4 years full-time. However, students should note that delays in either completion of the research thesis or delays in accessing or completing placements may mean that the duration of the course may be extended.
Interrelated steams of theory, research and practice provide the skills needed to become a registered psychologist.
Our award winning teaching strategies and learning resources, include simulation and competency-based assessment approaches.
The course is based on the scientist/practitioner model that rests firmly on a foundation of established knowledge and current evidence-based research.
Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) covers clinical psychology across the lifespan and also includes a focus on the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families.
You will have opportunities to develop clinical skills in our unique clinics imbedded in public mental health and through placements in an array of community agencies.
You will undertake a program of independent supervised research that makes a significant and original contribution to the knowledge and practice of clinical psychology.Read More
To complete the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) students must attain 24 credit points covering three strands: theory, research and practice.
This is a full time course, designed for completion within 4 years. It is comprised of three inter-related strands of theory, research, and practice.
The coursework units are in the first and second trimesters, with placement and thesis components undertaken throughout the entire year (Trimesters 1, 2 and 3). In the later part of the third year and into the fourth year, students will focus on completion of their thesis. Some students will be ready to submit their thesis early.
The course formally commences in early February, when students are required to attend an orientation session and commence work on their thesis.
This course structure is for students commencing in 2017 onwards. Students who commenced their course prior to 2017 should refer to previous handbook entries.
Level 1 - Trimester 1
Level 1 - Trimester 2
Level 2 - Trimester 1
Level 2 - Trimester 2
Level 3 - Trimester 1
Level 3 - Trimester 2
All coursework units have a hurdle requirement of 80% attendance. A pass grade in a unit requires satisfactory completion of each component assessed.
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
Applications for 2018 close on 24 October 2017
Additional course information
In accordance with Department of Human Services policy, all students are required to undertake a National Police Record Check prior to clinical placements in each calendar year of their course.
In accordance with the Department of Justice 2007, Working with Children Act 2005, amended 2017, all students are required to undertake a Working with Children Check at the commencement of their course. Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check and a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of clinical placement will not be able to undertake clinical placement and this will impede progress in the course.
Students may also be required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health organisations where they will be undertaking their clinical learning experience. A health organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if the student’s immunisation status is not satisfactory to the health organisation.
Under the regulations of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, Master of Psychology students are required to be provisionally registered from the commencement of enrolment and for the duration of enrolment in their degree. This is a mandatory requirement. Students should apply online for provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia as soon as they have been accepted into the degree. Alternatively, a paper form is available on the Board’s website (see Application for provisional registration - APRO-76
The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) is a research degree, and requires students to complete a thesis equivalent in conceptual complexity to the traditional research PhD, but of somewhat lesser size and scope. The thesis consists of two components: 1) a Major Investigative Project, involving a report on an empirical study or series of studies on a topic of relevance to clinical psychology and that can be undertaken by publication or in traditional form; and 2) a separate Portfolio of Case Reports that are written up in relation to a particular theme and in the context of a critical appraisal of relevant literature. Each student will work with a supervisory team to complete their thesis.
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
A fulltime student is expected to commit 36 hours a week to their PhD program. A student is entitled to 20 working days annual leave from candidature on approval by their Principal Supervisor. (Part-time is half the commitment.)
Each individual student’s placement program will be worked out jointly by you, the placement coordinator, and the practitioners supervising the placements. The placements are designed to equip you with a range of professional skills and develop your awareness of professional issues. You will have placements in different settings, and will work with different populations, including adults and children. Contracts will be drawn up that specify goals, your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the placement supervisor. Placement supervisors are registered and endorsed psychologists, with expertise in supervision. Each placement requires the completion of the full component of days. Failure of any one placement may result in exclusion from the course.
Each individual student's placement program will be worked out jointly by you, the placement coordinator, and the practitioners supervising the placements. The placements are designed to equip you with a range of professional skills and develop your awareness of professional issues. You will have placements in different settings, and will work with different populations, including adults and children. Contracts will be drawn up that specify goals, your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the placement supervisor. Placement supervisors are registered and endorsed psychologists, with expertise in supervision. Each placement requires the completion of the full component of days. Failure of any one placement may result in exclusion from the course.
The pre-requisites for admission to the course are the completion of a four year major sequence of study in psychology that is APAC accredited and meets the requirements for registration as a provisional psychologist in Australia. The fourth year may be an honours year or a Graduate Diploma.
Entry is extremely competitive, based on academic results, relevant work experience, referees’ reports, personal statements and performance at interview before a panel of School selection staff. Applicants are required to have achieved a minimum honours grade of H2A in their fourth year of study, but ideally a H1 first class honours grade, or equivalent.
Applicants must ask two referees to provide us with reports using http://www.psychologyreference.org
Admission to research degree candidature is normally granted on the basis of a bachelors degree with Honours or a Bachelors degree followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.
For more information visit the Deakin Policy Library.
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Clinical psychologists are specialists in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological and mental health conditions that range from mild to severe and complex. They are often involved in designing and implementing a diverse range of prevention and mental health promotion programs, and may work with infants, children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Graduates typically are employed in one of the many government and non-government agencies that employ clinical psychologists in either community or hospital settings. After some years of practice and clinical supervision, some clinical psychologists establish a private practice. In addition to professional practice, clinical psychologists may be involved in research, teaching and supervision, program development and evaluation, public policy and other activities that promote psychological health in individuals, families and groups.
This course is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), and recognised by Psychology Board of Australia, the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and its College of Clinical Psychologists. On completion of the course you may apply to the Psychology Board of Australia for registration as a psychologist and to the APS for full membership. To obtain membership of the Clinical College of the APS and endorsement by the Psychology Board of Australia as a clinical psychologist, students are required to complete one year of approved supervised practice and fulfil professional development requirements.
Note: This course is currently accredited at the date of publishing. The eligibility of students for registration by the Psychology Board of Australia, and for membership of the APS and its Clinical College is subject to meeting the requirements of the regulatory body and the professional association. Deakin University makes no representation that students will meet those requirements.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities
Display an advanced and integrated knowledge of psychopathology and the theoretical principles underlying the practice of clinical psychology, with respect to evidence-based practice of assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention across the lifespan and with a focus on children and families.
Compose clearly written case reports; demonstrate effective verbal and interpersonal communication skills using appropriate language to communicate with specialists and non-specialists such as other health professionals, clients and carers within a range of professional settings.
Expert use of appropriate technologies to collect relevant discipline-specific information; assemble, evaluate, justify and integrate this information to formulate appropriate hypotheses, assessment and treatment approaches and disseminate this information to clients and health professionals.
Competence in the design and conduct of research; and critically evaluate, synthesise and integrate complex scientific evidence, transform this information into case formulations, assessment, interventions and policy that demonstrate evidence-based professional practice in the field of clinical psychology.
Expert skills to critically analyse theoretical frameworks and adapt knowledge and skills from psychological, biological and medical fields to design multiple, creative assessment and treatment approaches tailored to meet the needs of diverse client presentations.
Demonstrate ethical and professional practice, showing personal autonomy, accountability, good judgment and reflective practice in all areas of psychological and professional work and scholarship.
Develop, maintain and manage professional, ethical and collaborative relationships with multidisciplinary team members and stakeholders to work effectively together in the best interest of the client and the profession.
Demonstrate, report and apply ethical, legal and professional principles to work productively as a clinical psychologist within diverse social, cultural and environmental contexts by collaborating and communicating in a self-reflective and culturally sensitive manner.
How to apply
Apply direct to Deakin
Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see checklist (PDF, 158.6KB) and how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.Apply through Deakin
Need more information on how to apply?
For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.
Credit for prior learning
Credit for coursework can be approved only if it is strictly equivalent to coursework in the current course and was successfully completed in an APAC accredited course within the previous ten years. Credit for placement experience completed as part of their current employment can only be given if it is of direct relevance to the course, would ordinarily be undertaken by a qualified psychologist, and if supervision fulfils all of the usual requirements of course placements. Credit cannot be provided for previous employment experience prior to entry into the course as it is not integrated into the overall learning undertaken during the course. Credit cannot be provided for previous research experience, including research higher degrees.
Faculty contact information
Applications must be submitted online via the applicant portal. Further information on the application process is available at the Apply for postgraduate by coursework website. Refer to the Additional Documentation website for more requirements.
Other research enquiries should be directed to:
Tel 03 9251 7174
Refer to the Apply for a research degree website