Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2015 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.

print version

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2015 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.

Course code2116
Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleDPsych(Clinical)
CRICOS code073634F
Standard duration of study (years)

4 years FT, 8 years PT

The first two years of study must be undertaken full-time.

Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield, Clayton, Monash Medical Centre)

This course requires attendance at off-campus practical placements which may occur in a range of locations.

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

Dr Kate Taylor


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology 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, as well as coursework and clinical placements. It is expected that the research undertaken will make a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the field of clinical psychology. Doctoral candidates are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their candidature.

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.

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.

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 focuses 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.

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. Students will hone their clinical skills, including the conceptualisation, assessment, and treatment of complex clinical cases. There is an emphasis on teaching concepts, models and methodologies that can be applied in a variety of settings to diverse populations and presentations. There will be a focus on depth of knowledge in areas such as obesity, oncology, drug and alcohol treatment, psychosis, and co-morbid clinical presentations.


Successful completion of the program will signify that the candidate has successfully completed a course of postgraduate training in clinical psychology practice and 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 psychology.

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.

Student registration 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 psychologist, 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.

For further information refer to the APS websiteAPS website (


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

Areas of research

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


Research and thesis

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 three 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 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 Ethics and professional practice
  • DPSY5105 Clinical developmental psychology
  • DPSY5203 Theories and techniques of intervention 1
Semester two

Second year

Semester one
  • DPSY6107 Health psychology and behavioural medicine
  • DPSY6199 Intermediate practicum
Semester two

Third year

  • DPSY6399 Specialised clinical practicum

This is a full year unit for all specialisations.

Advanced clinical psychology specialisation
Full year
  • DPSY7131 Advanced clinical psychology: General
Clinical child, adolescent and family psychology specialisation
Full year
  • DPSY7141 Advanced clinical psychology: Child, adolescent and family, Part 1

Practicum placements

This course requires students to undertake off-campus clinical 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 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.

Areas of study


Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology