Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Sciences
OfferedBerwick First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ana-Maria Bliuc


Around 25% of the population will suffer from mental illness at some stage, and many others are likely to know someone who is afflicted. Many shun help because of the attendant stigma, and suffering is then often prolonged. This unit seeks to decrease stigma through knowledge. A wide range of disorders are examined, along with their causes and treatment options according to various paradigms. The complexities of defining the concept of "abnormal" will be discussed, along with the DSM and alternative methods of describing and classifying and diagnosing mental illness.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a greater understanding of the complexities of mental disorder and better appreciate the experience of those personally or otherwise directly affected;
  2. Better appreciate the nuances to the concept of "normality" and the power of labeling
  3. Analyse and adapt their own attitudes towards those afflicted and thus combat prejudice and stigma;
  4. Describe the categories of disorder and understand the construction of the DSM and others methods of classifying mental illness, how they are used, and their advantages and shortcomings;
  5. Develop a deeper knowledge of individual disorders, what might cause them, and how they can be treated.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)