Department of Psychology

Syllabus for Abnormal Psychology in Film

Psykopatologi ur ett filmperspektiv


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2PS719
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: _
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G)
  • Established: 2015-10-23
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 01, 2016
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements
  • Responsible department: Department of Psychology

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the students shall have acquired an ability to:
• Give an account of and discuss central psychological concepts and describe how they relate to abnormal psychology, for example in the form of clinical problems, as regards aetiology, psychological wellbeing and functioning.
• Relate, compare, and contrast concepts and theories in abnormal psychology as regards their implications for psychological functioning and pathology.
• Describe different approaches to treatment of psychological problems, and be able to compare and contrast these approaches as regards implications for clinical work with disorders.
• Use the knowledge obtained in the course to critically evaluate the accuracy of portrayal of abnormal psychological topics in film and media.
• Give an account of and discuss the impact of how abnormal psychology is portrayed in film on society’s, non-psychologists’, and the general public’s understanding of abnormal psychology.


The course aims to give an understanding of abnormal psychology through the life span. The course covers central theoretical approaches to understanding abnormal development. To give an understanding of abnormal psychology, and theoretical approaches to understanding abnormal development, the course also introduces various manifestations of abnormal psychology in the form of psychological problems. The course further introduces central approaches to treatment of psychological disorders. Finally, the course covers how abnormal psychology is portrayed in film.


Teaching will be in the form of lectures, class viewing of films relevant to the course material, and seminars where the literature will be discussed in relation to the films.


Examination of the student's knowledge will be done in the following ways: 1. Active participation in weekly seminars
2. Short weekly reflection essays
3. An individual essay regarding a particular concept using the literature and how it is portrayed in a film
4. A written exam covering the course material. Examination will use the grades pass or fail.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 02, 2016

  • Barlow, David H.; Durand, V. Mark Abnormal psychology : an integrative approach

    6. ed., International ed.: Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012

    Find in the library