Abnormal Psychology - Online psychology courses | Arts and Science Online

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Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 235/6.0

The experimental approach to the understanding, description and modification of abnormal behaviour is emphasized in the analysis of disorders of cognition (e.g., learning, memory and thinking), disturbances of affect (e.g., anxiety and depression), and problem behaviours (e.g., addictions, sexual disorders and psychopathy).

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

The specific course objectives are:

  1. To understand the DSM-V—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—its language and categories, why it is so important to diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental disorders, as well as its drawbacks.
  2. To identify the major mental disorders throughout the lifespan and begin to differentiate between the disorders using client symptoms.
  3. To appreciate the role of basic and clinical research in understanding mental disorders and their treatment.
  4. To apply various psychological theories to the conceptualization of individuals with various mental disorders.
  5. To understand treatments and therapies for mental disorders and begin to evaluate their effectiveness.
  6. To be acquainted with a range of issues, controversies, and thinking regarding human abnormality.


This course aims to provide you with the underlying knowledge base and opportunity for critical thinking about abnormal psychology necessary for students planning on going into helping professions such as clinical psychology, counselling, and social work. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the contributions of empirical research to the classification, etiology and treatment of the behavioural disorders examined. Other than the introductory chapters, generally each chapter deals with a major diagnostic category, describing the symptoms that distinguish each disorder from others. Each chapter will describe the incidence and natural history of the disorder and etiological theories as well as evaluate treatment approaches.

**Note: Although this is an online course, keep in mind that it cannot be completed entirely at your own pace. You will be required keep up with the course material via online participation (e.g., quizzes, forum discussions, and tutorials) within certain time frames.


To be determined
Course Dates: 
Exam Dates: 


Course evaluation will be based on three assignments, two exams, as well as online participation.

Evaluation ComponentWeighting
Assignment 110%
Assignment 210%
Assignment 310%
Unit Quizzes (x6)6%
Discussion Question Forums (x4) 8%
Proctored Midterm Exam20%
Proctored Final Exam36%

** Evaluation Subject to Change **

You must write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

**Note: The weighting of the different evaluation components is subject to change prior to the beginning of the course. The types of evaluation components will not change.

Live Sessions

This course has optional live sessions (unit review and exam review sessions).

Unit Quizzes

There are 6 unit quizzes that will take place at the end of each major section of the course material. Each quiz will be worth 1% of your final mark, for a total of 6% towards your final grade. 


The assignments will consist of written responses to questions or case studies.

Discussion Questions

There are 4 Discussion Question forums. Students will have a set of questions that they must respond to, and will be graded on the quality of their contribution and overall participation. These forums will build on the course readings, live sessions (Adobe Connect), and unit quizzes, and will require you to integrate and expand on the information you have learned.



The midterm will cover material from approximately the first half of the course. It may consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, definition, matching, short answer, long answer, or other types of questions. The final exam will cover material that is addressed after the midterm exam. Similar to the midterm, it may consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, definition, matching, short answer, long answer, or other types of questions. In keeping with the Psychology Department’s policy concerning correspondence courses, you must write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Students must write their exams on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.


Professor Steve Lamontagne (SJL10@queensu.ca)

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 hours per week (240 hours total) on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.