Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Neuropsychology) - 2019

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 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.

Other commencement years for this course: 2018

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


Dr Rene Stolwyk

Contact details

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

Faculty Research Office: telephone +61 3 9905 4313; email

Visit the faculty graduate research degreesgraduate research degrees ( website

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)

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


Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Neuropsychology)


The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Neuropsychology) is a graduate research degree offered by the School of Psychological Sciences. Enrolment involves the independent investigation of a research problem relevant to clinical neuropsychology 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 neuropsychology. Doctoral students are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their enrolment.

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 conditions affecting the brain. Clinical neuropsychologists are employed in acute hospitals, rehabilitation centres, aged care programs, 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.


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

Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Neuropsychology) will be scientist practitioners who are able to:

  • demonstrate extensive knowledge of the phenomenology, aetiology, assessment, and management of conditions affecting the brain in children, adolescents and adults across the lifespan
  • explain the cognitive, emotional and behavioural sequelae of brain and mental health conditions
  • select, administer and interpret a range of neuropsychological and other clinical tests
  • construct comprehensive biopsychosocial case formulations
  • plan, implement and evaluate the efficacy of a variety of cognitive, psychological and behavioural interventions
  • provide verbal feedback on assessment results and write professional reports for a range of purposes including for other professionals, legal/insurance and statutory bodies, clients and their families
  • organise and manage a case load including the keeping of concise, informative and relevant case notes
  • identify and apply the principles of the APS Code of Ethics to research and practice
  • identify and define clinically relevant research questions and the research methods to address these
  • apply and appraise their chosen research methodology/methodologies
  • demonstrate theoretical knowledge at doctoral level in their chosen field of research
  • write journal publications and a high quality thesis
  • contribute new information or new ways of understanding information in the field of research relevant to clinical neuropsychology
  • present research findings and case reports to academic, professional and lay audiences
  • effectively apply research methods and findings to professional practice.

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

This course requires students to undertake off-campus clinical placements, which are organised by the School of Psychological Sciences. Students are required to gain extensive supervised assessment, treatment and professional experience with a range of problems across varying age ranges. Thus, placements (introductory, intermediate and advanced) are available in a variety of settings within the health, rehabilitation, paediatric, psychiatric and forensic domains. Students' responsibilities in their placements increase as they proceed through the training so that by the final advanced placement, they should be able to independently carry out assessments and generate, implement and evaluate management plans.

Professional recognition

The program has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation CouncilAustralian Psychology Accreditation Council ( (APAC) and on completion students qualify for full registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australian as well as membership of the Australian Psychological SocietyAustralian Psychological Society ( (APS).

In order to gain endorsement as a clinical neuropsychologist, 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 AustraliaPsychology Board of Australia ( website.


This course consists of coursework (10 per cent), practicum placements (20 per cent), 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. We have world-class research activity in the areas of addiction, attention and memory, sleep, brain injury and rehabilitation, cognitive behaviour therapy, and social neuroscience, among others.


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 in the student's chosen discipline 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 that discipline. 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, students should be prepared for some travel to other teaching locations.

First year

Semester one
  • PSY6102 Psychological assessment
  • PSY6161 Legal and ethical principles in clinical neuropsychology practice and research
  • PSY6162 Neuroanatomy and models of cognition for the clinical neuropsychologist
Semester two
  • PSY6163 Neuropsychological assessment and neuropsychological syndromes
  • PSY6164 Developmental neuropsychology

Second year

Semester one
  • PSY6201 Psychopathology and theories and techniques of intervention
  • PSY6208 Introductory placement and case analysis (clinical neuropsychology)
Semester two
  • PSY6202 Psychopharmacology and advanced psychopathology
  • PSY6203 Recovery of function and rehabilitation after brain injury
  • PSY6209 Intermediate placement and case analysis (clinical neuropsychology)

Third year

Semester one
  • PSY6302 Advanced placement and case analysis (clinical neuropsychology)