Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychology and Psychiatry
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Sunway Second semester 2013 (Day)
Peninsula Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
South Africa Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Clare Anderson


This unit covers all important aspects of abnormal behaviour: historical influences, theory, assessment, specific psychopathologies, treatment methods, and legal issues. Both the scientific and professional aspects of abnormal psychology are presented. Efforts will be made to give students the broadest possible view of abnormal behaviour by studying different theoretical perspectives.


On the completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. relate their knowledge of personality, biological processes and human development to abnormal behaviour;

  1. contrast historical and current major theoretical perspectives of abnormal behaviour;

  1. attain insight into the way the theoretical perspective adopted by a clinician can influence the manner of explaining how a psychological disorder develops and how it is treated;

  1. demonstrate familiarity with methods of assessing psychological disorders and the main systems of classifying disorders;

  1. discuss the advantages and disadvantages of classifying abnormal behaviour;

  1. describe the major types of psychological disorders and the major therapeutic approaches to abnormal behaviour; and

  1. attain an advanced level of skill in critical evaluation of previous research and psychological report writing.


Research report (2000 words): 25%
Class participation Assessment: 10%
Examination: 55%
Online quizzes: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

The School strongly recommends attendance at lectures however, they are optional. Attendance at Laboratory classes, and Research and Application Lectures, is required in order to complete the assessment associated with attendance.

Off-campus attendance requirements

Attendance at Weekend School classes is required in order to complete the assessment associated with attendance. Please refer to the specific unit requirements for more detail. It is common practice, where possible, to timetable at least two Weekend School options in each core unit. Sessions may be held at Clayton or Caulfield campuses.


PSY2011 or PSY2031

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: