PSY534 Clinical Psychopathology (8)


This subject provides a comprehensive introduction to the nature and assessment of adult psychopathology. Students will review the origins and structure of current diagnostic systems, and examine the diagnostic criteria for a range of major psychopathological syndromes. Skills in the assessment, diagnosis and formulation of clinical disorders will be acquired.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Online*Bathurst Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY534
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Psychology

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate studies in abnormal psychology, biological bases of behaviour, learning, and individual differences.

Enrolment restrictions

Available to students in the Master of Clinical Psychology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to discuss the history and characteristics of the major taxonomic systems and evaluate their strengths and limitations as classificatory systems of psychopathology
  • be able to outline the diagnostic features and associated characteristics of the major psychopathological syndromes.
  • be able to describe the current major theories of the aetiologies of these disorders, and identify risk and resilience factors
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of skilled practice in the assessment of psychopathology through clinical interview
  • be able to present a case formulation in a written report


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Theoretical and empirical foundations of diagnostic systems
  • Diagnosis and classification of mental disorders and basic psychopathology
  • Current classification systems (ICD 10, DSM-IV)
  • Clinical assessment of psychopathology

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 2.5 day residential school. The residential school is intended to serve a number of functions
  • to teach clinical assessment skills
  • to demonstrate the application of skills to diagnosis and case formulation
  • to engage the students in case analysis and discussion 
Activities include
  • lectures
  • demonstrations
  • case discussions and other small-group learning activities and role-plays
  • student self-evaluation tasks


The information contained in the 2017 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 25 August 2017. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.