PSY4120 - Mental health and illness - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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)

Professor Sean Drummond


Professor Sean Drummond

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


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.




This elective unit will examine some selected, topical issues in the field of mental health and illness. It will focus on the aspects of mental health and illness that integrate traditional clinical information (e.g., symptoms, prevalence, etiology, conceptual models, etc.), neuroscience, behavioural science, and evidence-based treatment options. 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: specific psychopathologies (e.g., depression, anxiety, addiction), trans diagnostic concerns in mental health (e.g., sleep, relationship factors), and mental health in operational settings. The unit aims for students to build an appreciation for the fact clinicians need to be informed by research ranging from basic neuroscience to clinical trials, and researchers need to be mindful of the translational potential of their work.


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

  1. Discuss current and future research directions in mental health with peers and other professionals.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of how basic neuroscience, behavioral research, and clinical research inform and complement each other in the understanding of mental health issues through written and verbal communication.
  3. Formulate a review question, identify relevant literature and write a cohesive review article.
  4. Demonstrate basic skills in summarising and presenting research papers in spoken form, with the assistance visual aids.
  5. Describe how research in mental health can be translated into practice.


  • Research symposium (Part A) (20%)
  • Mini Review (Part B) (20%)
  • Integrative Review (3,000 words) (50%) (Hurdle)
  • In class quizzes (10%)


  • Students must pass the Integrative Review to achieve a pass for this unit.
  • Attendance at 75% of tutorials is required.

Workload requirements

2 hours lectures each week and 2 hours tutorials fortnightly.

See also Unit timetable information

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