Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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 Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
South Africa Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Sean Drummond


This elective will examine some selected, topical issues in the field of mental health and illness. In building on the background developed in the undergraduate curriculum, the unit will focus on the aspects of mental health and illness that are controversial and/or for which there are currently competing explanatory hypotheses. The broad scope of mental health and illness will be reflected in the choice of topics, and these topics may change to reflect current issues in the field. The general area from which the specific topics may be chosen might include: depressive disorders, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders and suicidal behaviour.


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

  1. Gain advanced knowledge and understanding in current and future research directions in abnormal psychology, biological bases of behaviour and cognition.
  2. Review evidence and evaluated contentious theories.
  3. Evaluate important ideas in psychology and its role in broader mental illness and psychopathology through group discussion.
  4. Develop skills in summarising and presenting ideas in both spoken and written form.
  5. Describe how research in abnormal psychology can be translated in practice.


Research symposium (20%)
Critical article review (1,000 words) (30%)
Essay (2,000 words) (50%)

Students must pass the essay to achieve a pass for this unit.
Attendance at 75% of tutorials.

Workload requirements

2 hours lectures each week and 2 hours tutorials fortnightly.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Completed Bachelors Degree and a major sequence in psychology approved by the Australian Psychological Society or qualification assessed as equivalent by the Australian Psychological Society, with a distinction average for third year psychology units.