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.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Enrolment Restrictions

Available to students in the Master of Clinical Psychology and the Masters of Professional 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.

Incompatible Subjects


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.


This 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

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY533 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Attendance in full: compulsory residential school
Academic integrity at csu
Essay: ethical decision making
Individualized formulations task
Competency demonstration: basic counselling skills

Residential School

This subject contains a 2.5 day Compulsory 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 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.