Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)

Higher degrees research

Deakin's Doctor of Clinical Psychology gives you with the opportunity to obtain professional training in clinical psychology and research. Enquire here.

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Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0, with no band less than 7. More information is available at www.ielts.org

Duration

4 years full time

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course information

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.

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Course structure

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 3.5 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.

Core units

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

  • Studies in Psychopathology HPS914
  • Psychological Intervention 1 HPS977
  • Issues in Professional Psychology HPS976
  • Psychological Assessment HPS979
  • Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 1 HPS910
  • Psychological Intervention 2 HPS908
  • Research Thesis A HPS924
  • Biological and Neuropsychological Perspectives on Disorder HPS978
  • Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Advanced Clinical Assessment HPS905
  • Advanced and Applied Research Methods HPS907
  • Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 1 HPS910 (continued)
  • Research Thesis B HPS925
  • Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 3 HPS912
  • Psychological Intervention 3 HPS915
  • Research Thesis C HPS926
  • Level 3 - Trimester 1

  • Psychological Intervention 4 HPS916
  • Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 4 HPS917
  • Research Thesis D HPS927
  • Level 3 - Trimester 2

  • Clinical Placement 5 HPS918
  • Research Thesis E HPS928
  • Note: Consistent with a developmental approach, there is a prescribed sequence for coursework and placement units such that successful completion of earlier units is required to enrol in later units. Specific information regarding pre-requisites are described in the individual Unit Guides.

    Key information

    Award granted
    Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)
    Year
    2019 course information
    Deakin code
    H951
    CRICOS code?
    022556D
    Level
    Higher Degree Research
    Approval status
    This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
    Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition
    The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 10.

    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

    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.

    Mandatory student checks

    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

    Workload

    The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) program is a full-time course and as such, it requires a full-time commitment from students.

    Nevertheless, it is recognised that many students will need to work to support themselves for the duration of their study. Students are advised that working over and above 8 hours per week is likely to impact their progress through the course.

    The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) program is a multi-campus program across Deakin Burwood and Deakin Waterfront. The face-to-face coursework component is predominantly held at the Burwood Campus in a purpose built clinical teaching facility. Some teaching will be held in Geelong including some full-day clinical teaching workshops while other aspects of the teaching and learning occurs in the online CloudDeakin environment. With few exceptions, students will attend both the Barwon Health Deakin Psychology Clinic and the Eastern Health Psychology Clinics as part of their Placement programs.

    Work experience

    Placement program

    The clinical placements are designed to equip students with a range of professional skills and an awareness of professional issues. Students will benefit from Deakin’s placement partnerships with Barwon Health and Eastern Health with these placements enabling them to gain experience of adult, adolescent and child problems.

    The placement program overall provides students with diverse clinical experience across community and institutional care; and medical and non-medical agencies. The placement program will be determined jointly by the student, the placement coordinators, and the course leadership team. Contracts will be drawn up which will clearly specify the skills to be taught and the responsibilities of the student and placement supervisor. With few exceptions, Placement supervisors are registered psychologists with a clinical endorsement as a specialised area of practice, as well as being Registered supervisors. Each placement requires the full complement of days to be completed. Failure of any one placement may result in exclusion from the course.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    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

    The minimum qualification for admission as a candidate for a degree of doctor is a degree of bachelor with honours or a degree of master with a substantial research component, from a recognised tertiary institution, in a field relevant to the program which the applicant proposes to undertake and for which the University can provide the required supervisory expertise.

    See entry pathways to research degrees for detailed information on demonstrating your research ability and eligibility criteria. International students must also meet the English language requirements.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load and the length of your course.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Graduate outcomes

    Career outcomes

    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.

    Professional recognition

    This course has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) in accordance with the Accreditation Standards for Psychology Program (APAC, 2010). These standards are designed for accreditation of programs such as this for pathway to practice as a registered psychologist. As such, this course is approved by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) for the purposes of approving it under the National Law.

    On completion of this course graduates may apply to the PsyBA for registration as a psychologist. To obtain endorsement in the Clinical area of specialisation graduates are required to complete one year of approved supervised practice and fulfil professional development requirements.

    Note: This course is accredited at the date of publishing. The eligibility of students for registration by the Psychology Board of Australia, and for membership of professional bodies such as the Australian Psychological Society (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.
    Students should note that the Accreditation Standards for Psychology Programs have been reviewed and updated (Accreditation Standards for Psychology Programs (2017)) and these new standards will apply to incoming students from 1 January 2019.

    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.

    Communication

    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.

    Digital Literacy

    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.

    Critical thinking

    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.

    Problem Solving

    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.

    Self-management

    Demonstrate ethical and professional practice, showing personal autonomy, accountability, good judgment and reflective practice in all areas of psychological and professional work and scholarship.

    Teamwork

    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.

    Global Citizenship

    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.

     

    Application information

    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 information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.


    Entry pathways

    As a HDR program, it is not typical for students to seek for transfer to an alternative course.  In the unusual circumstances where students are not meeting the competencies for the coursework and practice aspects of the program, they may seek to or be encouraged to transfer to a research only program (including to a PhD). In these cases they must can apply in the usual manner for entry into the PhD course, competing with newly applying HDR students. They must also successfully undertake a Doctoral level thesis confirmation.

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