Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences


Eloise Perini


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 3 2016 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 6 2016 (Online)


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 contrasting historical and current major theoretical perspectives.
  2. Distinguish between and analyse the psychological, genetic, environmental and biological determinants of human behaviour.
  3. 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.
  4. Demonstrate applied knowledge in methods of assessing psychological disorders and the main systems of classifying disorders.
  5. Identify and select suitable methods for assessing psychological disorders and examine and critique the advantages and disadvantages of classifying abnormal behaviour.
  6. Demonstrate an advanced level of skill in critical evaluation of previous research and communication of findings to a broad audience.


Case study reports (1,200 words) (20%)
Reflective clinical commentary (500 words) (15%)
Lab report (1,500 words) (25%)
6 x Secure online quizzes (40%)

Workload requirements

Students should expect to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week on this unit to achieve the learning outcomes.

This time will cover:

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