Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - 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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0 points, SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Antonio Verdejo-Garcia


The unit will cover the following topics.

  1. Introduction to drug classifications; legal control of drug use; pharmacokinetics; variability in response to drugs; chemical transmission and receptors.
  2. Mood disorders: antidepressants and mood stabilizers; anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives and hypnotics, drugs used for OCD, panic, and phobic disorders.
  3. Psychosis and schizophrenia; anti-psychotic drugs. Cognitive enhancers: ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, brain trauma.
  4. Drugs of abuse: affects on brain and cognition.
  5. Delirium; The Mini Mental State Examination.
  6. Mental health in older adults.
  7. Bereavement.


On completion of the unit students should:

  1. Understand the basic concepts of psychopharmacology with particular reference to recent advances in the fields of psychiatric medication, cognitive enhancers and neuroprotective agents, and substance abuse;
  2. Have a broad understanding of commonly prescribed psychoactive drugs, legal and illegal drugs and other commonly abused substances.
  3. Be able to comment on the likely physiological and psychological effects in a particular individual of a specific drug (together with possible drug interactions), and to prepare a written report on the topic.
  4. Be exposed to current issues in clinical psychopharmacology and in research concerning treatment approaches.
  5. Gain a broad understanding of the advanced psychopathology topics of delirium, mental health in older adults, and bereavement.


Take-Home Examination (100%)

Chief examiner(s)


Must be enrolled in Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology