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Course Description

This course is designed to provide an overview of abnormal psychology including a multidimensional conceptualization of mental health, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Topics will include an introduction to the area incorporating historical perspectives and the modern integrative approach to psychopathology. Common psychological disorders will be explored with respect to etiology, assessment, current diagnosis and classification using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), as well as treatment. Case studies and examples of actual treatment programs will be used to illustrate concepts. Emphasis will be given to broad empirical research and to the experiences of individuals with these disorders

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Explain the conceptualization of abnormality and psychological disorders using an integrative framework
  2. Identify key symptoms, etiology and related factors (biological, social, behavioural, emotional, cognitive), course, and correlates of common psychological disorders.
  3. Discuss basic evidence-based assessment and treatment of major psychological disorders
  4. Apply diagnostic criteria and case formulations in the assessment of major psychological disorders
  5. Evaluate issues surrounding psychopathology (e.g., identify myths and stereotypes) and the portrayals of mental health and illness in the media
  6. Discuss the impact of stigma on experience of mental health difficulties and vice versa
  7. Demonstrate appropriate professionalism, academic independence, personal organization, and time management in completing assigned course tasks

Course Topics

  • Introduction and Understanding Behaviour in Historical Context
  • Integrative Approach to Psychopathology and Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Anxiety, Trauma and Dissociation
  • Reflection, Review, and Midterm #1
  • Mood and Personality
  • Psychosis and Stigma
  • Neurodevelopment, Aging and Cognition
  • Reflection, Review and Midterm #2
  • Eating and Sleeping
  • Stress, Health, Preoccupation and Obsession
  • Mental Health Services
  • Reflection, Review and Catch Up for Final Exam

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): PSYC*1000

Restriction(s): PSYC*3390, This is a Priority Access Course. Some restrictions may apply during some time periods.


Assessment Item Weight
Reflection Papers 20%
Midterm #1 20%
Midterm #2 20%
Online Final Exam 40%
Total 100%



Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. 
  • Zoom as a video communication tool.  A Webcam, a microphone to record video, and headphones/speakers to play back the recording are also needed.

Please view the Technical Considerations for each.

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


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