PSY4408 - Perspectives in clinical and developmental neuroscience - 2019

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)

Dr Filia Garivaldis


Dr Michael Rowlands

Unit guides


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 2 2019 (Online)
  • Teaching Period 6 2019 (Online)


Students can be enrolled in these units using either the GDPA course code (M5003) or the Single Unit course code (M3900).




This elective is interdisciplinary, taking a lifespan approach to examine elements of neuroscience, developmental psychology, and mental health and illness, while also focusing on examines selected topical issues in psychology with a focus on mental health and illness.

The unit focuses on aspects of mental health and illness that integrate traditional clinical information (e.g. symptoms, prevalence, aetiology), neuroscience (both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders), and evidence-based treatments. The broad scope of mental health and illness is reflected in the choice of topics, and these topics may change to reflect current issues and debate within the field.

The included topics reflect specific psychopathologies (e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder), specific life stages (e.g. childhood and adolescence), broad issues in mental health that transcend specific disorders (e.g. sleep, social support), and examine mental health in numerous settings (e.g. clinical, medical, and occupational).

The overall goal of the unit is for students to develop an interest in current issues in the field, while recognising that psychologists need to be informed by research in several areas (e.g. neuroscience, developmental psychology, clinical trials) while recognising the potential translational nature of their work


Upon successfully completing this unit students will be able to:

  1. Discuss current and future research directions in mental health with academics and peers;
  2. Identify and discuss how basic neuroscience, developmental psychology, behavioural research, and clinical research inform and complement each other in the understanding of mental health issues;
  3. Evaluate contentious theories and review the evidence related to neuroscience and mental health;
  4. Formulate a review question, identify relevant literature and write a cohesive review on the selected topic;
  5. Develop advanced communication skills that demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts, and articulate complex knowledge and ideas;
  6. Describe how research in developmental psychology, neuroscience and mental health can be translated into practice.


  • Individual Presentation (8-10 minutes) (30%)
  • Critical Review (2500 words) (Hurdle) (40%)
  • Secure Online MCQ Quizzes (three in total) (30%) (3 x 10%)

Hurdle Requirement: Students must pass the critical review to pass the unit

Workload requirements

Students should expect to spend an average of 20-25 hours per week per unit.

See also Unit timetable information

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