PSY4032 - Abnormal psychology - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Miss Leah Braganza


Ms Eloise Perini

Unit guides


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 3 2018 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 6 2018 (Online)


PSY4051, PSY4131.


Students can be enrolled in these units using either the GDP course codes (M5013/4525) or the Single Unit course code (3900).


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 (20%)
  • Reflective clinical commentary (15%)
  • Lab report (35%)
  • 6 x Secure online quizzes (30%)

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

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