Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr M Damianova


The unit aims to increase students' understanding of abnormal behaviour through the study of psychological disorders described in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Text Revised (DSMP-IV-TR). Students will be exposed to the major clusters of psychological disorders so that they will be able to recognize the core symptoms of psychological disorders and understand the aetiological factors involved. Through student presentation and class discussion, students will be introduced to a number of current topics and contrasting theories.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse contemporary research, theoretical and applied issues in psychopathology.
  2. Critically appraise current psychopathology literature.
  3. Appraise the role of culture in the expression of psychological disorders.
  4. Comment on historical changes in what is considered abnormal behaviour.


Presentation on a selected topic: 20%
Assignment (Analysis of a case study on a selected disorder): 20%
Examination: 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 contact hours (face-to-face teaching)
10 hours for private study, including reading of prescribed and recommended literature, review of and familiarisation with a wider range of publications on the core content topics of the unit, work on assignments, preparation for class discussions and presentations.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Students must have completed successfully a Bachelor degree with Psychology Major, and have achieved an average grade of minimum of 70% in core psychology units at the third year level.