Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) - 2018

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2018 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

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

Course code


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences


Associate Professor Nikolaos Kazantzis

Contact details

School of Psychological SciencesSchool of Psychological Sciences ( telephone +61 3 9905 4359; email

Faculty Research OfficeFaculty Research Office ( telephone +61 3 9905 4313; email

Admission and fees


Course type


Standard duration

4 years FT, 8 years PT

3-4 years equivalent full-time. The first two years of study must be undertaken full-time.

Your PhD research project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within 3 years equivalent full time, with the expectation you will complete your degree within 3 to 4 years equivalent full time.

Mode and location

On-campus (Clayton)


Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology)


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


The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) is a graduate research degree which adheres to a scientist practitioner/clinical science model of training, with a dual emphasis on clinical research and training for professional practice. It prepares graduates to work as clinical psychologists in both research and clinical contexts. This program is committed to training the next generation of leaders in clinical psychology, by enabling our trainees to conduct research that advances our scientific knowledge of psychiatric disorders, and advances understanding of how to deliver evidence-based methods of assessment and clinical intervention for those with mental health problems.

The program is driven by a set of values that guide every aspect of our work. We believe we will be successful if our students are successful in developing, exciting, and meaningfully contributing to policy and advancements to the profession. We adhere to the highest professional standards in training clinical psychologists, and through our international and national networks we create the highest quality research experience for all our students. We also build and maintain relationships with students based on trust, are non-hierarchical and inclusive, and sustain a commitment to a duty of care to our students.

Our teaching and research team comprises accomplished clinical researchers who have been internationally recognised through prestigious awards, as well as accomplished practitioners and clinical supervisors. Many of our staff maintain leadership positions for professional organisations in Australia and internationally.

Our program integrates research, coursework, and clinical placements. Candidates are required to conduct a program of research in an area directly relevant to clinical psychology with close mentorship/supervision provided by academic staff members. The program includes intensive skills-based coursework, as well as a minimum of 1000 supervised placement hours. Our placements provide comprehensive experience with a diverse range of clinical populations in both public and private mental health care settings, including our renowned clinic, the Monash Psychology Centre.


These course outcomes are aligned with the [[Australian Qualifications Framework level 10 and Monash Graduate Attributes]].

Successful completion of the program will signify that the student 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 student's capacity to carry out independent, original research.

This course emphasises the integration of research and clinical work to develop innovators who will advance the theoretical and empirical bases of knowledge in clinical psychology.

Accordingly, graduates of this course will be able to achieve outcomes in one broad and two specific domains:

General domain

  • identify and apply the principles of the APS Code of Ethics to research and practice
  • demonstrate knowledge of the substantive field of clinical psychology, including a. emotional, cognitive, and behavioural sequelae of mental health disorders, while considering b. individual differences and issues of diversity as pertinent to clinical psychology
  • demonstrate self-directed reflective practice as a developing health professional in supervision and case-work.

Domain of research professional

  • design, carry out, and disseminate empirical research relevant to clinical psychology, including research on the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions
  • present research findings and case studies in a range of settings (e.g. placement, academic/conference, community)
  • adopt the orientation that education in psychology is career-long and demonstrate identification and adoption of new research findings relevant to clinical psychology.

Domain of professional practice

  • select, administer, and interpret evidence-based psychological assessment, and including semi-structured (diagnostic) interviews
  • plan, implement, and evaluate empirically supported psychological interventions, which are informed by problem-focused and comprehensive theoretically-based case formulations
  • carry out their responsibilities professionally, including a. management of a suitable a caseload; b. timely and efficient note keeping and report writing; and c. skilled interpersonal liaison and professional reporting to other professionals, legal/insurance and statutory bodies, clients and their families.

Credit for prior studies

Credit will not be given for work completed more than 10 years prior to admission to enrolment, and will be assessed in accordance with the University's Credit policyCredit policy (

Conditions of enrolment

You will be required to complete:

  • Monash Graduate Research Induction (online)
  • Research Integrity (online)
  • any faculty or program induction requirements.

As a student of the university, you will be required to abide by all relevant statutes, regulations, policies and procedures. This includes maintaining satisfactory progress via regular milestone reviews in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policyGraduate Research Progress Management policy ( and procedures, ensuring you are undertaking research of an appropriate quality and scale as required by your course. You should refer to the University's current statutes and the University Policy BankUniversity Policy Bank ( for links to relevant policies, procedures and guidelines.

Special requirements

You must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation.

Police checks

You must have a current Police check regarding your suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's Police checksPolice checks ( webpage.

Working with Children checks

You must have a current Working with Children check regarding your suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's Working with Children checksWorking with Children checks ( webpage.

Health requirements

For the protection of other students, patients and themselves, doctoral students in clinical psychology 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 responsibilities, all doctoral students in clinical psychology must be provisionally registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation AgencyAustralian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency ( and must keep the School of Psychological Sciences informed of any matters that would impact on that registration. Students may apply for full registration as a psychologist in Australia upon successful completion of the degree.

Practicum placements

Our dedicated clinical placement coordinator works with each student to ensure that their individual training needs are met both within and across placements. All of our students have their first placement at the Monash Psychology Centre, with close supervision from one of our members of staff (board-accredited supervisors). Our placement coordinator then facilitates external placements with a diverse range of clinical populations in both public and private mental health care settings, who are partnered with Monash.

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for full registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, part of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The course is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. In order to gain endorsement as a clinical psychologist, an additional minimum two years of approved, supervised, full-time equivalent practice with a board-approved supervisor is required. Further information is available on the Psychology Board of Australia website.


This course consists of coursework (10 per cent), practicum placements (20 per cent), and research thesis (70 per cent). The first two years must be undertaken full-time. From third year, domestic students may elect to complete their studies on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Areas of research

An important consideration for entry is that your interests align closely with the research activitiesresearch activities ( of one of the clinical academic staff members, or one of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences researchers who is able to supervise clinically relevant research.


Research and thesis

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

1. carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, in psychology for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the Faculty

2. submit for assessment a thesis of not more than 80,000 words on the program of research which meets the requirements of the examiners. The thesis should embody the results of the student's investigation, which demonstrates independence of thought and the student's ability to carry out research in psychology. Submission of a thesis including published worksthesis including published works ( may be permitted.

Students are required to undertake regular progress milestones to support them in conducting research of an appropriate quality, originality and depth as required by their course of study, in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policy and supporting procedures.


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 the Monash Psychology Centre in Notting Hill, students should be prepared for some travel to other teaching locations.

Year 1

Full Year

PSY6101 Psychopathology

PSY6104 Cognitive behaviour therapies: Processes and applications

Semester 1

PSY6102 Psychological assessment

PSY6103 Legal and ethical principles in clinical psychology practice and research

Semester 2

PSY6105 Clinical developmental psychology

Year 2

Semester 1

PSY6205 Introductory Placement and Case Analysis (Clinical Psychology)

Semester 2

PSY6204 Clinical neuropsychology

PSY6207 Health psychology and behavioural medicine

PSY6206 Intermediate placement and case analysis (clinical psychology)

Year 3

PSY6301 Advanced placement and case analysis (clinical psychology)