Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)/Doctor of Philosophy

Course 080CL (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - 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 4.00 years full time, or equivalent part time.


Associate Professor Carol Hulbert


Future Students: Professional Programs Coordinator

All other enquiries:

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
MDHS Student Centre / Learning and Teaching Unit
Level 1, Brownless Biomedical Library
The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 5890



Future Student Questions:

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 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 have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements and research in challenging areas, such as early psychosis and emerging personality disorder.

Clinical psychology training for working with children and adolescents 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. 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

Learning Outcomes:

The MPsych/PhD program 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).

PhD: A range of University policies and procedures apply to students enrolled in Higher Degrees by Research.

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:
Semester 1, Semester 2

Second-year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year
Not offered in 2016

Third-year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year

Fourth-year subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an Australian Psychological Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited four-year undergraduate sequence in Psychology, namely a three-year major in Psychology as part of an undergraduate degree plus a fourth-year Honours specialisation in Psychology, with a weighted average mark of at least H2A (75%), or equivalent; and
• an interview; and
• a personal statement; and
• nomination of three referees.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• suitability for clinical training as determined by the interview, personal statement and referee reports.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 7 is required.

• Selection into the two Master of Psychology courses associated with a PhD place in Psychology requires the approval of the intended PhD supervisor, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, and the Melbourne School of Graduate Research.
• Direct entry into the combined Masters/PhD programmes is available to international applicants only.
• Local applicants must enrol in the Masters programme (Clinical or Clinical Neuropsychology) and then apply to articulate to the combined PhD programme towards the end of their first year in the Masters programme.

Core Participation Requirements:

PhD Component:

All research candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least six months full-time (12 months part-time) advanced study and research at the University unless studying at an outside institution approved by the Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC). The RHDC will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for research higher degree students.

Throughout their candidature candidates are expected to attend the University in order to benefit from planning, conducting and writing up their research within a University community and environment.

The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the first six months of candidature. During this time the student is expected to interact on a regular basis with the supervisor, the department (including staff and other research students) and the University, so as:

  • to build the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the proposed research program
  • to acquire an understanding of the standards and requirements for a research higher degree awarded by the University
  • to make use of support programs and facilities provided by the University throughout candidature.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.

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 Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

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

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