Table of contents
2. Admission Requirements
3. Course Aims
4. Learning Outcomes
5. Program of study
These rules apply to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) (PhD (Clin Psych)).
1.1 The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) is a higher degree by research doctoral degree comprising:
i. 39 units of advanced coursework and practicum topics (one-third of the course), and
ii. a time-based, supervised research project culminating in a thesis (two-thirds of the course).
1.2 The course:
i. equips its graduates to register with the Psychology Board of Australia and practice as a psychologist; subsequent to further supervision, graduates are eligible for endorsement as a Clinical Psychologist (conferred by the Psychology Board of Australia), and
ii. enable its students to make a significant, original contribution to knowledge in the field of clinical psychology.
2. Admission Requirements
2.1 An applicant must:
i. have an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council-accredited Bachelors degree in the field of psychology with Honours class 1 or upper 2A from an Australian university, or the international equivalent qualification as assessed by the Psychology Board of Australia
ii. meet the English language requirements specified by the University, and
iii. satisfy the University that they are reasonably likely to be able to successfully complete the requirements of the award within the maximum duration.
2.2 To enable the University to assess whether applicants meet the admission criteria listed above, applicants must submit an application in the specified format, which includes names of referees.
2.3 Following review of the application and additional admission requirements, applicants will be short-listed and selection for admission based on:
i. an interview in which clinically-relevant skills and experience, as well as ability to pursue doctoral level research, are assessed, and
ii. referee reports.
2.4 Exceptions to 2.1 can be approved in accordance with the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.
3. Course Aims
3.1 The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) is designed to provide students with the opportunity to pursue doctoral level research in specialised areas of clinical psychology and to complete coursework topics and field placements to meet eligibility for general registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia.
The overall aim is to produce scientist-practitioner clinical psychologists who are able to make a substantial contribution to knowledge in clinical psychology through completion of their PhD and to assume leadership roles in the professional, research and academic spheres of activity.
This program is not available to students who have completed a Masters degree in clinical psychology and are considering PhD studies. Such students must enrol in a standard PhD.
4. Course Learning Outcomes
Specifically, on successful completion of the course a student will:
- have a good understanding of current conceptualisations of the aetiology of psychological disorders
- be able to assess and diagnose psychological disorders
- be able to perform complex psycho-educational and cognitive assessments of children and adults
- be able to develop and deliver evidence-based psychological therapies
- have a thorough understanding of the ethical and professional issues relevant to the practice of clinical psychology
- have completed a thesis of no more than 90,000 words, involving comprehensive research and writing to qualify for the qualification.
5. Program of study
For a student to qualify for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology), the student must:
i. pass the following topics:
PSYC9006 Clinical Child Psychology (4.5 units)
PSYC9007 Counselling and Professional Issues (4.5 units)
PSYC9036 Psychological Assessment (3 units)
PSYC9014 Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (4.5 units)
PSYC9009 Psychological Disorders and Psychopharmacology (4.5 units)
PSYC9005 Advanced Applications of Evidence-Based Therapies (4.5 units)
PSYC9010A Practicum A (4.5 units)
PSYC9011 Practicum B (4.5 units)
PSYC9012 Practicum C (4.5 units), and
ii. receive a determination that the degree be awarded following thesis examination (PSYC9999).
6.1 For coursework topics, the award of a grade of Fail (F):
i. in the same topic more than once, or
ii. in more than one topic may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress and will be dealt with under the Review of Student Progress Policy.
6.2 Progression in the time-based research project is governed by the Higher Degrees by Research Policy
7.1 The thesis submitted as an outcome of the time-based, supervised research project must meet all requirements for presentation and lodgement specified by the University and must not contain:
i. material which has been accepted for the award of any other degree or diploma, or
ii. any material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the text of the thesis or in the notes.
8.1 Assessment of coursework topics will be in accordance with the Statement of Assessment Methods for each individual topic.
8.2 The thesis examination will assess whether the student has demonstrated the following attributes:
i. a significant original contribution to knowledge
ii. ability to conduct an original investigation or testing of ideas
iii. competence in independent research or experimentation
iv. a thorough understanding of the appropriate techniques in the field demonstrated both by their application and a thorough review of the literature
v. critical use of source material, experimental results (where appropriate) and published works
vi. appreciation of the relationship of the special theme of their research to the wider field of knowledge or area of professional practice
vii. the capacity to present well-written work, and
viii. a high degree of independence of thought and approach.
8.3 A significant original contribution to knowledge means uncovering new knowledge by:
i. the discovery of new facts
ii. the formulation of theories, or
iii. the innovative re-interpretation of known data and established ideas.