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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Education

Managing facultyEducation
Abbreviated titleMPsych(Coun)/PhD
Standard duration of study (years)4 years FT, 8 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Off-campus (Clayton)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9905 2877; Research Degrees Office: +61 3 990 52821 or email

Course coordinator


  • This course is not available to international student visa holders.
  • Off-campus is offered part-time every second year (the next intake is in semester 01, 2011). Each coursework unit is only offered in alternate years. Students enrolled in off-campus mode will be required to attend compulsory residential schools.


The Master of Psychology (Counselling)/PhD combines the coursework and placement requirements of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC)-accredited Master of Psychology (Counselling) degree with the thesis requirements of the PhD program, with research undertaken in one of the areas listed below. This course has been designed to meet the requirements of the Australian Psychological Society College of Counselling Psychologists, with APAC accreditation being sought for the combined program. Students will initially enter the program through the Master of Psychology (Counselling)/PhD Preliminary. Candidature will be probationary with full admission to the program granted in the last three months of the second year of full-time study, or equivalent for part-time study if performance on all components, including research confirmation proceedings, is satisfactory.


In this degree, high achieving psychology graduates are trained in the advanced psychotherapeutic skills and competencies necessary for registration and practice in the specialism of counselling psychology, and in addition, complete an applied research thesis meeting the requirements of the PhD program.

At the completion of the degree, students will have been trained in:

  • knowledge and application of a range of evidence based psychotherapies
  • application of sound practice principles concerning the psychotherapeutic relationship and interventions with couples, families and groups
  • practice and application of evidence based research in psychotherapy
  • administration and interpretation of a wide range of psychological tests and assessment instruments
  • the ability to liaise and work effectively with other mental health and allied health professionals in a range of organisational contexts

In undertaking the PhD research thesis, students will use quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods to develop and carry out research which will be an original and substantial contribution to counselling psychology.

Clinical practice units

This course requires students to undertake off-campus clinical placements. Attendance is mandatory for the clinical component of each unit. In the clinical setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision.

Where a student's skill or knowledge is found to be inadequate, access to the clinical component of the unit will be denied. A student may be withdrawn from a clinical practicum if required skills and knowledge are deemed inadequate, or on other grounds deemed appropriate by the head of school.

Clinical expenses

Students are responsible for all uniform and equipment, travel and accommodation expenses during clinical placement and will be notified regarding purchase arrangements upon commencement.

Off-campus students' compulsory residentials

Students enrolled in off-campus mode will be required to attend a compulsory one-week (35 hour) residential school at the Clayton campus for each of the four core units.


On commencing the program and prior to commencing their placement, students must submit proof of provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia and a satisfactory Victorian government Working with Children Check (details available at

Professional recognition

Graduates qualify for registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia and meet most requirements for membership of the College of Counselling Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society.


This course comprises advanced coursework, supervised practica and a research thesis. Note: Coursework units are only offered in alternate years.

Students commence by enrolling for year one in the Master of Psychology (Counselling)/PhD Preliminary. This encompasses completion of the initial 48 points of the combined degree consisting of the three course work units plus the research project unit where students commence preparation of their thesis research proposal. Subject to negotiation, the first practicum unit may also be taken in the first year.

Upon satisfactory completion of the first 48 points students will enrol in the research intensive component of the Master of Psychology (Counselling)/PhD. In year two candidates complete the practicum units, further develop and present their research proposal, finalise ethics clearance, and progress the research proposal toward confirmation that takes place in the last three months of the year. Enrolment for the final two years is dependent on students satisfying the confirmation process. On completion of the course, students submit a PhD thesis of between 80,000 and 100,000 words, which is examined according to the Monash Research Graduate School requirements for PhD studies. Visit for details.

Part time students are enrolled pro-rata completing the first 48 points of work over two years, and on confirmation are enrolled to complete any remaining practicum units and focus on their research from years 3-8.

Students applying for off campus study must be able to ensure regular interactive communication with their supervisor and be able to undertake the equivalent of five days of full-time study within the University each year they are enrolled in the PhD thesis, although this requirement may be relaxed in later years depending on the candidate's progress.


Advanced coursework units

  • EDF6501 Psychotherapies: Theory and practice
  • EDF6502 Clinical assessment and psychopathology
  • EDF6503 Advanced professional counselling psychology: Clinical, research, and ethical issues

Research project unit

  • EDF6517 Research and therapeutic interventions in counselling psychology

Practicum units

  • EDF6507 Clinical placement in psychology 1
  • EDF6508 Clinical placement in psychology 2
  • EDF6509 Clinical placement in psychology 3

Research areas

Details of the research interests of staff can be found on their respective web pages; contact the faculty's Research Degrees Office at for further information. A wide variety of thesis topics related to modalities of counselling psychology and lifespan psychotherapy are possible, subject to available supervision. These include:

  • culture-sensitive psychotherapy
  • diversity counselling
  • counselling adolescents
  • psychotherapy with older adults
  • counselling children
  • school counselling
  • special needs counselling
  • relationship therapy
  • group psychotherapy
  • psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy
  • cognitive and behavioural psychotherapy
  • narrative therapy and counselling
  • arts psychotherapies
  • counselling supervision
  • resilience and coping
  • meaning and wellbeing
  • spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy
  • clinician development and self care
  • clinical supervision.


Master of Psychology (Counselling)/Doctor of Philosophy