Abnormal Psychology

PSY30010 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn, Online Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • 1 Semester or equivalent
    This unit will be delivered on-line in Semester 2 2020 

Contact hours

  • 3 Hours per Week

2020 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2 HOL Study Period 3

3 Aug 20 - 1 Nov 20

8 Dec 20

Last self enrolment:
16 Aug 20

31 Aug 20

31 Aug 20 - 29 Nov 20

22 Dec 20

Last self enrolment:
13 Sep 20

21 Sep 20

More teaching periods

Swinburne Online

Teaching Period 2

6 Jul 20 - 4 Oct 20

27 Oct 20

Last self enrolment:
19 Jul 20

31 Jul 20



Aims and objectives

This unit introduces students to the ways in which human behaviour has been conceptualised as 'abnormal'. Students are introduced in depth to the diagnostic manual used by Australian psychologists. Important examples of psychological disorders are introduced in terms of their phenomenology and nosology, as well as theories about aetiology and approaches to psychological treatment. In sum, the unit develops understanding of the concept of abnormal behaviour, and develops understanding of key mental disorders and the major psychological treatments used to address them.

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Compare and critique the ways in which human behaviours have been identified as 'abnormal' or dysfunctional
2. Compare the features of major systems of classification of mental disorders, and explain how they are applied to individual cases
3. Critically review the major features of a multi-dimensional approach to understanding mental disorders (biological, sociocultural and psychological)
4. Describe and characterise the phenomenology and aetiology of major classes of mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and addictive behaviours, personality disorders and developmental disorders