Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)

Course summary for local students

Year2016 course information
Award granted Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)
CampusOffered at Burwood (Melbourne)
Cloud (online)No
Length

4 years full-time

Next available intake

March (Trimester 1)

CSP annual fee (indicative) - commencing 2016No fees defined
Full fee paying annual fee - commencing 2016No fees defined
Faculty contacts

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.
Email psych-enquiries@deakin.edu.au

Other research enquiries should be directed to:

Research Administrator
Tel 03 9251 7174
hthres@deakin.edu.au

Refer to the Apply for a research degree website

LevelHigher Degree Research
CRICOS course code022556D
Deakin course code H951

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) degree is a full-time course, designed for completion within four years. It provides graduates with the opportunity to obtain high level professional training in clinical psychology and to undertake a program of independent supervised research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and practice in the discipline. It has been designed to enable graduates to develop the academic, practical and research skills necessary to register as a psychologist, and leading toward eligibility to practice as a clinical psychologist. The course has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and is approved by the Psychology Board of Australia, the Australian Psychological Society and the College of Clinical Psychologists.

The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) is based on the scientist/practitioner model: It rests firmly on a foundation of established knowledge and current research and adopts a research integrated and evidence-based approach to all aspects of training. In a clinical intervention, this approach requires that a comprehensive assessment of the presenting situation and a case formulation is conducted, appropriate intervention goals that are amenable to evaluation are set, and an intervention approach appropriate to these goals is selected, systematically implemented and evaluated in terms of its effectiveness in achieving the stated goals.  Each of these strategies is informed by the literature.  A further core premise of the course is that mental health and disease processes are impacted by psychological, social and biological factors. Consistent with an integrative model, consideration of the complex interactions between the genetic, physiological, behavioural, and social/environmental variables that may affect an individual’s ability to maximise their psychological health and wellbeing is central to assessment and treatment.  Work integrated learning and authentic assessments are key features of this course.

The course covers clinical psychology across the lifespan and also includes a focus on the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families.  In-depth coverage of this specialty is provided in the coursework units, and when available, through extended placements in agencies specialising in these areas.

Throughout the course you will develop:

  • Expert knowledge of the theory and competence in the practice of clinical psychology, as well as the general knowledge and foundation skills required by all psychology practitioners;
  • Expert knowledge of the impact of bio-psycho-social systems on mental health and the application of an integrative model to case conceptualisation and treatment;
  • Expert knowledge of clinical psychology across the lifespan and relevant to clinical problems in children, adolescents, adults and older adults;
  • Expert knowledge of and competence in the application of the legal and ethical principles of psychological practice, and in particular, the practice of clinical psychology;
  • Expert knowledge of the theory and competence in the practice of psychological assessment, diagnosis and case formulation relevant to clinical psychology;
  • Expert knowledge and skill in the treatment of various psychological disorders, in the context of individual and group work and utilizing face to face and online technologies;
  • Expert knowledge and skill in the treatment of child and family problems;
  • Skill in the adaptation and tailoring of interventions to meet diverse client presentations  and the needs of particular groups, such as people with cognitive impairments, refugees and indigenous populations;
  • Expert ability to 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;  
  • Skill in the development, maintenance and management of 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;
  • Competence in critical evaluation, synthesis and integration of complex scientific evidence, and the transformation of this information into case formulations, assessment, interventions and policy that demonstrate evidence-based professional practice in the field of clinical psychology; and,
  • Competence in the design and conduct of research that provides a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the context of clinical psychology and includes formulation of testable research questions; development of a conceptual framework and selection and application of appropriate methodology for the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; and disseminate research findings.

Professional recognition

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Course rules

The course consists of 24 credit points of work covering three strands: theory, research and practice.

Course structure

The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) program is a full time course, designed for completion within four years. It is comprised of three inter-related strands of theory, research, and practice.

The coursework units are in the first and second trimesters (as indicated below), 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.

Level 1

Trimester 1

HPS914Studies in Psychopathology

HPS977Psychological Intervention 1

HPS976Issues in Professional Psychology

HPS979Psychological Assessment

Trimester 2

HPS906Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 1

HPS908Psychological Intervention 2

HPS924Research Thesis A

HPS978Biological and Neuropsychological Perspectives on Disorder

Level 2

Trimester 1

HPS905Advanced Clinical Assessment

HPS907Advanced and Applied Research Methods

HPS909Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 2

HPS925Research Thesis B

Trimester 2

HPS912Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 3

HPS915Psychological Intervention 3

HPS926Research Thesis C

Level 3

Trimester 1

HPS916Psychological Intervention 4

HPS917Clinical Placement and Case Analysis 4

HPS927Research Thesis D

Trimester 2

HPS918Clinical Placement 5

HPS928Research Thesis E

Note: All coursework units have a hurdle requirement of 80% attendance. A pass grade in a unit requires satisfactory completion of each component assessed.


Placement program

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.

Thesis

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.

Entry requirements - specific

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.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted online via the applicant portal. Further information on the application process is available at the Apply for postgraduate coursework website. Refer to the Additional Documentation website for more requirements.
Email psych-enquiries@deakin.edu.au