Qualification - Certificate in Abnormal Psychology

Course CodeVPS037
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

Study Abnormal Psychology

Abnormality is a very broad term. People may be labelled abnormal because of a physical or mental disability; or because their behaviour does not conform to societal norms for some other reason. Often Abnormal behaviour is misunderstood. It can easily be misdiagnosed. Worryingly it can also be mistreated or not treated at all.

This course will help dispel any misunderstanding you might risk, and improve your capacity to properly understand and respond to abnormal behaviour.

  • There are six 100 hour modules required to complete this course.
  • Study five core modules of Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, Developmental, Learning and Behavioural Conditions, Child Mental Health, Adult Mental Health.
  • Then choose one elective module from a number of others, including Anger Management, Stress Management and Psychopharmacology.
  • In addition, we offer the option (at no additional cost) to undertake a further specialist short course in "Addiction Counselling".




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Abnormal Psychology.
 Introduction To Psychology BPS101
 Child and Adolescent Mental Health BPS214
 Developmental, Learning and Behavioural Conditions in Adolescents and Children BPS215
 Managing Mental Health in Adults BPS216
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 5 modules.
 Anger Management BPS111
 Stress Management VPS100
 Therapeutic Nutrition BRE211
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Psychopharmacology (Drugs and Psychology) BPS302

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Abnormal Psychology is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Sample Course Notes - Learn to Understand and Help those on the Fringe of Society

Most people in our society fall within the bounds of normal behaviour; that is, they behave as the majority would expect them to behave. For anyone who is perceived as "normal"; relationships and social integration comes to them more easily. Those people sustain and contribute to their societies, and generally don't require any great amount of attention or support to exist.

This course is concerned with those who fall outside of those norms though. For some, their abnormality may be associated with a physical problem (eg. birth defect, brain damage, genetic precondition, drug addiction, etc); and for others, it may have been triggered by a change in life circumstances (eg. losing employment, life crisis, etc), which then escalated to anxiety, stress, depression and over time increasingly abnormal behaviour.

This course helps you to understand the different types of abnormal behaviours, what causes them, the impacts they can have on individuals and the varied options for responding to those circumstances.

It provides a raised awareness which can be of great value to anyone working with people on the fringe; such as:

  • Carers
  • Counsellors
  • Youth Workers
  • Special Needs Teachers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Social Workers, Welfare Workers, Youth Workers
  • Employment Services

Why Do People Become Addicted to Drugs?

People can become addicted to both legal or illegal drugs.

Taking too many pain killers; even legally can just as easily lead to a drug addiction as taking illegal drugs.

Some people may take drugs for entertainment and enjoyment. This is sometimes called 'recreational drug use', a term which is misleading since it almost makes it sound like a relaxing pastime. Some people may try drugs out of curiosity, perhaps because they believe they will have a good time. Others take drugs to reduce stress levels or anxiety, or at least because they believe that this is what is happening. These may be illegal drugs, but prescribed or 'over the counter' drugs are also misused and abused.

Some people may take drugs with no serious consequences and without developing dependence, whilst others can suffer adverse effects to a single dose or quickly develop dependence.  The fact that some people are more vulnerable to dependence than others can be attributed to a range of factors, such as:

  • A family history of addiction.
  • Other mental conditions, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Early use of drugs.
  • Abuse, neglect or trauma.
  • The way the drugs are administered.

Taking a drug does not automatically lead to addiction, but at a certain point drug use can move from being casual to being a problem.  It is not really about the amount consumed or how often, but the consequences of the drug use.  If drug use causes problems in a person’s life, then they may have a drug abuse or dependence problem.

When a person takes a drug, repeated use can cause changes:

  • Recreational drugs increase the dopamine levels in your brain, which trigger pleasurable feelings. A person may want those feelings to be repeated, increasing the likelihood they will reuse the drug.
  • When a person becomes dependent, they may feel they need the drug to survive.
  • Drugs interfere with the person’s ability to think clearly, control their behaviour and exercise good judgement.
  • Cravings for some drugs may become more important than anything else, including their own health, happiness, their family and friends.

Taking drugs can fill a need for some people. It may calm them if they are stressed, help them to feel confident in stressful situations, give them relief from pain, or fill a void in their life. If drug use does affect a person’s health or life, they should seek medical help and support.


Who Should Study This Course?

This course is suitable for anyone who would like to support people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.  For example -

  • teachers
  • counsellors
  • parents
  • foster carers
  • support workers
  • charity workers
  • life coaches
  • social workers
  • health care professionals
  • Anyone wanting to help other people!


Why Study This Course?

As well as being a great addition to your CV or resume, this course will provide you with detailed and thorough knowledge of mental health conditions and disorders and possible treatments.

It will provide you with detailed knowledge of the different conditions and relevant, underlying theories.

If you choose to study the certificate, you will also receive a free 20 hour course in Addiction Counselling. See further information below for this added bonus.


If you enrol in this course we offer an additional 20 hour short course on "Addiction Counselling" at no extra cost.

FInd out more here.

This provides an opportunity to add to your "specialist knowledge" and obtain a "Certificate of Completion in Addiction Counselling" as an added qualification.


Any Questions?

Our psychology tutors are more than happy to answer any questions, so please ask.

Please click here to contact a tutor or Request a course handbook here.

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