This unit of study is designed to provide students with an understanding of the major disorders that occur across the lifespan.  The concept of psychopathology and classification systems such as DSM-5, ICD 10 and alternative diagnostic frameworks such as the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) are introduced.  Developmental pathways that lead to common symptom patterns and the meaning of these patterns are discussed in the context of developmental stages.  The limitations of the application of categorical taxonomies in paediatric populations will be covered.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate the aetiology of the major disorders and recognise in clients;  
  2. Critically evaluate the application of the diagnostic classification systems;  
  3. Identify an appropriate diagnosis and reporting the rationale for the diagnosis for various presentations;  
  4. Articulate an understanding of developmental pathways and associated symptom patterns in childhood and adolescence; and  
  5. Identify differential diagnosis and recognise relevant evidence of comorbodities.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Examination Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) - Viva 30%
Examination Open book, case-based online assessment (120 minutes) 70%

Required reading

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5-TR 5th ed.
American Psychiatric Association (2013)
Arlington, VA, USA. American Psychiatric Association

Psychodynamic diagnostic manual
PDM Task Force (2006)
Silver Spring, MD: Alliance of Psychoanalytic Organisations

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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