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Doctor of Philosophy (Science) [MCP/PhD]

Our students share their stories about the opportunities that postgraduate study opened up for them.

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Overview

The Master of Clinical Psychology and Doctor of Philosophy will open the doors to both a professional and research career in clinical psychology. The degree’s combination of clinical and doctorate-level research training will enable you to work around the world as a psychologist.

The Master of Clinical Psychology and Doctor of Philosophy (MCP/PhD) is ideal if you want to become a qualified clinical psychologist, but are also interested in a path into research or academia. In this double degree you will complete the coursework program, the Master of Clinical Psychology (MCP), as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research thesis. 

The four-and-a-half-year course is structured so that MCP coursework is completed over the first three years (1st year is full-time MCP; 2nd and 3rd years are concurrent MCP part-time and PhD full-time) and the remaining three semesters are for full-time PhD studies.

Like the MCP program, the MCP/PhD includes a minimum of 1200 hours of clinical placements. These will be done both in our on-campus Psychology Clinic as well as in outstanding teaching hospitals like Westmead Hospital and the Children's Hospital at Westmead. And, with careful selection of clinical placements and additional clinical placements hours, MCP/PhD graduates can meet UK, US and Canadian standards.

To assist students to make informed choices about their study, we have identified the Inherent Requirements for coursework courses in clinical psychology. For more information about the requirements, please read the inherent requirements for clinical psychology.

Subject areas

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

What you'll study

Study plan

In first year, you will enrol full time in the MCP coursework units of study. In second and third year, you will complete the MCP coursework units and commence PhD research. In fourth and fifth year, you will be enrolled full time in the PhD. Upon completion of all requirements for both degrees students will graduate with a MCP/PhD award. Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule.

Degree sample: Master of Clinical Psychology / Doctor of Philosophy

Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1
Clinical Skills and Practice
Treatment Across the Lifespan
Assessment Across the Lifespan
Research, Ethics and Professional Practice
Case and Research Seminars 1
Placement 1
Health and Neuropsychology
Specialised Areas of Practice
Year 2
Full time enrolment in PhD
Case and Research Seminars 2
Reflective Practice and Placement 2
Full time enrolment in PhD
External Placement 1
Advanced Models and Seminars
Year 3
Full time enrolment in PhD
Research Project 1
External Placement 2
Full time enrolment in PhD
Case and Research Seminars 3
Research Project 2
Year 4
Full time enrolment in PhD
Full time enrolment in PhD
Year 5
Full time enrolment in PhD
 

 

Units of Study

Admission criteria

For the MCP component:

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit and interview, according to the following admissions criteria:

  • Completion of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited four year bachelors degree with honours in psychology from a higher education provider, gaining at least an upper second class (2.1) honours, or equivalent. 
    • The bachelors degree with honours must have been completed within 10 years of commencing the MCP or the MCP/PhD.
    • The bachelors degree with honours must include a major research project and thesis as an essential part of the degree.
      • You are not required to have completed an empirical research project in the area of abnormal or clinical psychology. However, the selection process aims to identify applicants that have a demonstrated interest in these areas, an awareness of clinical issues, and relevant experience. Clinical relevance may be considered.
    • Within the Faculty of Science in the University of Sydney, upper second class (2.1) honours is considered to be an overall fourth year result of no less than 75%.
      • Results from the first three years of undergraduate study are not included in the calculation of the overall fourth year honours result.
      • Applicants with upper second class (2.1) honours with an overall fourth year honours result of less than 75% from other universities or tertiary institutions may be considered. However, please note that entry is highly competitive.
      • Applicants who hold a bachelors degree with honours and
        who have additionally completed a Master of Philosophy or Master of Science by research in psychology may be considered in lieu of upper second class (2.1) honours.
  • You must satisfy the Head of the School of Psychology (or delegate) of your personal suitability for the practice of clinical psychology through your application, referee reports and selection interview.
For the PhD component:

Prior to applying, you must arrange a research supervisor from the School of Psychology, by contacting academics directly to discuss potential supervision. You will be required to provide evidence of supervisor contact and acceptance. Once you have arranged a supervisor, you will be required to submit a research proposal to support your application. Further information:

Research Supervisor Connect 
School of Psychology Staff Research Areas 
Clinical Psychology Unit Staff Research Areas

Application procedure

Please refer to the School of Psychology’s Application Procedure Guide.

Ensure you submit the correct application(s)

MCP/PhD applicants must:

  • Submit one application for MCP, and
  • Submit one application for PhD using the Apply button above.

Please note that the application for PhD (with MCP) is different to the application for standalone PhD. Please do not submit an application for standalone PhD.

Upload documents

MCP/PhD applicants are required to upload the following documents:

1. Academic PDF

  • This PDF must include all the following items:
    • Academic transcripts
    • Grading scheme (if not on transcript)
    • Testamur
    • Evidence of Honours class and grade
    • Evidence of Honours research thesis
    • APS assessment letter (if overseas qualifications – see below)
    • Certified translations (if documents not in English)
  • Please merge all academic items into one PDF and upload this to your application. Do not upload individual PDF of each item, e.g. transcript, grading, etc.

2. Supplementary Form PDF

  • Please complete the Supplementary Form and upload this to your application.
  • In order to be competitive, applicants must have relevant work experience and research publications. Ensure you provide a summary of your work experience and research publications within the Supplementary Form.
  • Applicants who do not correctly complete and upload the Supplementary Form by the application closing date will not be considered.

3. Identity PDF

  • This PDF must include all the following items:
    • Evidence of citizenship and/or residency status
    • Proof of change of name (if applicable)
  • Please merge all identity items into one PDF and upload this to your application. Do not upload individual PDF of each item, e.g. birth certificate, change of name, etc.

4. English PDF

  • This PDF must include evidence of you satisfying the University of Sydney’s and AHPRA's English language requirements (if applicable).
  • Please merge all English items into one PDF and upload this to your application. Do not upload individual PDF of each item, e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc.

5. Research PDF

  • This PDF must include all the following items:
    • Research proposal
    • Evidence of contact with and acceptance by research supervisor
  • Please merge all research items into one PDF and upload this to your application. Do not upload individual PDF of each item, e.g. proposal, supervisor emails, etc.

For MCP/PhD applicants, all 5 document PDFs must be uploaded to both the MCP application and the PhD application. You must ensure that the 5 document PDFs uploaded to your MCP application match precisely with the 5 document PDFs uploaded to your PhD application.

All documents must be received by the application closing date or your application will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered nor proceed to interview. Late applications are not accepted.

Referee reports

Referee reports must be provided via Psychology Reference System.

  • Applicants must register with Psychology Reference System and nominate referees. Referees are then prompted to complete an online reference. Applicants must share the completed references with the University of Sydney via Psychology Reference System.
  • Applicants who do not correctly provide completed references and share these with the University of Sydney via Psychology Reference System by the application closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that the University of Sydney does not operate Psychology Reference System. The University of Sydney is not responsible for monitoring and reviewing content of the Psychology Reference System website.

For MCP/PhD applicants, two academic references are required.

Overseas qualifications (if relevant)

All qualifications obtained from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider must be assessed as equivalent by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) before an application may be submitted. If your qualification was obtained from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider you must provide evidence of an individual (or group) conducted research project and thesis. Provide the degree name, thesis title and thesis abstract, including information on methods used and whether the project was theoretical or conducted with methods consistent with an Australian fourth year honours degree. To determine equivalency, visit APAC or the APS.

Cadigal Program (if relevant)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants who wish to be considered for admission under the Cadigal Program must additionally submit a Cadigal application. Eligible applicants may be given priority for interviews.

Selection interviews

Admission to this course is extremely competitive due the high calibre of applications received and the limited number of places available each year. Only top-ranking applicants meeting all academic admission requirements will be invited to attend a selection interview. The selection interview is usually held in the last week of November.

Professional accreditation

The MCP/PhD is accredited by the APAC as a fifth and sixth year of study, and is an approved qualification for Associate Membership of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's (AHPRA) Psychology Board of Australia (PBA) also recognises the program for the purpose of registration and for endorsement of practice in clinical psychology.

Graduate opportunities

This program is recognised by the NSW Ministry of Health as qualifying the holder for progression to the grade of clinical psychologist.

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increase


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Domestic Higher Degree by Research Student fee information


Commencing 1 January 2017, the Research Training Program (RTP) has been introduced by the Australian Government to support postgraduate research scholarships. The RTP enables the University to award eligible domestic and international Higher Degree by Research students (RTP Students) with a RTP Fees Offset, which is a type of RTP Scholarship. This RTP Scholarship is to assist with tuition fees that would otherwise be payable by students. The University's allocation of funding under the RTP is governed by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017 (as may be amended or replaced from time to time) and relevant Conditions of Grant prescribed by the Government (Relevant Laws).
A student's continued eligibility is subject to Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended or replaced from time to time). A RTP Fees Offset entitles a student (depending on their course) to a period of tuition fee support for either up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a Doctorate by Research, or up to a maximum of two years of full-time equivalent study for a Master's by Research from the course of study commencement date. Different periods of support apply for a part-time student as set out in University policy and procedures. Please note that, when a student has exhausted the maximum period of support under this RTP Scholarship, or they do not comply with a requirement of the RTP Scholarship as set out in University policy and procedures, the University must terminate the Scholarship. If the student wishes to continue their candidature in the same degree (and they are approved to do so), they will be transferred to a domestic fee paying place and may be liable for tuition fees at a rate determined by the University at the time.
Please note that a student's award of, and continued entitlement to, the RTP Scholarship is subject to change consistent with Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended and replaced from time to time). The University determines the allocation of this Government support and the processes by which this support is managed.
Please consult the Australian Government's website at: https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program for information on RTP Scholarships and eligibility requirements.

Additional incidental costs


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.