Professional Doctorate

Candidates undertaking a Professional Doctorate make a significant and original contribution to professional practice. You will write a thesis and complete a coursework component. Your overall works should be equivalent to 70,000 – 100,000 words.

A Professional Doctorate student is expected to:

  • conduct independent research of high originality and quality
  • independently conceive of, design, conduct and complete a research project or program
  • develop a critical knowledge and understanding of the research area and methodological approaches
  • communicate convincingly with clarity and relevance to appropriate audiences.

Entry requirements

Doctor of Psychology programs

You must have completed at least four years of studies in psychology at a high level of achievement. For example, one of the following:

  • a four-year (or equivalent) sequence of studies in psychology at first or upper second class level in a course or courses accredited by the APS
  • equivalent overseas qualifications recognised by the APS
  • a master degree in psychology.

A high level of achievement is the equivalent of an honours degree class 1 (average grade between 80-100) or class 2A (average grade between 70-79).

You must have been approved for the award of the degree or degrees you studied.

You must also have experience or training in counselling, such as:

  • experience in face-to-face counselling
  • significant training in counselling skills
  • counselling skills in tertiary programs
  • other appropriate work experience.

You must also undertake a selection interview.

You will also need to check the specific entry requirements for your program.

English language requirements (international applicants)

International candidates must meet one of the following requirements:

  • obtain a minimum IELTS overall band of 6.5 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 6.0 or a TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) minimum score of 79 (with a reading band no less than 18 and writing band no less than 20); or Pearson (PTE) 58 (no communicative skills less than 50) no longer than 24 months before submitting your application
  • satisfactorily complete the Swinburne College English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced level certificate at the postgraduate level (EAP 5: PG-70%)
  • successfully complete a total of 24 months (full time equivalent) of formal study where the language of instruction and assessment was English at AQF level 7 or above (or equivalent) at an approved university no longer than 60 months before submitting your application.

Research training