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Unit of study_

BMRI5019: Psychiatry in Clinical Practice

Semester 1, 2023 [Online] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit is designed for medical practitioners such as general practitioners, emergency physicians, physicians, paediatricians and surgeons. Students will develop skills in the recognition and management of mental health conditions that frequently present in primary health and hospital settings. The unit will cover high prevalence mental disorders including mood, anxiety, stress and trauma-related disorders, including complex trauma as well as the low prevalence disorders such as psychosis. Managing psychiatric emergencies, the use of the Mental Health Act and medical comorbidites will be demonstrated. Students will develop skills in assessment, mental state examination, and the biopsychosocial approach to formulation, management and trauma-informed care. The range of evidence-based pharmacological, biopsychosocial and lifestyle interventions for mental disorders will be introduced. Other topics will include somatic presentations of psychological and psychosocial problems, addiction medicine, old age psychiatry, youth mental health and doctors' health. Students will participate in casebased learning activities and assessments.

Unit details and rules

Unit code BMRI5019
Academic unit Brain and Mind Science
Credit points 6
BMRI5003 or BMRI5050
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Louise Nash,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Presentation
Pre-recorded video presentation
25% Formal exam period 10 minutes & comments on peer's work
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Discussion Board
See Canvas for details
35% Multiple weeks 2x 500 word posts + 1x 1000 word posts
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Case History and Literature Review
See Canvas for details
40% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2023 at 23:59
1500 words + 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Module 1: Psychiatric approach and assessment Online class (10 hr)  
Week 02 Module 2.0: Common mental disorders; Module 2.1: Depression Online class (10 hr)  
Week 03 Module 2.2: Anxiety Online class (10 hr)  
Week 04 Module 2.3: Addictions Online class (10 hr)  
Week 05 Module 2.4: Trauma and attachment Online class (10 hr)  
Week 06 Module 2.5: Personality and psychodynamics Online class (10 hr)  
Week 07 Module 3.0: Intersections: psychiatry and general medicine; Module 3.1 Psychiatric emergencies Online class (10 hr)  
Week 08 Module 3.2: Chicken and egg - Mental vs. physical disorders Online class (10 hr)  
Week 09 Module 4.0: Less common mental disorders; Module 4.1: Bipolar disorder Online class (10 hr)  
Week 10 Module 4.2: Psychosis and schizophrenia Online class (10 hr)  
Week 11 Module 5.0: Special populations; Module 5.1: Old age psychiatry Online class (10 hr)  
Week 12 Module 5.2: Child and youth psychiatry Online class (10 hr)  
Week 13 Module 5.3: Lifestyle and doctors mental health Online class (10 hr)  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Outline the process and important elements of a psychiatric assessment and apply these as appropriate in routine clinical practice
  • LO2. Diagnose patients presenting with major categories of mental illness including psychosis & schizophrenia, mood, anxiety and personality disorders and recommend evidence-based treatments according to a biopsychosocial framework
  • LO3. Describe the common aetiological and protective factors which influence the development of mental illness including biological and psychosocial factors such as complex trauma, and apply this knowledge in understanding the presentation of individual patients
  • LO4. Respond effectively to psychiatric emergencies including interpersonal and medical skills and the application of the mental health act where necessary
  • LO5. Discuss and apply the principles of therapeutic alliance, trauma-informed and recovery-focused care with patients presenting in acute or primary care settings
  • LO6. Discuss the major principles of psychodynamics and cognitive-behaviour therapy.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

We value your feedback about any aspect of the unit of study and your experience as a student of Sydney Medical School. To help ensure our courses meet your needs and maintain a high standard, we welcome your feedback at any time and we ask you to complete the Mid-Semester Evaluation Survey and the unit of study Evaluation Survey at the end of the semester. You can also rate any component of the unit using our star rating system found at the bottom of many pages as you progress through the unit. Your ratings and comments are anonymous and specifying what you liked and didn’t like about any of the learning materials, assessment items, discussion forums, feedback etc will help us to target our improvement efforts. Please note that your participation in this unit of study permits de-identified information about your learning experience and interaction with learning resources to be used for the purpose of improving the student learning experience.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.