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The fantastic thing about my course was that it exposed me to a wide variety of counselling strategies that I was able to utilise in my workplace and in various professional positions since.
|Award granted||Doctor of Psychology (Health)|
|Campus||Offered at Melbourne Burwood Campus|
4 years full time
|Next available intake|
March (Trimester 1)
An application form is available by
Other research enquiries should be directed to:
|Level||Higher Degree Research|
|CRICOS course code||040946G|
|Deakin course code||H953|
The Doctor of Psychology (Health) provides you with the opportunity to obtain professional training in health psychology and develop the academic, practical and research skills required to register and practise as a health psychologist. After successfully completing this course you will be qualified for employment as a psychologist in any area of health psychology, including clinical health and health promotion.
Throughout the course, you will develop:
The course is based on the scientist/professional model: before engaging in any clinical intervention, prevention or health promotion strategy it is essential to evaluate the present situation and set appropriate goals that can also be evaluated. The evaluation and definition of the presenting situation is followed by the formulation of the goals of the intervention or health promotion strategy, an assessment of the approach most appropriate to achieve these goals, implementation of the chosen strategies, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the chosen approach in achieving the stated goals. From this major thrust, students will be equipped with a range of different therapeutic interventions and health promotion strategies, with an emphasis on research findings that relate to the effectiveness of different interventions and strategies across different problems and areas of need.
The units in the program have been developed so that they provide the input to achieve the general aims of any health psychology program, that is, the development of skills in the areas of health promotion and prevention, together with relevant diagnostic, assessment, intervention and evaluation skills. In-depth coverage will be achieved in the third year units to provide an understanding of issues related to health promotion and preventative health strategies and extended placements will be undertaken in agencies specialising in these areas. Students will design, undertake and present a major thesis reporting the results of a piece of original research of appropriate quality on a relevant topic. As part of their thesis requirements, students also complete a professional portfolio which is examined externally and is based on cases from their placement.
The course has been accredited by the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council (APAC) and meets the requirements for graduates to register as generalist psychologists with the Psychology Board of Australia, and for membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Graduates will be eligible to apply for membership of the College of Health Psychologists and endorsement as a Health Psychologist following one year of work experience supervised by a health psychologist, together with completion of stipulated professional development requirements.
Health psychologists are specialists in health behaviour change, and investigate the links between psychological and social factors, and physical health in order to improve health and prevent illness. Health psychologists may work in two main areas – health promotion, which involves the prevention of illness and the promotion of health-related behaviour; and clinical health psychology which relates to the application of psychological principles to the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of illness.
As a health psychologist you may be involved in the promotion of positive health behaviours aimed at reducing risk factors associated with chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. You may work with other health professionals and provide advice regarding the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that contribute to ill health and how these can be altered, and design public health programs focused on behavioural change related to exercise, smoking, drug and alcohol consumption, and cancer prevention.
|HPS914||Studies in Psychopathology|
|HPS977||Interview and Intervention Strategies|
|HPS978||Biological and Neuropsychological Perspectives on Disorder|
|HPS907||Advanced and Applied Research Methods|
|HPS924||Research Thesis A|
|HPS937||Health Placement 1 and Case Analysis Seminar 1|
|HPS976||Issues in Professional Psychology|
|HPS925||Research Thesis B|
|HPS951||Advanced Health Assessment (not offered 2014, next offered 2015)|
|HPS938||Health Placement 2|
|HPS926||Research Thesis C|
|HPS940||Health Placement 3|
|HPS941||Psychosocial Issues in Health|
|HPS939||Health Care Interventions|
|HPS927||Research Thesis D|
|HPS946||Health Promotion Placement 1 and Case Conference Seminar A|
|HPS947||Health Promotion Psychology|
|HPS942||Health Promotion Placement 2 and Case Conference Seminar B|
|HPS928||Research 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.
Your 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 to develop an awareness of professional issues. You will have placements in a range of community, hospital and health promotion settings. Contracts will be drawn up that will clearly specify the skills to be mastered, your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the placement supervisor. Placement supervisors are registered and endorsed psychologists, eligible for membership of the College of Health Psychologists. Each placement requires completion of the full complement of days and failure of any one placement may result in exclusion from the course.
Admission to research degree candidature is normally granted on the basis of a Bachelors degree with Honours or a Bachelors degree followed by a post graduate diploma in psychology.
For more information visit The Guide.
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.
An application form is available by
School of Psychology, Deakin University
Tel (03) 9251 7223