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Monash University

Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology

Course code: 3509 ~ Course abbreviation: PGDipPsych ~ Total credit points required: 48 ~ 2 semesters full-time, 4 semesters part-time ~ Managing faculty: Medicine, Nursing and Health sciences

Study mode and course location

On-campus (Clayton; Caulfield)

Off-campus (Clayton; Caulfield; Singapore*)

* The Singapore offering will no longer be available for new enrolments.

Course description

This course is offered by the School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine and is taught jointly with the Faculty of Education. The course provides advanced study of the discipline, advanced research training and an introduction to psychological practice through studies in counselling, psychological assessment, ethical and professional issues and a placement in a psychological practice. The content of the course is designed both for persons wishing to undertake supervised psychological practice upon completion of the course and for those wishing to pursue more advanced postgraduate training at masters or doctoral level.

Students undertaking the course in the off-campus mode will be required to attend four five-day workshop programs during the course.

Course objectives

The aims of this course are: to provide students with advanced research training whereby they will conduct an individual research project under supervision of a member of the academic staff; to develop both research skills appropriate for further study and for consumers of psychological research; to provide students with an orientation to psychological practice through the study of a number of applied topics using the scientist practitioner model.

Credit for prior studies

There are no credits/exemptions for this course, except for units undertaken as part of a fourth year in psychology approved by the Australian Psychological Society.

Course structure

The course comprises five core units and two electives. The sequence in which components are undertaken may be varied in consultation with the postgraduate diploma coordinator and within timetabling constraints, according to the experience, interests and career plans and enrolment status of individual students. It is not advisable for a student to attempt the research project before undertaking the research and design component.

Course requirements

Students undertake the following:

  • PSY4503 Psychological assessment
  • PSY4504 Ethics and professional issues
  • PSY4510 Research project proposal (hurdle requirement)
  • PSY4511 Research project (includes statistics and research design)
  • Elective A (selected from the list below)
  • Elective B (selected from the list below)

Students are required to take one topic from elective A studies. These may include:

  • PSY4507 Contemporary issues in psychobiology
  • PSY4508 Contemporary issues in cross-cultural psychology
  • PSY4509 Contemporary issues in cognition - psycholinguistics
  • PSY4512 Contemporary issues in developmental psychology

Students are required to take one topic from elective B studies. These may include:

  • PSY4501 Counselling
  • PSY4506 Psychological practice (placement)
  • PSY4513 Behaviour change interventions for practitioners


Assessment involves both assignments and examinations. Assignments cover a variety of formats including essays, reports, presentations, counselling tapes, assessment reports, research proposals, and reviews of methodology of published articles. A major course requirement is the compilation of a literature review and a report of an individual research project (PSY4511). Research supervision opportunities will be provided by staff of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Education.

Professional recognition

The course has full accreditation from of the Australian Psychological Society as an approved fourth year of study in psychology.

Contact details

Telephone +61 3 9903 1173 or +61 3 9905 3908; email or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Gordon Walker