure online access to comprehensive unit learning resources via the Student Portal. Unit Coordinators, Lecturers, and Student Support staff are available to students (in all modes of delivery) at designated times via email and telephone contact throughout the duration of the unit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a) Demonstrate an understanding of the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders;

b) Define, classify, and identify the major psychological disorders;

c) 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;

d) Critically discuss the key concepts and issues associated with the current approach to the classification of psychological disorders;

e) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the legal, ethical and professional issues associated with individuals experiencing psychological disorders and their treatment;

f) Demonstrate written and spoken communication skills appropriate for discussion of psychopathology.

Unit content

Week Lecture Topic Tutorial Topic
1 Introduction to psychopathology  No tutorial Wk 1
2 Anxiety disorders Introduction; Defining psychopathology; DSM-IV and DSM-5
3 Schizophrenia and psychosis Anxiety Disorders; CBT and ACT
4 Mood disorders  Symptom classification: Schizophrenia
5 Substance use and addictive disorders  Suicide in Australia
6 Eating disorders  Substance use and addictive disorders
7 Sexual Dysfunctions and Gender Dysphoria  Eating Disorders and DSM-5 (self-directed learning)
8 Personality disorders Gender Identity
9 Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders; Dissociative disorders  Assessing personality disorders
10 Mental health in Australia: Ethical and legal perspectives  APS Code of Ethics

Assessment Summary

Type Weighting Length
Assessment 1: Online Quiz 10% 25 Multiple Choice Questions; 30 minute time limit
Assessment 2: Research Report 40% 1,500 words
Assessment 3: Final Exam 50%  2 hour time limit


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time.