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.

print version

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 Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedMonash Online Teaching Period 3 2015 (Online)
Monash Online Teaching Period 6 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Matthew Mundy


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. Students will be provided with a broad and comprehensive review of abnormal behaviour, by studying and contrasting different theoretical perspectives.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Apply detailed knowledge of personality, biological processes and human development to abnormal behaviour;
  2. Critically contrast historical and current major theoretical perspectives of abnormal behaviour;
  3. Distinguish between and analyse the psychological, genetic, environmental and biological determinants of human behaviour;
  4. Demonstrate applied knowledge in methods of assessing psychological disorders and the main systems of classifying disorders;
  5. Examine and critique the advantages and disadvantages of classifying abnormal behaviour;
  6. Identify and explain the major types of psychological disorders and link these with the major therapeutic approaches to abnormal behaviour;
  7. Demonstrate an advanced level of skill in critical evaluation of previous research and communication of findings to others.


Secure online exams (40 mins per exam) (4 x 10% = 40%)
Reflective clinical commentary (500 words) (15%)
Case study reports (750 words) (20%)
Lab report (1,250 words) (25%)

Workload requirements

Students should expect to spend an average of 15-20 hours per week on this unit. This time will cover:

  1. video lecture materials (1 hour);
  2. synchronous & asynchronous discussion (1-2 hours);
  3. synchronous web-based 'class-time' for skills-based activities (2 hours);
  4. weekly readings (4-5 hours);
  5. weekly skills-based assessment tasks (4-6 hours); and
  6. content-based assessment (4-5 hours, including revision and formative assessment).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Must be enrolled in course 4525.