Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The lectures and laboratory classes inform students of the DSM classification system of developmental disorders, and introduce general approaches to understanding atypical cognitive, social and neurological development. Several major forms of atypical child development [e.g. intellectual disability, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)] and geriatric psychopathology (e.g. the dementias, including Alzheimer's disease) are covered. Commonly used designs and methods for conducting research on developmental disorders are reviewed.

6 points
Not available in 2023UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) understand some of the major disorders of child development (e.g. intellectual disability, autism and ADHD); (2) understand some of the major forms of geriatric psychopathology (e.g. the dementias, including Alzheimer's disease); (3) be familiar with the DSM classification system; (4) have an understanding of the major theories of some of the disorders and the major approaches to treatment; (5) develop communication skills in describing a body of psychological research; and (6) have an understanding of the major methods used in investigating developmental disorders.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) in-class assessment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Murray Maybery
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) PSYC2208 Psychology: Atypical Development
or Unit(s) PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context
Contact hours
lectures: 12 x 2 hours
seminars/labs: 4 x 2 hours
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).
Students are exposed to topics in psychology units that may cause some discomfort or distress in certain individuals (e.g. depression, suicide, trauma, eating disorders). They are also required to demonstrate skills across a variety of different formats and contexts (e.g. written assessments, participation in practical work, contribution to group discussions, oral presentations, examinations), and so it is important to carefully consider whether they are able to cope with the demands of studying psychology and whether there is anything that would impact upon their ability to complete the requirements of the unit. Refer to individual unit outlines for more detailed unit information.

Current textbook information is available in the School of Psychological Science textbooks list.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.