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 Education

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

Course coordinator


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • This course is not available to holders of an Australian international student visa.
  • This course requires students to undertake off-campus clinical placements.


This course 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 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program, with research undertaken in one of the areas listed below. 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 part-time equivalent, 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. In undertaking the PhD research thesis, students use quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods to develop and carry out research which make an original and substantive contribution to counselling psychology.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • apply of a range of evidence-based psychotherapies
  • apply sound practice principles concerning the psychotherapeutic relationship and interventions with couples, families and groups
  • administer and interpret a wide range of psychological tests and assessment instruments
  • liaise and work effectively with other mental health and allied health professionals in a range of organisational contexts
  • work in ethically appropriate ways in their psychological practice in accordance with the requirements of the profession
  • demonstrate high level skills in mandatory competencies associated with a specialist counselling psychology practitioner
  • reflect on their own professional and personal functioning within a therapeutic relationship
  • demonstrate knowledge of appropriate research methodologies for the study of human behaviour and of psychological practice
  • perform appropriately designed research studies of aspects of human behaviour and of psychotherapeutic practice.

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 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 Director of Psychology Programs.

Clinical expenses

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

Provisional registration and mandatory checks and security clearances

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 CheckWorking with Children Check (

Professional recognition

Graduates qualify for membership of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS)Australian Psychological Society (MAPS) (, meet the academic requirements for registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of AustraliaPsychology Board of Australia ( and meet most requirements for membership of the College of Counselling Psychologists of the Australian Psychological SocietyCollege of Counselling Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society ( This program is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). From 1 July 2014 the Psychology Board of Australia requires applicants for general registration to sit the National Psychology Examination. Applicants for general registration who have completed an APAC-accredited master's, doctorate or combined master's/PhD are exempt from sitting the examination until 30 June 2016.


This course consists of advanced coursework, supervised practica and a research thesis. Students enrol for year one in the Master of Psychology (Counselling). This requires completion of the initial 48 points of the combined degree, consisting of the three coursework 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 enrol in the research-intensive component in 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 University Institute of Graduate ResearchMonash University Institute of Graduate Research ( requirements for PhD studies.

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


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 OfficeResearch Degrees Office ( 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:

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


Master of Psychology (Counselling)/Doctor of Philosophy