Psychopathology and Diagnosis

Unit code: APC6088 | Study level: Postgraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park


This unit of study is designed to provide students with a critical appreciation and understanding of the major forms of psychopathology that occur across the lifespan. It examines and applies the concepts of psychopathology and classification systems. It also includes discussion of developmental pathways that lead to and maintain common symptom patterns, and the meaning of these patterns in the context of developmental stages and sociocultural factors. The limitations of the application of categorical diagnostic taxonomies in diverse populations will be covered as well. Students will also be introduced to psychopharmacological considerations relevant to the professional practice of psychology.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate an understanding of aetiological and maintaining factors relevant to case-specific manifestations of major forms of psychopathology across the lifespan;
  2. Critically evaluate diagnostic classification systems and their application;
  3. Derive and defend appropriate diagnoses and case formulations that factor in cultural and social contexts and influences; and
  4. Articulate knowledge of basic psychopharmacology in relation to the professional practice of psychology.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 30%
Brief case-based assessment (1200 words)
Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 50%
Case-based assessment (2000 words)
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 20%
Online quiz (multiple choice and short answer) (1.5hours)

Required reading

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5-TR
American Psychiatric Association. (2013)| American Psychiatric Association

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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