Faculty of Education

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please 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 or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Mr Nicholas Gamble



  • First semester 2016 (Evening)


This unit includes a review of the important legislation for psychologists, professional organisations for psychologists, ethics committees and codes of professional conduct. It addresses issues of privacy, confidentiality, privilege and informed consent, professional responsibility in relation to competence, dual relationships and conflicts of interest, the role of the psychologist in court, ethical issues raised by having children as clients, ethical issues in the use of psychological tests, ethical issues in the provision of psychological services to people from a different cultural background, managing the suicidal client, ethical issues in reporting child abuse, the prediction of dangerousness, ethical issues pertaining to service delivery over the internet and by email, and the ethics and responsibilities of supervision. Students pursue a program of readings and assignments which direct attention to ethical, legal and social issues involved in psychological practice. These issues cover relevant legislation, Australian Psychological Society (APS) and other codes of professional conduct for psychologists, registration requirements and some social ramifications of psychological practice.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. understand the purpose of legislation relating to the practice of psychology and how to comply with such legislation and appreciate the role of ethics in maintaining the integrity and cohesiveness of the profession
  2. become familiar with the ethical principles to be adhered to in psychological practice
  3. understand the psychologist's responsibilities in relation to clients
  4. develop an appreciation of appropriate professional behaviour in a number of potentially complex situations
  5. develop decision-making strategies to assist in the maintenance of ethical conduct.


Essay on a contemporary issue in professional practice (1600 words, 40%)
Class presentation of ethical issues (800 words equivalent, 20%)
Examination (ethical and legal issues) (3 hours, 1600 words equivalent, 40%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hour lecture per week

(b.) Additional requirements

  • 10 hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Successful completion of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited major sequence in psychology.