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 and diagnosis of clinical disorders will be acquired.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

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

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Enrolment Restrictions

Available to students in the Master of Clinical Psychology and the Masters of Professional Psychology.

Assumed Knowledge

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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to critically analyse and synthesize a large body of literature in order to discuss the history and characteristics of the major taxonomic systems, and to evaluate their strengths and limitations as classificatory systems of psychopathology;
  • be able to critically analyse and synthesize the scholarly literature in order to outline the diagnostic features and associated characteristics of the major psycho-pathological syndromes, describe current theories regarding the aetiologies of these disorders, and identify risk and resilience factors relevant to each syndrome, and
  • be able to reflect on current levels of competence in order to develop and/or enhance diagnostic interviewing skills in the assessment of clinical psychopathology.


This 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-5)
  • Clinical assessment of psychopathology

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY534 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Residential school attendance
Role-played diagnostic interview video
Final examination

Residential School

This subject contains a 2.5 day Compulsory 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 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.