PSY3032 - Abnormal psychology - 2019

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)

Mr Jake Hoskin


Dr Christopher Siva (Clayton and Caulfield)
Dr Adriana Ortega (Malaysia)

Unit guides




  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


PSY2031 or PSY2061.


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. Efforts will be made to give students the broadest possible view of abnormal behaviour by studying different theoretical perspectives.


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

  1. relate their knowledge of personality, biological processes and human development to abnormal behaviour;
  2. contrast historical and current major theoretical perspectives of abnormal 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 familiarity with methods of assessing psychological disorders and the main systems of classifying disorders;
  5. discuss the advantages and disadvantages of classifying abnormal behaviour;
  6. describe the major types of psychological disorders and the major therapeutic approaches to abnormal behaviour; and
  7. attain an advanced level of skill in critical evaluation of previous research and psychological report writing.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Research report (2,000 words) (25%)
  • Examination (55%) (2 hours)
  • Online case report quizzes (10%)
  • Reflective commentary on clinical application series topic (500 words) (10%)

Workload requirements

Attendance at Laboratory classes, and Research and Application Lectures, is required in order to successfully complete the assessment associated with attendance.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

Tutorials are online for off-campus students.

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

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: