Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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4 points, SCA Band 3, 0.0833333 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychology and Psychiatry
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Prem Chopra


Transcultural psychiatry is concerned with the nature of mental illness, causes and distribution of mental illness in different populations, culture and clinical practice, including the clinician-patient relationship; and the design of mental health services in multicultural societies. The role of culture in the development and treatment of mental illness is examined, and an introduction to the education of mental health professionals and construction/operations of health systems are provided. Students will develop knowledge and skills in cultural assessment, cross-cultural diagnosis and treatment.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the cultural diversity of Australian Society, and the mental health implications of this diversity.
  2. Differentiate new ways of thinking about concepts of culture, and concept of psychiatric illness across different cultures, and to apply these concepts in day-to-day clinical work.
  3. Describe the differing patterns of mental health service utilisation by different ethnic communities in Victoria, and the factors that may be responsible for these different patterns of service use such as the epidemiology of mental illness across cultures.
  4. Discuss the frameworks for thinking about public mental health policy, and service design and evaluation, in relation to people from different cultural backgrounds.
  5. Demonstrate skills in cross-cultural assessment and treatment of mental illness and cross-cultural diagnosis.


Oral presentation (40%), 1500 word case report (60%)
Hurdle requirement: 75% attendance

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

3.5 hours per week seminars, 3 hours seminar preparation and reading.