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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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(ClinNeuro)
CRICOS code040812K
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 Jennie Ponsford


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • 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 Neuropsychology is a research degree offered by the School of Psychology and Psychiatry.

Clinical neuropsychology is a field which applies an understanding of the neural basis of cognition, emotion and behaviour to the assessment and treatment of adults and children with neurological and psychological disorders. Clinical neuropsychologists are employed in acute hospitals, rehabilitation centres, aged care programmes, forensic settings, psychiatric settings, and paediatric facilities. Private practitioners undertake a range of work including medico-legal assessments. The degree prepares graduates, using the scientist-practitioner model, to conduct research in neuropsychology and to work as clinical neuropsychologists in a broad range of settings.

A feature of the course is that its training in clinical neuropsychology is extended through specialisation in a choice of areas. Candidates undertake an advanced specialised placement in their third year, which enables them to gain more specialised knowledge and experience in an area of their choice. Depending upon candidate demand, options may include:

  • rehabilitation, with its focus on assessment and management in a rehabilitation context
  • neurology, with its focus on assessment and management in a neurological context
  • child and adolescent neuropsychology, with its focus upon assessment and management of children and adolescents with neurological disorders
  • geriatric neuropsychology, with its focus on assessment and management of elderly persons with neurological and psychiatric disorders
  • psychiatric neuropsychology, with its focus on assessment and management of adults with a primary mental illness
  • forensic neuropsychology, with its focus on the assessment of individuals in the legal system.

Candidates conduct a prescribed program of research for a specified period under the direct supervision of a member of the academic staff. The 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 neuropsychology, 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.

This program also prepares graduates for careers in a broad range of settings by providing advanced training in both research and the skills required for practice in clinical neuropsychology.

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.

Probationary candidature

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 neuropsychologist 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 Neuropsychologist, 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 Neuropsychologists. 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, students 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 two 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 at Monash Medical Centre in Clayton, candidates should be prepared for some travel to other teaching venues.

First year

Semester one
  • DPSY5102 Psychological assessment 1
  • DPSY5103 Research methods in professional psychology
  • DPSY5161 Fundamentals of professional practice in neuropsychology
  • DPSY5162 Neuroanatomy for the clinical neuropsychologist
Semester two
  • DPSY5261 Neuropsychological models of cognition and behaviour 1
  • DPSY5262 Case analysis and professional practice in neuropsychology 1
  • DPSY5263 Neuropsychological assessment
  • DPSY5265 Neuropsychological syndromes

Second year

Semester one
  • DPSY5101 Psychopathology 1
  • DPSY5203 Theories and techniques of intervention 1
  • DPSY5299 Introductory practicum
  • DPSY6162 Case analysis and professional practice in neuropsychology 2
Semester two
  • DPSY6105 Psychopharmacology
  • DPSY6199 Intermediate practicum
  • DPSY6261 Developmental neuropsychology
  • DPSY6262 Case analysis and professional practice in neuropsychology 3
  • DPSY6263 Recovery of function and rehabilitation after brain injury

Third year

Semester one
Semester two
  • DPSY7199 Advanced specialised practicum

Practicum placements

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


Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology