PSYCH338-20A (HAM)

Mental Health and Well Being

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


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Paper Description

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The aim of the paper is to facilitate students‘ understanding of the concept of abnormal behaviour, as well as describing and critiquing the traditional Western approach to the classification and diagnosis of mental disorders. Clinical features of a range of psychological disorders are explored and include such issues as aetiology, assessment, and treatment. The primary aim is to provide students with an understanding of how some of the most commonly seen psychopathologies present and how they are understood and treated in a clinical setting.
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Paper Structure

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Lectures and assignments will give students opportunities to be actively involved in reading, examining, and critically discussing psychological theories that underpin past and current treatment approaches.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Understand the diagnostic criteria, key theories, assessment techniques, and treatment approaches of the major mental disorders.
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  • Demonstrate an ability to think critically about some of the key issues that are associated with psychopathology.
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  • Discuss the importance of cultural factors in the way that individuals are assessed and treated.
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  • Demonstrate an ability to write clearly and concisely (including APA format in their writing).
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Final exam
This exam, which will count for 33 per cent of your final mark, will include both multiple-choice and short answer questions. The multiple-choice questions will be based on the text book and the short answer questions will be based on lecture material. The final exam will take place during the exam period. Information about the exam will be provided by the semester break but you should be aware that the textbook will be covered in some depth in the exam; it is, therefore, advisable that you begin reading it sooner rather than later so that you do not run out of time. It is surprisingly easy to read and quite enjoyable, so hopefully, you will not find it an onerous task.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Three discussion papers (two are required)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay
12 May 2020
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Laboratory assessments (three lab assessments)
20 May 2020
5:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lab
4. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Recommended Readings

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Recommended text
Students are recommended to purchase:
Barlow, D. H., & Durand, V. M. (2018). Abnormal psychology: An integrative approach (8th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage.

The assignments will derive from issues highlighted in the text and the exam will relate to material presented in this text. In order for the lectures to make sense, and given the size of the text, you are strongly advised to read the relevant chapters prior to that session.

It is important that you access the 8th edition of this textbook as it is required reading for the final exam.

Recommended resources
Over the course of this paper, you will be exposed to recommended texts to develop your specific interests further. These suggested references are not compulsory for this course, however students will benefit if they familiarise themselves with clinical psychology journals and read beyond the set readings for their writing assignments, and to follow up on individual questions and interests. In reading and considering material, students are expected to reflect on the impact of cultural differences, as well as the complex interplay of psychological, biological, and social forces.

Some major journals to consider when working on assignments include (note: this list is not exhaustive):
American Journal of Psychiatry
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice

If you have questions about any of the lectures or lecture material please contact Carol.

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Online Support

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Availability of lecture notes
The course convenor will endeavour to make lecture notes available on Moodle prior to lectures. If the notes are not available prior to the lecture then they will be available soon after.
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The amount of work expected of a typical student in a 15 point undergraduate paper (offered over one semester) is 10 hours per week. This figure is only an approximation, as papers vary in their requirements and students vary in both the amount of effort required and the level of grades they wish to achieve.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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PSYC338 is a core pre-requisite paper for students applying for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Clinical) Programme.
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Prerequisite papers: PSYCH211, PSYC208 or equivalent




Restricted papers: PSYC338

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