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Abnormal Psychology

duration Duration: 1 Teaching Period

unit code Unit Code: PSY30010

contact hours Contact Hours: Recommended 10 hours of study per week

About this unit

This unit of study is designed to introduce students to the ways in which human behavioural patterns have been conceptualised as ‘abnormal’ or dysfunctional. In examining such abnormal behaviours, students are introduced to major systems of classifying mental disorders, in particular the multiaxial system adopted in DSM-IV-TR. The unit focuses on major examples of psychological disorders in terms of their phenomenology and nosology, as well as theories about aetiology.


The general approach taken to understanding disorders is multidimensional, seeking to integrate information from biological, sociocultural and psychological research. Specific disorders examined may include: eating disorders; substance-related disorders; disorders first diagnosed in childhood and adolescence; dissociative disorders; intellectual disability and personality. Additional topics covered may include suicide, violent behaviours, mental disorders and the law.

This unit is found in Bachelor of Psychological Sciences.

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