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Unit of study_

BMRI5050: Clinical Psychiatry II

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Mallett Street, Sydney

This unit of study provides an overview of normal development, the formation of relational attachments, and psychological sequelae of trauma and loss. Students will examine anxiety disorders, trauma, ADHD, personality disorders, including the epidemiology, aetiology, phenomenology, management of these disorders and medicolegal considerations. In addition, there will be a focus on developing trainees' clinical skills towards a broader, well­rounded approach that involves psychosocial techniques, and working collaboratively with consumers and families in multidisciplinary and community settings. The unit will provide psychiatry trainees with foundational knowledge and skills in psychotherapeutic techniques including psychodynamic theory, supportive psychotherapy, building a therapeutic alliance and cognitive behavioural therapy. Principles of recovery­oriented practice and trauma­informed care, psychiatric ethics, history of psychiatry, rural and indigenous mental health will be studied as well as an introduction to leadership and medical management with workshops on professionalism and RANZCP MCQ practice.

Unit details and rules

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


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Caryl Barnes,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Professional presentation
Oral presentation
35% Formal exam period 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO6 LO5 LO4
Assignment Attachment formulation
Case study
40% Week 08
Due date: 24 Sep 2023 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Assignment Reflective journal essay
Essay and reflective journal
25% Week 10
Due date: 15 Oct 2023 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

  • Attachment formulation: Students will write an attachment-based case history and formulation of a patient they have seen in clinical practice. 
  • Reflective journal essay: Part 1 (journal; not submitted or assessed) students are required to write a brief weekly reflection on the week’s topic. Guideline questions are provided weekly in the modules section on Canvas. Part 2 (essay) students are to summarise their most significant journal reflections, and how they may impact a future professional practice. 
  • Professional presentation: Students will be expected to deliver a brief educational presentation designed for a general hospital (junior medical officers) medical student or general practitioner setting. 

  Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

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.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Students should refer to the Canvas site for actual due dates and times. Late assignments that have not been granted extensions and are of a standard to receive a pass or higher mark will attract a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark per day (or part thereof) late including weekend days (e.g. if the assignment is worth 40 marks, the penalty is 2 marks per day late) until the mark reaches 50% of the maximum mark (e.g. 20 marks if the maximum is 40 marks). Assignments that are not of a pass standard will not have marks deducted and will fail regardless. Assignments submitted more than 10 days late without prior approval will not be accepted and will be given a zero (0) mark.

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 Attachment theory and normal development Seminar (3 hr) LO2
Week 02 Trauma: normal responses and associated disorders Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 03 Introduction to psychodynamic therapy and PIT Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 Personality Disorders Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Anxiety disorders Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 1. Feedback on attachment formulation; 2.Motivational interviewing and brief interventions Seminar (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 1. Family-centred care; 2. Recovery philosophy and peer-led services Seminar (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 09 1. Rural Psychiatry 2. Cultral Diversity Seminar (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health 2. Inhalant use and abuse Seminar (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Complex case facilitated session Seminar (3 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 1. History of Psychiatry 2. Ethics Seminar Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO6
Week 13 1. Leadership and medical management 2. Trian the Trainer workshop Seminar (3 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: Attendance requirements have been waived for Semester 2, 2020.
  • Requirements for passing the unit of study: Students must submit a genuine attempt for every assessment and earn an average mark of at least 50% for the unit as a whole. If a student has attempted and failed an assessment they may be given the opportunity for resubmission typically within a week of receiving their mark. This resubmission may be the same or an alternative task to the original and the maximum mark obtainable for a resubmission is 50%. Academic honesty must be demonstrated in all forms of assessment. Similarity detection software (i.e. Turnitin) will be used for all submitted written work.
  • Referencing guide: Scholarly referencing is required for all assignments along with a complete reference list (bibliography) in the same format. Some suggestions may include Harvard, APA, and Vancouver. You must use one specific style, and state what is in your reference list sub-heading e.g. “Reference List in Harvard Style”.

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.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

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. discuss the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical characteristics of anxiety, trauma-related and personality disorders, with reference to key academic sources
  • LO2. construct an attachment-based formulation and comprehensive biopsychosocial management plan for patients with these disorders
  • LO3. understand and apply psychodynamic principles to the development of therapeutic relationships with patients, carers and relevant others
  • LO4. identify the major principles of supportive psychotherapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy and motivational interviewing and develop skills to apply these therapies in routine clinical practice.
  • LO5. demonstrate an understanding of the needs and characteristics of special populations within psychiatry (including Indigenous, refugee, victims of trauma, culturally diverse and rural populations) and adapt clinical approaches accordingly
  • LO6. demonstrate an awareness of the principles of personal recovery, trauma-informed care, professionalism and psychiatric ethics and apply these to clinical and professional practice.

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.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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

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