Unit description

Enables mental health practitioners to carefully analyse the validity of models of mental health and illness by reviewing and critiquing the relevant literature. In particular, students will be required to evaluate the assumptions on which their practice is based. The unit will also provide an examination and analysis of the most important models of mental disorder, or ways we think about mental disorders, in order to understand the development and current state of public attitudes towards people suffering from a mental disorder.

Unit content

The unit consists of six broad topics. 
Topic 1 provides introductory comments, notes on expectations, content, aims and objectives. 
Topic 2 introduces you to the process of reflection. 
Topic 3 provides you with an introduction to the major models of understanding mental disorders within our society. 
Topic 4 provides an introduction to the process of assessment and diagnosis in mental health care in particular the use of diagnostic manuals, and the interpretation of assessment. 
Topic 5 provides an overview of the major mental disorders, the dominant models used to explain these disorders and models of intervention. 
Topic 6 introduces you to the somatic therapies that are used to treat mental disorders, particularly psychopharmacology, ECT and psychosurgery. The major psychotropic medications are described in this topic. Comments and a critique of the somatic therapies is provided.

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

Teaching and assessment


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 2017 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.