Unit description

Explores the various causes of human emotion (positive and negative) and behavioural dysfunction from genetic, social, psychological and biological perspectives. Systems for classifying or diagnosing disorders of behaviour, mood and thought such as depressive and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, addictions and sexual dysfunction and their limitations will be discussed. Factors associated with effective coping with life's challenges in various cultures will be discussed in terms of a continuum of effective adaptation. The unit will also focus on the research regarding evidence-based treatments for various psychological disorders.

Unit content

  • Looking at abnormality
  • Contemporary theories of abnormality
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders and suicide
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders
  • Treatments for clinically significant distress or maladaptive behaviour
  • Childhood disorders
  • Cognitive disorders and lifespan issues
  • Sexual disorders
  • Substance-related disorders
  • Mental health and the law

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014, Abnormal Psychology, 6th Ed, McGraw Hill.

Session 3

  • Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014, Abnormal Psychology, 6th edn, McGraw Hill.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Coffs Harbour

Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (10 weeks)
Exam: closed book30%


Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial online 1 hour (11 weeks)
Exam: closed book30%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.