These practica are concerned primarily with helping students to make the transition from formal professional training to the clinical practice setting. Initially, new students will be allocated to clients at the Swinburne Psychology Centre. In addition, students will participate in the administration of the Centre and in dealing with telephone and intake enquiries to the Centre.

Students will be allocated clients in accordance with their existing levels of intervention skills, their professional skills and their professional interests. A minimum case load will be four (4) clients per week. Students will conduct intake assessments prior to commencing on intervention work. Students will be expected to see a mixture of child, adolescent and adult and elderly clients and to gather experience in working with groups and families as well as individuals.

A supervisor will be appointed and will meet regularly with the student for supervision. Usually this will involve one (1) hour of supervision for every five (5) hours of client contact. The supervisor will be a clinical associate of the Centre. Students will also meet in small group case conference supervision sessions. In these case conferences, students will present reports on cases for discussion by the group. In addition, each student will write a case summary after termination with each client. Students will videotape their therapy sessions as an aid to supervision. Students will be evaluated by the supervisor(s) most directly associated with their work, together with the Director of the Centre. Performance will be reviewed mid-way through the placement and an evaluation made at the end.

Students will also be exposed to professional development programs to enhance skills necessary for working in a mental health setting. Topics may include: cultural sensitivity, working with the elderly, working with suicidal clients, issues with children, understanding child abuse, specific issues in working with male clients, etc.

This subject also includes the teaching of ethical, professional and forensic issues that confront psychologists. This involves discussing the background to the profession, including information about professional associations and registration requirements in the state of Victoria. Issues such as competence, confidentiality, consent and professional conduct are covered in the context of practical ethical cases. Practical professional skills such as report writing, record keeping and analysing ethical dilemmas in psychology practice are addressed. Forensic issues such as the psychologist’s role in court, insanity and competence, psychological syndromes, expert evidence and children and the law are addressed. Awareness of, and application, of the APS Code of Ethics is emphasised.


PSY60001 Adult Psychopathology


PSY60001 Adult Psychopathology

HAYC557 - Clinical Placement A2

Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Sophisticated skills in history taking, conducting a mental status examination, and arriving at a case formulation
  • Independently design and execute a plan for administration and interpretation of a range of psychological assessments and writing comprehensive psychological reports
  • Advanced knowledge of typical courses and prognoses of disorders, and to be confident in developing appropriate treatment and management plans
  • High level skills that demonstrate advanced capabilities of intervention strategies, which may include case management, individual therapy, family therapy and/or group interventions, and will be capable of evaluating those intervention

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.50 12 weeks 18
35.00 3 weeks 105
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
2.25 12 weeks 27


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Placement activities logbookIndividual 0% 1,2,3,4 
Pre-placement contractIndividual 0% 1,2,3,4 
Report 1Individual 0% 1,2,3,4 
Report 2Individual 0% 1,2,3,4 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

  • Compulsory placement days: 14 (including 40 hours of direct client contact)
  • Reports: 4 x written mental state examinations. 2 x 2000 word psychological assessment reports
  • Placement contract; placement activities logbook; professional journal; 500 word trainee placement report; Mid and end Placement Review Form
  • Content

    Practice Issues:

    • Counselling practice
    • Psychological assessment
    • Administration experience
    • Supervision
    • Attendance at professional development seminars

    Ethical and professional issues:

    • Ethical decision making
    • Registration; the APS and the Code; Competence; Research ethics
    • Confidentiality and informed consent
    • Values in psychotherapy
    • Who is the client/conflicts of interest
    • Multicultural issues       
    • Supervision/dual/role relationships

    Forensic issues:

    • Legislation relating to report writing, record keeping and privacy
    • The child client. Children in court
    • Special issues: Dangerousness, HIV
    • The psychologist in court: expert evidence

    Study resources

    Reading materials

    A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.