PIT5006 - Child and adolescent psychiatry - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 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 Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Fiona Best


Dr Soumya Basu

Unit guides




For M6022 students enrolled in Master of Psychiatry stream of MMentHlthSc (MMHS), this unit will be undertaken in the second or third year of course.


Must be enrolled in M6022

Psychiatry-in-Training students are advised to take this unit in the semester of their clinical placement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training.


For M6022 students enrolled in Master of Psychiatry stream of MMentHlthSc (MMHS), this unit will be undertaken in the second or third year of course.


This unit will introduce and prepare students in essentials of the psychiatric care of children, adolescents and their families such as introduction to, epidemiology, aetiology, neurobiology, and principles of diagnostic paradigms, assessment and management of major categories of mental disorders in children and adolescents.

The foundation skills in interviewing and assessment of children and adolescents, mental status examination, appropriate medical assessments and investigations, use of collateral sources, family interviewing, developmental assessment, principles of identifying, diagnosing and managing major clinical disorders thus acquired will essentially underpin a student's progress towards becoming a specialist psychiatrist.

This unit will provide a sound academic platform for the trainee's clinical training. The Formal Education Course (FEC) requirement of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) identifies "an awareness of concepts", "working knowledge" or "in-depth knowledge" of the major clinical disorders in children and adolescents this unit is uniquely positioned to enable the student meet these requirements.


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

  1. Appraise the history of child and adolescent psychiatry, including the key determinants of personal, developmental, familial, and social factors in influencing and contributing to mental health difficulties in young people within key theoretical frameworks, and resultant models of care across the developmental span between infancy to young adulthood.
  2. Implement competent psychiatric assessment, interviewing and diagnostic investigation of infants, children and adolescents, attending to family, school, out-of-home care and systems issues with cultural sensitivity, professionalism and insight into complex ethical dimensions that exist in child and adolescent psychiatry.
  3. Integrate complex understanding of the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of children and adolescents presenting with psychological distress to enrich and inform the formulation of their psychiatric disorders.
  4. Examine and apply developmentally appropriate and psychotherapeutic principles of management of the patient and their family.
  5. Distinguish different mental health interventions and the role of the multidisciplinary treatment team in child and adolescent psychiatry.
  6. Evaluate the evidence-base for management strategies or interventions with children, adolescents and their families presenting with mental health difficulties.


  • 4 x On-line commentaries (500 words each) (30%)
  • Written essay (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Case study (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Interaction and participation in communication workshops (10%) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

12 hours per week - 2 hours of online teacher directed lectures, 2 hours of directed online student learning activities, plus 8 hours of self-directed study per week.

Participation in a two-day residential interactive workshop experience (9:00 am - 5:00 pm on campus) to demonstrate that application of theory to practice is mandated.

See also Unit timetable information

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