Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)

Course summary for local students

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

4 years full-time

Next available intake

March (Trimester 1)

LevelHigher Degree Research
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

CRICOS course code022556D
Deakin course code H951

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) provides those who have completed a recognised four-year sequence in psychology with the opportunity to obtain professional training in clinical psychology. It has been designed to enable you to develop the academic, practical and research skills necessary to register as a psychologist, and to practise as a clinical psychologist. The course is accredited and approved by the Australian Psychological Society and the College of Clinical Psychologists.

Throughout the course you will develop:

  1. specialist knowledge and competence in the theory and practice of clinical psychology as well as the general knowledge and skills required by psychological practitioners
  2. understanding of the impact of biopsychosocial systems on mental health and the application of an integrative treatment model
  3. advanced knowledge of clinical psychology relevant to clinical problems of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood
  4. knowledge and competence in the theory and practice of psychological assessment, diagnosis and case formulation relevant to clinical psychology
  5. knowledge and awareness of the legal and ethical principles of psychological practice, in particular in relation to the practice of clinical psychology
  6. knowledge and practical experience in the assessment and treatment of various psychological disorders, and more specifically couple and family problems
  7. capacity  to  build  and  maintain  effective  teamwork  with  other  healthcare  professionals  that supports the delivery of effective treatment interventions, and
  8. competence in the design and conduct of research.

The course is based on the scientist/practitioner model and rests firmly on a foundation of established knowledge and current research and adopts an evidence-based approach to training.  Prior to the initiation of any intervention strategy, this approach requires the conduct of a thorough assessment and definition of the problem, which is followed by the formulation of intervention goals, the evaluation and selection of an appropriate intervention approach to achieve these goals, the systematic implementation of this intervention, and an evaluation of its effectiveness in achieving the stated goals. A further basic premise of the course is that mental health and disease processes are impacted by psychological, social and biological factors. Assessment and treatment strategies require consideration of the complex interactions between the range of genetic, physiological, behavioural, and environmental variables that may affect an individual’s ability to maximize psychological health and wellbeing. The course specialises in the assessment and treatment of problems within the context of the family and includes advanced coursework units on aetiology, assessment and treatment of these problems, as well as extended placements in these areas.

During the course students will complete coursework as described below, and undertake clinical placement in four or more agencies. These placements will include observational experiences with practising clinical psychologists, and supervised practical work as appropriate. Students will also design and undertake a piece of original research on a relevant topic, the results of which will be presented in a major thesis. As part of their thesis requirements, students will also have the opportunity to explore their own interests, conceptual strengths and professional skills in relation to clinical psychology, through the completion of professional portfolio which is based on four cases from their placement. Both components of the thesis (the research project and the portfolio) will be examined externally.

On completion of the course students may apply to the Psychology Board of Australia for registration as a psychologist and to the Australian Psychological Society for full membership. To obtain membership of the Clinical College and endorsement as a clinical psychologist by the Psychology Board of Australia, students are required to complete one year of approved supervised practice and fulfil professional development requirements.

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 the 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 and endorsement as a clinical psychologist by the Psychology Board of Australia, students are required to complete one year of approved supervised practice and fulfil professional development requirements.

Note: This course is currently accredited as at the date of publishing. The eligibility of students for membership of the accrediting body is subject to meeting the requirements of the APS and College of Clinical Psychologists. 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.

Most clinical psychologists develop expertise in specific areas, or practice in sub-specialisations of clinical psychology. 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

Level 1

Trimester 1

HPS914Studies in Psychopathology

HPS977Interview and Intervention Strategies

HPS978Biological and Neuropsychological Perspectives on Disorder

HPS979Psychological Assessment

Trimester 2

HPS906Clinical Placement 1 and Case Analysis Seminar 1

HPS908Psychological Therapy

HPS924Research Thesis A

HPS976Issues in Professional Psychology

Level 2

Trimester 1

HPS905Advanced Clinical Assessment

HPS907Advanced and Applied Research Methods

HPS909Clinical Placement 2

HPS925Research Thesis B

Trimester 2

HPS912Clinical Placement 3

HPS915Aetiology of Couple and Family Disorders

HPS926Research Thesis C

Level 3

Trimester 1

HPS916Treatment of Couple and Family Disorders

HPS917Couple and Family Clinical Placement 1 and Conference Seminar A

HPS927Research Thesis D

Trimester 2

HPS918Couple and Family Clinical Placement 2 and Case Conference Seminar B

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 at least four settings, so that you can gain experience of adult and child problems, community and institutional care and medical and non-medical agencies. Two of the placements will be in agencies that specialise in couple and family therapy. Contracts will be drawn up which clearly specify the skills to be taught, your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the placement supervisor. Placement supervisors are registered and endorsed psychologists, eligible for membership of the Clinical College of the APS. Each placement requires the completion of the full component of days. Failure of any one placement may result in exclusion from the course.

Entry requirements - general

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 Guide.

Entry requirements - specific

The prerequisite for entry to the course is the completion of a four-year sequence of study in an accredited psychology program which meets national registration requirements and eligibility for Associate Membership of the APS, or equivalent. The four-year sequence may be either an honours program or the combination of a three-year undergraduate degree including a psychology major and an approved postgraduate program.

Entry will be competitive, based on academic results, referees' reports and interview before a panel of school selection staff. It would normally be expected that applicants will have achieved a minimum Honours grade of H2A or equivalent. Relevant professional experience will be a factor in selection

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

 

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