Available in 2018

Course handbook


This is an online postgraduate elective course, containing five short-course modules delivered online. The course focuses on personality-related mental health problems that are frequently encountered in health and welfare settings. Students are to complete the following five modules: Self-injury; The Difficult Personality (Borderline Personality Disorder); The Aggressive Person; Suspicion Beyond Reason (Suspicion and Paranoia) and eating problems. Students develop a detailed understanding of the development and manifestation of these problems, and acquire skills for effective professional engagement with people presenting with clinical manifestations of personality problems. The course is highly structured, and employs a problem-based approach to learning. Students work through detailed clinical scenarios (working problems), aided by realistic video dramatisations. Assessment includes written short responses on Blackboard on all five modules, an assignment on the self-injury module with the remaining two assignments being a choice (from the remaining four modules).

Availability2018 Course Timetables

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  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. To provide quality, people based and solution-focused mental health education for health and welfare professionals;

2. To increase the effectiveness of professional engagement with people with mental health problems, in health (including primary care) and welfare settings;

3. To foster the practice of elementary review, synthesis and critical appraisal of mental health literature (particularly regarding treatment outcomes and prevention) with a view to improving referral practices and case planning for people with personality-related mental health problems.

4. To provide an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate skills in critical analysis of mental health literature.


  • Module 1: Self-Injury

1.1 Introduction to self-injury

1.2 The nature and context of self-injury

1.3 The mental health response to self-injury

  • Module 2: The Aggressive Person

2.1 Introduction to the aggressive person

2.2 Developmental pathways to aggressive behaviour

2.3 Violence in detail: Personality, relationships and substance use

2.4 Professional engagement with the aggressive person

  • Module 3: The Difficult Personality

3.1 Introduction to the difficult personality

3.2 Development of a difficult personality

3.3 Clinical manifestations of the difficult personality

3.4 Professional engagement with the difficult personality

  • Module 4: Suspicion Beyond Reason

4.1 Suspicion in everyday society

4.2 The overly suspicious person (paranoia)

4.3 The person with paranoid delusions

4.4 Professional engagement with the overly suspicious person

  • Module 5: Eating Problems

Assumed knowledge

Graduate practitioner in a health or welfare profession (eg Medicine, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Occupational Therapy)

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Online Learning Activity: Blackboard Activities

Contact hours

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Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term