Diploma in Abnormal Psychology


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Diploma in Abnormal Psychology


This course is accredited by ACCPH at Level 3 and allows you join as a professional member after graduation.



This Quality Assured Level 3 Diploma Level Course in Abnormal Psychology is specifically designed for those interested in this field and wish to gain an increased knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

The course will take students from the introduction and background of mental health to more detail and in depth topic areas.

Module 1 - Defining Mental Illness

The first module will approach the subject by looking at definitions and diagnoses of abnormal behaviour. The course will challenge the standard common-sense assumptions and encourage the student to critically evaluate a number of different criteria.

A number of further skills will be developed to enhance the students' ability to interpret models of abnormal behaviour and consider any biases that may be present as well as risk factors.

Some aspects of abnormal behaviour are rare and the challenge presented by this will be looked at.

Module 2 - What is Abnormal Psychology?

Module two looks at what can be referred to as normal and abnormal behaviour from a historical, philosophical and political perspective. The historical approach will demonstrate how opinions have changed over time.

A number of theoretical and psychological definitions will be examined. The subject of labelling theory will be looked at to consider the implications and consequences of this. A review will take place of the differing roles, responsibilities and capabilities of people who deal with mental illness and abnormal behaviour.

Module 3 - The Psychoanalytic Approach

In this module students will be introduced to the Psychoanalytic paradigm that began with Sigmund Freud. He had a strong belief that unconscious conflicts deriving from childhood were responsible for maladaptive behaviour in an individual's adulthood. The module examines the life of Freud and goes onto look at how important his work is in regards to abnormal behaviour.

It is anticipated that students will use the information gained from this module to gain a better understanding of conflicts that arise as a result of understanding the actions of themselves and of others.

Module 4 - Carl Jung and Post Freudians

This module will focus on the work of Carl Gustav Jung. Jung introduced a theory of Analytical Psychology which will be looked at in greater detail within the unit. The psychology behind his theory was based around wholeness and integration of the psyche and he was less interested in method and theories. His beliefs contrasted those of Freud by focusing upon the future and societal influences upon the personality.

Students will look at the symbols and archetypes thought by Jung to be at the root of mental disturbances.

Module 5 - Biological, Behaviourist and Humanistic Approaches

This unit will examine the three theoretical approaches that can be used to treat mental illnesses. Each approach will be examined in terms of strengths and weaknesses to assess their validity in the present day.

Module 6 – Schizophrenia

Major disturbances in thought, emotion and behavior are used to characterize the causes of Schizophrenia. Students will spend time looking at the origin of the disorder, prevalence rates and the methods of treating it. Details of the drug therapy will be discussed, focusing on the boundaries of such treatment along with a review of the psychosocial factors involved.

Module 7 – Depression

This module examines the reasons why so many people still suffer from depression and how rates of this disorder differ between age groups. Students will also examine the prevalence of depression, the treatments available, implications on quality of life and the aetiology of depression.

The positive aspects of the disorder will also be looked at and the potential for change.

Module 8 - Women and Madness

In the module students will learn how many theorists have the controversial belief that women cannot cope with the demands being placed upon them. The theories have statistical information related to mental health that does support the theorists. Students will be asked to assess just how far women have come since the repressive ideologies of Victorian England. Based on research women appear to be an especially vulnerable group and the module looks at how the treatment of them has changed over the years.

Module 9 - The Anti-Psychiatry Approach

This module introduces students to the Anti Psychiatry movement and the work of R. D. Laing who took on the established order of the medical approach to mental illness.

In the 1960's the Anti-Psychiatrists broadened issues connected with mental illness to factors such as the family and the analysis of the Psychiatry itself. Laing believed that it imposed judgments of mental illness upon people within society who stood out as being 'different'.

Module 10 - Methods and Ethics

Students are introduced to the importance of research.  The role of research into Abnormal Behaviour is reviewed and the rules of scientific enquiry that govern the definition and search for knowledge in the field of abnormal behaviour. It is necessary for students to have an awareness of the research process in order that they are better able to understand the importance of critical evaluation of both the research process and also the theories presented in the Course.

Ethical issues involved in carrying out any form of research in the field of Abnormal Psychology and the ethical responsibilities faced by therapists, doctors and counsellor are also reviewed. The rights of those considered 'vulnerable' by society are also considered and also the rights of people who are detained under the Mental Health Act. The Chapter concludes with an examination of the role of an 'expert witness' and also the rights of those considered 'criminally insane'.

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Abnormal Psychology

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

Overall rating 5 out of 5 based on 1 student reviews

Can I just say a very sincere thank you to all at Oxford College for a superb course. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, found it hugely stimulating and fascinating and I have now completed my online exam and look forward to receiving my Diploma Certificate. Once again my sincere thanks, Kind Regards, Paul

Rating: 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 13 August, 2009.

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