Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

PSME401 Nature, Extent and Assessment of Mental Disorders

Mental health disorders are highly prevalent and impact hugely on individuals, their families and society. This paper aims to promote an in-depth understanding of these conditions. It incorporates discussion of current psychological and neurobiological models, epidemiology and classification, combined with knowledge about typical presentations.

Paper title Nature, Extent and Assessment of Mental Disorders
Paper code PSME401
Subject Psychological Medicine
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,018.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

PSMX 401
Limited to
MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc

Suitable for all applicants working in the mental health field who have an appropriate three-year tertiary degree.


Teaching staff
Convenor: Associate Professor Caroline Bell
Paper Structure
The paper covers a broad range of mental health disorders.
Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

Two 3-day workshops in Christchurch. Attendance at both block courses is compulsory. Some additional sessions will be held via Zoom.

Current key articles in the different mental health areas will be provided by the lecturers. This means that readings are current and relevant.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  1. Recognise and understand the symptomatology and pathophysiology of the common mental disorders
  2. Understand the epidemiology and natural history of the common mental disorders
  3. Develop an understanding of the role of cultural factors in mental disorders
  4. Understand classification and diagnosis of mental disorders - particularly the strengths and limitations of such classification systems
  5. Consider the ethical issues involved in psychiatric assessment and diagnosis
  6. Develop knowledge to enhance clinical skills involved in the assessment and recognition of mental disorders
  7. Develop skills in recording and conveying a psychiatric history, with particular emphasis on mental status examination
  8. Understand some of the principles of immediate management of mental disorders

^ Top of page


Case Study

Further Information

Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 372 6704

^ Top of page


Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system