PSY464 Psychopathology (8)

This subject introduces the study of the behaviour of people with problems in living, or to use more traditional terminology, the study of abnormal behaviour and personality. Subject content includes: approaches to psychological disorders; research in psychopathology; aetiology and treatment of psychological disorders; personal and interpersonal problems; and attitudes of society to psychological disorders in the present and in the past. Students will be supported to think critically and reflexively about approaches to human psychopathology.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY464. 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

Students may not complete PSY464 and PSY304 in the same award.

Assumed Knowledge

PSY451 and (PSY452 or PSY453 or PSY454 or PSY458)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to summarise the issues in psychopathology covered in the curriculum of this subject
  • be able to demonstrate understanding of and critically analyse the theories and research findings in psychopathology specifically related to: assessment, diagnosis and classification of psychological disorders; aetiology of psychological disorders; treatment of psychological disorders
  • be able to demonstrate appreciation that psychological disorders exist in and are influenced by the social and cultural context
  • be able to demonstrate an open-minded attitude and tolerance towards people with psychological problems and dispel some of the common misconceptions about them
  • be able to demonstrate a critical and reflexive approach to issues in human psychopathology


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • introduction to psychopathology
  • current paradigms in psychopathology and therapy
  • the classification of psychological disorders (assessment and diagnosis of abnormal behaviour)
  • research in psychopathology
  • anxiety disorders
  • somatoform and dissociative disorders
  • psychophysiological disorders
  • eating disorders
  • mood disorders
  • schizophrenia
  • substance related disorders
  • personality disorders
  • sexual and gender identity disorders
  • disorders of childhood
  • aging and psychological problems
  • treatment of psychological disorders
  • legal, professional and ethical issues

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY464 in Session 2 2020. 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 %
Reflective essay
Online test 1
Online test 2
Critical literature review
Online test 3
Reflective journal

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.