Abnormal Psychology

PSY70018 12.5 Credit Points Online


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • Swinburne Online: Fully online

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning. For Online unit delivery, learning is conducted exclusively online.

2023 teaching periods

Swinburne Online

Teaching Period 3

6 Nov 23 - 11 Feb 24

5 Mar 24

Last self enrolment:
19 Nov 23

1 Dec 23

Last withdraw without fail:
29 Dec 23


PSY70013 Social Psychology
PSY70014 Cognition and Human Performance
PSY70015 Developmental Psychology

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

Courses with unit

Graduate Diploma of Psychology