Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2014 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 applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and 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)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

School of Psychological Sciences: telephone +61 3 9905 3968; 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 must be completed in a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 10 years. The course duration is inclusive of any periods of intermission.
  • 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 Psychological Sciences. Candidature involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the candidate. It is expected that the research undertaken will make a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the field of clinical neuropsychology. Doctoral candidates are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their candidature.

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


Successful completion of the program will signify that the candidate has successfully completed a course of postgraduate training in research under academic supervision, and has submitted a thesis that the examiners have declared to be a significant contribution to knowledge and which demonstrates the candidate's capacity to carry out independent research.

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

Credit will not be given for work completed more than 10 years prior to admission to doctoral candidature, nor for more than 50 per cent of the coursework. Credit will not be given for coursework previously credited towards another degree or diploma. Credit may be granted for coursework and/or supervised practice already completed and equivalent to particular units and practical work in this course. Appropriate methods for assessment of equivalence of prior study will be applied either through a viva voce, written examination, submission of referees' reports and/or presentation of written work. No credit will be given for the elective units in this course.

Candidature rules

For all candidature rules and other important information for DPsych candidates refer to the Handbook for Doctoral DegreesHandbook for Doctoral Degrees (

Special Requirements

Students must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the correct documentation.

Police Checks

Students must have a current police checkcurrent police check ( regarding their suitability to undertake placements.

Working with Children checks

Students must have a current Working with Children checkcurrent Working with Children check ( regarding their suitability to undertake placements.

Health requirements

For the protection of other students, patients and themselves, DPsych candidates should comply with certain precautionary procedures. This policy is in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council advice that educational institutions training students in health sciences should ensure that such students are protected as far as possible by vaccination against risks of infection. The faculty's own policy requires that all students accept responsibility for having a satisfactory immunisation status at the commencement of the course.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

In keeping with a student's professional responsibilites, all DPsych students must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and must keep the School of Psychological Sciences informed of any matters that would impact on that registration.

Professional recognition

The program has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and on completion students qualify 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. Further information is available on the Psychology Board of AustraliaPsychology Board of Australia ( website.

This additional year is also required for membership of the APS Colleges of Clinical Neuropsychologists. For further information refer to the APS websiteAPS website (


This course consists of coursework (20 per cent), practicum placements (10 per cent), research thesis (70 per cent). 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.

Areas of research

This course may be undertaken in any of the areas of clinical neuropsychology researchareas of clinical neuropsychology research ( offered by the faculty.

Areas of study


Candidates must, in consultation with and under the direct supervision of a member/s of the academic staff:

(a.) carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the faculty in the candidate's chosen discipline for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the faculty

(b.) submit for assessment a thesis of not more than 70,000 words on the program of research which meets the requirements of the examiners. The thesis should embody the results of the candidate's investigation, which demonstrates independence of thought and the candidate's ability to carry out research in that discipline. Submission of the thesis based on or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished work may be permitted.


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. 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
  • DPSY5261 Neuropsychological models of cognition and behaviour 1
Semester two
  • DPSY5262 Case analysis and professional practice in neuropsychology 1
  • DPSY5263 Neuropsychological assessment
  • DPSY5265 Neuropsychological syndromes
  • DPSY6261 Developmental neuropsychology

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 and Advanced Psychopathology
  • DPSY6199 Intermediate practicum
  • 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, paediatric, 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