Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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NOTE: This course has been updated - please refer to the 2012 handbook change register for details.

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleDPsych(Clinical)
CRICOS code073634F
Standard duration of study (years)4 years FT, 8 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield, Clayton, Monash Medical Centre)
Off-campus (Clayton)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

School of Psychology and Psychiatry Postgraduate Programs Office: telephone +61 3 9905 4359 email or visit

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Research Degrees Office, telephone +61 3 9905 4313; email or visit

Course coordinator

Professor James Ogloff


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Applicants must have an approved bachelors degree with Honours I or IIA, or equivalent fourth year in psychology, accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. In addition to their academic record, students will be selected on the basis of personal psychology, with factors such as referees reports and presentation at a selection interview considered suitability for clinical psychology, with factors such as referees reports and presentation at a selection interview considered.
  • The first two years of study must be undertaken full-time.
  • This course requires attendance at off-campus practical placements which may occur in a range of locations.


The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology is a research degree offered by the School of Psychology and Psychiatry.

Clinical psychology is a field which applies the scientific knowledge, methods and principles of psychology to the understanding, assessment and treatment of adults and children with relatively severe emotional and/or behavioural disorders.

Clinical psychologists are employed in mental and general health services and in private practice where they undertake a range of clinical, health and forensic work.

This course prepares psychologists for research in applied areas of psychology and to work as clinical psychologists in the assessment and treatment of adults and children with emotional and/or behavioural disorders in a broad range of settings. In particular, it equips psychologists to work in the treatment of children and families; the assessment and management of people in the legal system; or the application of psychological knowledge to the promotion of health and the prevention and treatment of illness.

A feature of the DPsych(Clinical) is that its training in clinical psychology is extended through specialisation in a choice of areas. Candidates complete an advanced internship in their third year, which enables them to gain more specialised expertise in an area of their choice.

Depending on candidate demand, options may include areas outlined below.

Clinical child, adolescent and family psychology

This area focusses on the understanding, assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families in a variety of mental health, paediatric and community settings. An understanding of presenting issues and behaviours is formulated within a developmental theoretical framework in which the links between the child's outward behaviour, patterns of inner experience, and the external environment (including family, school, community, society and culture) are explored and researched. Clinicians in this field contribute to discussions in the community on policy matters affecting children and families, and to the development of initiatives that promote the emotional and physical well-being of children and families.

Clinical forensic psychology

This specialisation focuses on the application of psychological knowledge to the understanding, assessment and management of individuals in the legal system including the behaviour of offenders, victims, witnesses, judges and juries, prisoners and prison staff. Careers in clinical forensic psychology include assessment and/or treatment of accused persons, prisoners, civil litigants, victims, and family members in custody disputes. Clinicians in this field can also act as expert witnesses in consultancy to statutory bodies and the legal profession on relevant areas of psychological knowledge.

Advanced clinical psychology

In this specialisation students have the opportunity to undertake advanced units and an internship to consolidate and extend their clinical psychology skills.

Candidates conduct a prescribed program of research for a specified period under the direct supervision of two or more members of the academic staff. The main supervisor, in consultation with the candidate, is responsible for developing the research program to be followed by the candidate, and for reporting at regular intervals on the candidate's progress. Candidates submit a thesis in addition to clinical placements and a prescribed coursework component. The work undertaken as part of this degree must constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the field of clinical psychology, and must demonstrate the capacity of the candidate to carry out independent research. This course may be undertaken in any of the areas of research offered by the faculty. For information about research in the faculty visit


Candidates who have completed the course will demonstrate a thorough understanding of relevant research techniques in their field through a review of the relevant literature. They will demonstrate their ability, under supervision to apply relevant research techniques to their chosen field of study. Candidates will be able to present high-quality written work suitable for publication in appropriate scholarly journals, and be able to critically evaluate both their own and others' written work in their chosen field.

Candidates will also be able to

  • identify and define research questions
  • identify the appropriate research methods to address the research questions
  • demonstrate mastery of their chosen research methodology/methodologies
  • demonstrate theoretical knowledge at doctoral level in their chosen field of research
  • communicate their research findings in a format appropriate to their academic discipline
  • write up their research into a high quality thesis
  • contribute new information or new ways of understanding information in the field of research.

Credit for prior studies

There is no credit provision for research components in doctoral programs. Credit may be awarded for coursework and/or supervised practice components in some circumstances.

Research component

70 per cent

Candidature rules

Duration of candidature

The total permissible period of candidature is four years full-time, or its equivalent in part-time candidature up to a maximum of eight years part-time, after which the candidature will lapse. The minimum period of candidature is two years (four years part-time). Candidates are encouraged to complete their theses as quickly as possible.

It is strongly recommended that a new candidate, in consultation with his/her main supervisor, develops a project that can be completed within four years of full-time or eight years of part-time candidature.

Progress reviews

Supervisors and academic units monitor the progress of candidates throughout their candidature. This is done through a variety of measures such as supervision meetings, review of submitted work and review of presentations. Regular reviews of progress provide the opportunity to ensure that a candidate has the requisite skills and resources to complete their research program within the period of candidature

Candidates should note that satisfactory performance in all three components of the DPsych is necessary throughout the course, and that progression is contingent on satisfactory completion of previous requirements. In addition, an assessment of personal suitability to undertake or continue work as a trainee clinical psychologist is made prior to each placement.

Time available for study

Throughout their candidature, all candidates must regularly attend their department, school, centre or faculty and participate fully in the intellectual, research and academic life of their academic unit. The first two years of the program must be undertaken on a full-time basis, Full-time candidates must be able to devote the equivalent of a minimum of four days a week to the pursuit of their research project; all part-time candidates must devote the equivalent of one-and-a-half days a week to their studies. The half-day should normally be a week day.

The attendance and residency requirements have a dual purpose: They enable both regular and sustained periods of time to be available for research, and continuous interaction between the candidate and the community of scholars at Monash.

Employment restrictions

Professional recognition

The program has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and on completion, qualifies for membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Candidates may apply for full registration as a psychologist in Australia upon successful completion of the degree.

In order to gain endorsement as a Clinical Psychologist, an additional minimum one year of approved, supervised, full-time equivalent practice with a Board approved supervisor is required.

For further information, refer to

This additional year is also required for membership of the APS Colleges of Clinical Psychologists and Forensic Psychologists. In addition, membership for the APS Colleges of Forensic Psychologists requires completion of the forensic specialisation in third year, as well as a doctoral thesis in the field of forensic psychology. For further information, refer to


This course comprises a number of coursework units (20 per cent), practicum placements (10 per cent) and research culminating in a major thesis (70 per cent). Assessment is by thesis, written examinations, oral presentations and practical reports.

The first two years must be undertaken full-time. From third year, candidates may elect to complete their studies on either a full-time or part-time basis



Candidates submit a thesis of approximately 60,000 to 70,000 words. The word length for a thesis does not include footnotes, references or appendices, nor does it include equations, tables, diagrams or other illustrations. The thesis may be in the form of a traditional monograph or as a thesis by publication.

The work presented for examination must be the original work of the candidate, except where due reference is made in the text. A candidate may include published work which is directly relevant to the argument of the thesis, provided such work has been written during the period of candidature. Candidates may not present a thesis which the candidate has presented for any other degree or diploma at this University, or any other institution, except with the permission of the Research Graduate School Committee.


Coursework is conducted over two 12 week semesters in each of the first three years of the course. Coursework objectives will be assessed through seminar presentations, case presentations, written assignments and examinations. The Monash University system of grades is used for most units, with participation in seminars and practical sessions taken into consideration in the assessment process.

In addition to the core coursework units, candidates will be expected, from time to time, to attend workshops and relevant special seminars.

While much of the teaching will take place at Monash University's Clayton campus and the Monash Medical Centre (Clayton) campus, candidates should be prepared for some travel to other teaching venues

First year

Semester one
  • DPSY5101 Psychopathology 1
  • DPSY5102 Psychological assessment 1
  • DPSY5103 Research methods in professional psychology
  • DPSY5104 Fundamentals of professional practice
  • DPSY5105 Clinical developmental psychology
  • DPSY5203 Theories and techniques of intervention 1
Semester two

Second year

Semester one
  • DPSY6106 Advanced clinical practice
  • DPSY6107 Health psychology and behavioural medicine
  • DPSY6199 Intermediate practicum
Semester two

Third year

Clinical forensic psychology option
Semester one
  • DPSY7111 Advanced clinical psychology: Forensic/legal
  • DPSY7211 Psychology and criminal law
Semester two
  • DPSY7112 Psychology and children's and family law
  • DPSY7212 Psychology and civil law
Advanced clinical psychology option
Full year
  • DPSY7131 Advanced clinical psychology: General
Semester one
  • DPSY7111 Advanced clinical psychology: Forensic/legal
  • DPSY7141 Advanced clinical psychology: Child, adolescent and family, Part 1
Clinical child, adolescent and family psychology option
Semester one
  • DPSY7111 Advanced clinical psychology: Forensic/legal
  • DPSY7141 Advanced clinical psychology: Child, adolescent and family
Semester two
  • DPSY7241 Clinical child, adolescent and family psychology

Practicum placements

Candidates are required to gain supervised assessment, treatment and professional experience with a range of problems across varying age ranges. Thus, placements are available with clients of varied age groups in settings within the psychiatric, forensic and health domains. Candidates' responsibilities in their placements increase as they proceed through the training so that by the final placement, they should be able to independently carry out assessments and generate, implement and evaluate management plans.


Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology