Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)/Doctor of Philosophy

Course 080CL (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 037232A
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 3.00 years full time, or equivalent part time.


Dr Carol Hulbert


Sarah Drew

Course Overview:

There is no mid year entry available for this course.

The clinical psychology program at the University of Melbourne began in the early 1970s. The program enjoys an excellent reputation and is one of the premier clinical psychology programs in the country. The program aims to produce students with a strong knowledge base in ‘organic’ and ‘functional’ psychopathologies, combined with a high level of skill and acumen in the detection, assessment and diagnosis and treatment of various psychological conditions. Therapeutic skills are taught primarily within a broad cognitive-behavioural framework within didactic, individual and group-based clinical contexts. In their first year, all students see adult clients referred to the University of Melbourne Psychology Clinic based at Blackwood Street in North Melbourne. In addition, all students undertake second year field placements in adult mental health services and with children and their families at the Royal Children’s Hospital and/or in related community treatment services for children and adolescents.

The academic members of the clinical teaching staff are active in both clinical work and research collaborations in a wide variety of clinical domains. Hence, the Program provides the opportunity to access a wide range of clinical placement settings and research programs. Along side of the core training in psychology across the life span, students enrolled in the Clinical Program have the opportunity to focus their clinical and research training in one of three specialist areas: child and adolescent, health psychology or adult mental health domains.

A major focus of the program is the provision of clinical psychology training for the assessment and treatment of adolescents and adults with serious mental illness, work undertaken, for the most part, within public mental health settings. The longstanding and productive collaborations of Clinical Psychology Program academic staff with senior clinicians and researchers in generalist and specialist mental health services, including Orygen Youth Services, has contributed significantly to the development of innovative clinical programs and research. Building on these achievements, students wishing to specialize in this clinical domain have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements and research in challenging areas, such as early psychosis and emerging personality disorder.

The Child specialisation has been developed through partnerships with staff of the Psychology Department at Melbourne’s major paediatric service provider, the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). The staff of the program are senior clinicians with a breadth and depth of clinical and research experience in the child and adolescent area that is unique in Australia. RCH staff contribute to core teaching within the postgraduate clinical programs, and provide clinical placement opportunities. All students undertaking the clinical course will acquire competence in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and clinical management of psychological disorders presenting in infancy, childhood and adolescence. For those students selecting the child specialization, the clinical placement program will allow for greater emphasis on child and adolescent clients, whilst retaining the core training in clinical psychology across the life span.There are exciting opportunities for selecting the Child specialization to undertake research relevant to the child and adolescent area in mental health and medical psychological domains through collaborative programs with staff at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Orygen Youth Services and the Early Psychosis Intervention Centre.

Clinical health psychology is devoted to understanding psychological influences on physical health. The recent development of partnerships with the Royal Womens Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital has created exciting opportunities for clinical training and research related to the application of psychological principles to treat individuals in health settings. Clinical health psychology components of the program are supported by senior and experienced clinical and academic staff at these major hospitals. The range and breadth of expertise of our staff creates an exciting range of placements and research opportunities across diverse and innovative clinical programs. Developing collaborations across health settings allow the possibility of multi-site research.


The MPsych/PhD degreeprogram aims to provide students with the skills to work as a professional clinical psychologist int the chosen domain specialisation (child and adolescent, health psychology or adult mental health). It aims to provide a thorough grounding in the knowledge base of clinical psychology and excellent clinical and research skills. It also aims to provide students with an opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of original researchin the domain of the specialisation, and to complete a thesis which:

  • shows evidence of command of knowledge in relevant fields;
  • demonstrate a thorough grasp of the appropriate methodological techniques and awareness of their limitations;
  • makes a distinct contribution to knowledge;
  • demonstrate an ability to communicate research findings effectively
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

This course consists of the coursework and placement components of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) together with a full PhD research thesis in Psychology.

Coursework consists of 14 classroom-based subjects taken over the first three years of this four-year course (see below) and 125 days of Placement (30 days in the first-year and 95 days spread over second and third-years).

Subject Options:

Master of Psychology/PhD

In order to satisfy the requirements of the combined Master of Psychology (Clinical)/PhD students must complete the following subjects:

First-year Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Second-year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012
March, Year Long

Third-year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012

Fourth-year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012
Entry Requirements:

Completion of an Australian Psychological Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited four-year undergraduate sequence in Psychology, namely a three-year major in Psychology as part of an undergraduage degree plus a fourth-year Honours specialisation in Psychology.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements, Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Graduate Attributes:

The Clinical programme aims to produce graduates with a strong knowledge base in "organic" and "functional" psychopathologies, combined with a high level of skills and acumen in the detection, assessment and diagnosis and treatment of various "psychological" conditions.

The expectation is that graduates of the clinical psychology programme will not only become excellent clinicians but will go on to be leaders in the professional clinical psychology community.

Professional Accreditation:

Accredited by the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council and recognised by the Psychology Registration Board of Australia

Generic Skills:
  • Written and spoken communication skills
  • Analytic skills
Links to further information:

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