Biological Psychology & Pharmacotherapy

Subject PSYC90016 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1.5 hours of lectures/seminars per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

54 hours


PSYC00029 Graduate Research Methods

PSYC00030 Introduction Psychological Assessment

PSYC00031 Introduction to Psychopathology

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:

Completion of APAC approved psychology studies to fourth-year (Honours) level.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements, Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Trevor Norman


Sarah Drew

Subject Overview:

The disorders covered in this subject will include affective disorders, schizophrenia, stress and anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders and disorders of cognitive function. The biological bases of these disorders will be discussed by outlining the contribution of evolutionary, genetic, neuroanatomical, and neurochemical factors, as well as how these factors interact with the psychosocial environment. Other topics that will be covered include psychopharmacological treatments of these disorders (ie. antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood-stabilisers, cognitive enhancing drugs and anti-depressants) and their mechanism of action and side effect profile.


Students will be given the opportunity to develop knowledge of the biological basis of psychiatric disorders and of the relevant neurochemical and neurophysiological systems underpinning those disorders. In addition students will learn about he psychopharmacological treatments for these disorders including their mechanism of action of side effect profile.


A mid-semester essay of 1500 words (60% of assessment)

An end-of-semester written examination of 2 hours comprising short answer and multiple choice questions (40% of assessment).

Prescribed Texts:

No prescribed texts. A series of readings will be provided.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Written skills

Analytic and information integration skills

Related Course(s): Master of Psychology (Clinical Child Psychology)/Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Psychology (Clinical Child)
Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)
Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)/Doctor of Philosophy

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