Doctor of Clinical Psychology / Master of Science

 

Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.
In respect of the Doctor of Clinical Psychology component of the combined course, these resolutions must be read in conjunction with the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2010 (the 'Coursework Rule') and the Resolutions of the Faculty of Science relating to Coursework degree. In respect of the Master of Science component, they must be read in conjunction with the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011.

Course resolutions

1 Course codes

Code

Course and stream title

LB001/LC083

Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science

2 Attendance pattern

The attendance pattern for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology is full-time; part-time attendance may be allowed with permission from the Director of Clinical Training. The attendance pattern for the Master of Science is full- or part-time according to candidate choice.

3 Admission to candidature


Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit and interview performance, according to the following admissions criteria.
(1)
To be eligible to be admitted to candidature by the Dean or Associate Dean, an applicant must:
(a)
hold or have completed the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Science (Honours), Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Bachelor of Economics (Social Sciences)(Honours) or Bachelor of Liberal Studies (Honours) from the University of Sydney, with first class honours, or second class honours, division 1, in Psychology, or an equivalent award of the University of Sydney; and
(b)
satisfy the Head of the School of Psychology of his or her personal suitability for the practice of clinical psychology, as determined by personal interview and analysis of units of study completed.
(2)
The Dean or Associate Dean may admit to candidature an applicant who does not meet the requirements of sub-clause (1), provided that the applicant holds a qualification or qualifications that, in the opinion of the Faculty Board of Postgraduate Research, are equivalent to those prescribed in sub-clause (1).
(3)
Admission to candidature for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology is available only in the combined course for the degrees of Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science, except as provided in Clause 7 below.
(4)
An applicant for admission to candidature must submit to the Faculty:
(a)
satisfactory evidence of the applicant's eligibility for admission;
(b)
two referees' reports (one academic, the other either academic or work experience related), as required by the Head of the School of Psychology; and
(c)
a statement certifying the applicant's understanding that, subject to the HDR Rule, if the candidature is successful, his or her thesis will be lodged with the University Librarian and made available for immediate public use.

4 Requirements for award

(1)
The units of study that may be taken for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology component of the combined course are set out in the table of units of study for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science course.
(2)
To qualify for the award of the degrees of Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science, a candidate must:
(a)
complete 84 credit points of units of study as set out in the Table of Units of Study;
(b)
complete clinical internships as prescribed by the Head of School; and
(c)
conduct research on an approved topic and write a thesis embodying the results of the research, as prescribed in the course resolutions relating to the degree of Master of Science.

5 Progression rules

Candidates will usually enrol part-time in the Master of Science having completed three semesters of the Doctor of Clinical Psychology component, and then change to full-time status following four semesters of enrolment in the DCP. Candidates wishing to transfer to a PhD can seek approval to transfer during their fifth semester of enrolment in the Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree.

6 Cross-institutional study

Cross-institutional study is not available in this course.

7 Course transfer

(1)
The Doctor of Clinical Psychology must be completed as part of a combined degree course with either the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree.
(2)
Candidates in the combined degree course may, with the permission of the Dean or Associate Dean, transfer from the Master of Science to the Doctor of Philosophy degree, while in the combined degree course.
(3)
A candidate in the combined degree course may abandon the Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree and continue in either the Master of Science or the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
(4)
A student who has completed either the Master of Science or the Doctor of Philosophy after abandoning the combined degree course may, with the approval of the Dean or Associate Dean, be readmitted to Doctor of Clinical Psychology candidature.
(5)
Any readmission to candidature under sub-clause (3) or (4) must, except with the permission of the Dean, occur within 18 semesters of first enrolment in the DCP/MSc course and within 10 semesters of withdrawal from DCP/MSc candidature, to match accreditation standards.

8 Credit for previous study

(1)
Credit transfer for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology component is subject to the provisions of the Coursework Rule and the Resolutions of the Faculty of Science, except that:
(a)
no more than 48 credit points may be credited; and
(b)
the coursework should have been completed no more than three years prior to first enrolment in this course and not have been counted towards another award.
(2)
Credit transfer for the Master of Science component is subject to the provisions of the course resolutions relating to the degree of Master of Science and the HDR Rule.

9 Time limits

Except with the permission of the Dean or Associate Dean, a candidate will complete the requirements for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science degrees in the combined degree course:
(1)
within a minimum period of six semesters and a maximum period of twelve semesters; and
(2)
within nine calendar years of admission to candidature.

10 Transitional provisions

(1)
These resolutions apply to students who commenced their candidature after 1 January, 2012 and students who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January, 2012 who elect to proceed under these resolutions.
(2)
Candidates who commenced prior to 1 January, 2012 may complete the requirements in accordance with the resolutions in force at the time of their commencement, provided that requirements are completed by 1 January, 2018. The Faculty may specify a later date for completion or specify alternative requirements for completion of candidatures that extend beyond this time.

Course overview

The School of Psychology offers a double degree which trains psychology graduates in the professional specialisation of clinical psychology: Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science course.

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science is recognised, in principle, by the New South Wales Ministry of Health as qualifying the holder for progression to the grade of Clinical Psychologist.

The course is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) as a 5th, 6th and 7th year of training, and is an approved qualification for Associate Membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists and the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA).

The Psychology Board of Australia (PBA), through APAC, recognises the course for the purposes of registration and endorsement of practice in clinical psychology.

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science (DCP/MSc) involves three years of full-time study and includes three components; academic course work, supervised clinical placements and research. The academic coursework involves lectures, workshops, forums and seminars by the University academic staff. Qualified Clinical Psychologists provide trainees with supervised clinical practice in the internal off-campus Psychology Clinic as well as a variety of external teaching hospitals and clinics. The program includes a minimum of 1500 hours of clinical placement experience and 600 patient contact hours. The research component requires students to produce a Research Thesis on a clinical topic that fulfills the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

All students enrol in the DCP degree and in their second year enrol in an MSc degree as well. On completion of all the course requirements at the end of third year, students will graduate with a DCP and MSc degree.

Students who demonstrate acceptable academic ability in their initial application and who meet the School's requirements for acceptance into a PhD program (including having a supervisor who agrees to supervise the PhD project) may take the PhD research path, and in their second year enrol directly into a PhD. Students in the MSc research path who wish to upgrade, and who have made excellent progress, and whose projects are of sufficient scope and merit may apply in the first semester of the third year for transfer to a PhD degree, subject to approval and satisfactory production of a thesis proposal which outlines how the thesis, on completion, will make a contribution to knowledge in a specialist area of study.

Selection

Applicants are selected following the evaluation of application forms, supporting documentation and a selection interview. Applicants must meet the admission requirements to be considered for the selection interview (an essential part of the selection process). Offering of places are dependent upon the ranking of applicants and competition for places.

Selection interview criteria:

  • Undergraduate academic performance
  • Additional academic qualifications in psychology: MSc or PhD in psychology
  • Publications: published journal articles, published reports, conference presentations
  • Referee reports
  • Relevant clinical work experience: Paid work experience (Psychologist, Counsellor, clinically relevant research), Voluntary work experience (teaching, research, other). NB: Receptionist, Shop Assistant, babysitting or similar work is not considered relevant work experience.
Clinical relevance for application

Students applying for the DCP/MSc are not required to have completed an empirical research project in the area of Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology or Neuropsychology.

The selection process aims to identify students with a demonstrated interest in these areas, an awareness of clinical issues, and relevant experience. Clinical relevance can be demonstrated on the basis of projects in many areas of psychology or relevant work experience.

Provisional registration

All intending candidates are required to apply for and gain provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia before commencing their candidature, or if applicable, full registration.

Please note that the Psychology Board of Australia requires that all non-Australian qualifications be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). See www.psychologyboard.gov.au for more information.

Course structure

The DCP/MSc program is based on a Scientist-Practitioner model with cognitive-behavioural an emphasis, providing students with expertise, both practical and academic, to enable them to work as professional Clinical Psychologists in a variety of clinical settings. Advanced units of study and external placements allow students to develop a breadth of clinical experience as they are introduced to additional therapeutic approaches such as Schema therapy, ACT, DBT, Systems and Child and Family therapy.

Our graduates will have a highly developed knowledge base and strong clinical skills necessary for both the practice of professional psychology on the one hand and conducting psychological research on the other.