PSY533 Foundations of Clinical Psychology (8)


This subject introduces students to the key competencies required of a clinical psychologist, as well as to the performance standards and expectations of a Masters degree in clinical psychology.  It orients students to the assessment requirements of the program and provides an introduction to the technologies available to support students while enrolled in the Master of Clinical Psychology. It focuses on supporting the students in the demonstration of competence in basic counselling skills, and introductory level cognitive-behavioural theory, ethical decision making and the development of individualised formulations.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Online*Bathurst Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY533
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Psychology

Assumed Knowledge

A foundation in the core psychology graduate attributes, including knowledge of the discipline of psychology, research methods, critical thinking skills, communication skills, and an appreciation of professional ethics.

Enrolment restrictions

Available to students in the Master of Clinical Psychology
Incompatible subject(s)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to reflect on current levels of competence in order to further develop and enhance demonstration of basic counselling skills
  • be able to analyse critically and synthesize a large body of complex information in order to support the application of ethical decision making theories and practices to ethical dilemmas commonly encountered in clinical practice
  • be able to synthesize complex information in order to develop multiple levels of individualized formulation to disorders commonly encountered in clinical practice


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to clinical psychology
  • Evidence-based practice and the scientist-practitioner model
  • Models of change
  • Models of supervision in clinical psychology
  • Ethics and professional practice

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 2.5 day residential school. The residential school is intended to serve a number of functions
  • to introduce staff and students
  • to orient students to the academic requirements of the Master of Clinical Psychology
  • to orient students to the support services and technical facilities available to them including the interact site, library and learning support services
  • to familiarize students with the placement requirements of the Master of Clinical Psychology
  • to introduce students to the structure and components of the Masters of Clinical Psychology
  • to commence provision of information regarding core foundational knowledge components of the Masters of Clinical Psychology
  • to commence the self-evaluation component of the Masters of Clinical Psychology
  • to undertake the counselling skills training component required by accreditation guidelines
Activities include:
  • Introduction to programme staff and each other
  • Library tour
  • Orientation to the interact site
  • Provision of information regarding the academic and placement requirements of the programme
  • Lectures, small-group learning activities and role-plays, self-evaluation tasks, commencement of personal learning portfolio


The information contained in the 2017 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 25 August 2017. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.