• Offered by
  • ANU College
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Psychology
  • Academic career RSCH
  • Mode of delivery In Person

PhD Clinical Coursework I is comprised of a number of sub-courses covering a range topics designed to lay the foundations for further clinical coursework and to prepare the student for the initial experience of clinical practice. The sub-courses that comprise this course are: 

• Clinical Psychological Assessment

• Introductory Psychopathology and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

• Client-Centred Problem-Solving Counselling


Clinical Psychological Assessment (Convenor: Dr Ross Wilkinson) 3 hrs/week

The major aims of this sub-course are to provide students with the basic knowledge and framework to conduct initial clinical interviews and to provide them with an understanding of the characteristics and objectives of psychological testing. The first part of the course will focus on building skills in clinical interviewing and hypothesis generation. The second part will focus on issues relevant to the interpretation of test performance (e.g. use of standardised procedures and normative data, reliability and validity) and psychological report writing. Application of these concepts will be considered in three areas of assessment: clinical symptoms, intellectual functioning and personality. A practical component is also included in which students will be involved in planning, conducting and reporting results of both intellectual and personality assessments. Assessable components include exams, videos of test administrations, and psychological reports of assessments.


Introductory Psychopathology and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Convenor: Assoc. Prof. Richard O'Kearney)

(Staff: Professor Don Byrne, Assoc. Prof. Richard O'Kearney, Mr Randolph Sparks) 2-3 hrs/week and three full day workshops

This sub-course provides an introduction to clinical practice that covers the major theoretical models for understanding psychological disorders and clinical interventions. It begins with an examination of the presentation of psychopathology in various settings and the organisation of diagnosis. The course then focuses on the major mood and anxiety disorders detailing the contemporary cognitive, behavioural and emotional models of these disorders and the methods for their assessment and treatment. Psychological assessment and interventions for the major mood and anxiety disorders with a focus on cognitive-behavioural approaches and psychopharmacology are described. The course is assessed with a case conceptualisation and frequent case-based take home tests.

The three workshops will teach specific cognitive-behavioural skills and practices for the effective treatment of depression and anxiety disorders including workshops on (i) exposure therapy, (ii) cognitive techniques for depression and (iii) mindfulness-based CBT for the prevention of relapse from depression. The assessment task is to prepare a cognitive-behavioural orientated treatment manual for the individual assessment and treatment of a depressive or anxiety disorder.


Client-Centred Problem-Solving Counselling (Convenor: Dr Bernd Heubeck) Five full day workshops

This sub-course aims to begin to develop the student's ability to provide effective psychological interventions. The workshops focus on the prerequisite psychotherapy skills needed to engage, interact with and deliver psychological interventions within a sound psychotherapeutic relationship. They review and develop micro and macro counselling skills and how to utilise these in the clinical context. They teach these skills within an overarching therapy framework which allows for the integration of other more specific approaches. Participation in discussions and review of taped role-plays is a requirement as is the actual demonstration of competence in the use of the micro and macro skills taught.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of this course students will:

  • Be able to conduct an initial assessment interview, administer the WAIS IV, interpret the MMPI 2, and understand the psychometric basis of psychological tests.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the scientist-practitioner model applied to clinical psychology, and skills in the application of evidence-based practice.
  • Have knowledge of the current psychopathology of anxiety and depressive disorders and cognitive behavioural models of these disorders, and develop basic skills in the application of these models through behavioural therapy and cognitve-behavioural therapy.
  • Have knowledge of client-centred counselling skills.

Other Information

Indicative Assessment

The assessment for each sub-course equals 1/3 of the overall assessment for this course:

Clinical Psychological Assessment: Psychological report, In class test, Exam

Introductory Psychopathology and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Report on the presentation of psychopathology, Take home tests, Preparation for treatment manual and rationale.

Client-Centred Problem-Solving Counselling: Active workshop participation, learning journals covering each of the workshops, clinic interview or role play, written self-review on interview performance.

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Six hours per week plus eight full day workshops.

Prescribed Texts

To be confirmed at the beginning of the course. Texts will be selected in line with current research.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
10 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

10.00 0.20833
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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