Introduction to Psychopathology

Subject PSYC90031 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1.5 hours of lectures/seminars per week for a 12-week semester.
Total Time Commitment:

54 hours





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:


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

12th floor Redmond Barry Building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 6377



Subject Overview:

This subject aims to present major approaches to psychological disorders, in which psychopathology is contrasted with "normal" functioning. Reference is made to various theoretical approaches to the aetiologies of disorders/problems, with a focus on recognising the clinical pictures of common psychological disorders/problems that occur in a variety of settings, including, depression, the anxiety disorders, and substance abuse/dependence.


The subject aims to introduce students to various competing theories of aetiology and maintenance for psychological problems/disorders that commonly present to clinicians:

  • to provide students with an overview of the important criteria by which practising psychologists evaluate theoretical and treatment models; and
  • to develop familiarity with clinical presentations, co-morbidity, prevalence and incidence data, course and outcome, response to treatment for the psychological disorders.

A mid-semester one hour test (50% of assessment) and an end-of-semester one-hour test (50% of assessment).

Prescribed Texts:

None. A series of readings will be provided.

Recommended Texts:

American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV). Washington, D.C: Author.

Rieger, E. (Ed.) (2011). Abnormal Psychology: Leading Researcher Perspectives. (2nd edition). McGraw-Hill.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Written, oral and interpersonal communication skills

Analytical, information integration and synthesizing skills.

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

Download PDF version.