HPS976 - Issues in Professional Psychology


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne)

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125




Incompatible with:


Study commitment

This unit is taught in Intensive Mode - a week-long block at the commencement of students' first trimester in H951 Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 3 hour seminar per week

Intensive mode:
2.5 day Introductory Intensive. Key issues in Professional Clinical Psychology
5 day observational placement/ work integrated learning at Barwon Health Mental Health and Drugs and Alcohol services (Geelong)
2 Day Cultural Immersion Program (June; Gariwerd/Halls Gap)


The Unit Learning Outcomes (ULOs) for Issues in Professional Psychology represents important preparation for professional practice, which begins in Trimester 2 with the Clinical Placement Program and then continues throughout the course of the professional lives of graduates of this program. It is designed to provide knowledge, reflection and practice in professional issues and professional ethics as well as the governance framework that exists to support Clinical Psychology as a health discipline. Students will become familiar with the application of the various professional standards and codes relevant to the provision of psychological services. These will include: The Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics (as adopted by the Psychology Board of Australia), APS Ethical Guidelines, and the Australian National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce.

The Unit considers the governance environment in which Professional Psychology sits with a focus on the Public Mental Health System and applying effective ethical and reasoning frameworks to decision making to common dilemmas when working with clients in professional practice. Contemporary issues such as Leadership in Psychology and Health as well as the contemporary practice paradigms of Client-Centred care and Recovery orientation are also jointly considered and wherever possible utilise active learning activities.

Consistent with the wider intended learning outcomes of the program, a key focus of the Unit is the application of ethical, legal and professional Psychology practice principles within the inter-professional Health environment, with the teaching and learning and assessment activities supporting the achievement of these competencies for students. Students will directly apply new knowledge in relation to working effectively and collaboratively in health care through participation in inter-disciplinary student teams (including Psychology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Medical Imaging, Optometry and Medicine) working towards the development of shared care plans for complex simulated clients using computer assisted learning technology.

Students will also participate in 5 days of Work-Integrated learning within the Barwon Health Mental Health Service where they will be observed and reflect on Psychology and Health practice in action in readiness to commence Clinical Placements.

A highlight of the Unit is the two day First Nations Australians Cultural Immersion module where students grow their understanding of culturally sensitive approaches to applying psychology knowledge and practice in working with Aboriginal people. Students will be assessed on their capacity to communicate how this learning will change their practice.

Hurdle requirement

  • Public Mental Health Orientation: Presentation - Pass/Fail
  • Self-reflection examining Cultural Sensitivity in Psychology Practice - Pass/Fail
  • Inter-Professional Team Care Plan Development - Pass/Fail
  • Online Multiple Choice Questions - Pass/Fail

This unit is Pass Grade only. All assessments must be passed in order for the unit to be passed.

Unit Fee Information

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