single degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology)

A single four year research award offered by the School of Medicine and Psychology

  • Length 4 year full-time
  • Minimum 192 Units
  • Academic plan 9064XCLPSY
  • Post Nominal
  • CRICOS code 070333K
  • Mode of delivery
    • In Person
  • Field of Education
    • Psychology
  • Academic contact
  • Length 4 year full-time
  • Minimum 192 Units
  • Academic plan 9064XCLPSY
  • Post Nominal
  • CRICOS code 070333K
  • Mode of delivery
    • In Person
  • Field of Education
    • Psychology
  • Academic contact

Program Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology requires completion 192 units, including a research project that demonstrates a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of study. This includes the submission and successful examination of a thesis of up to 100,000 words.

64 units must come from completion of the coursework component

128 units must come from completion of the research component

The 192 units must consist of:

64 units from completion of the following compulsory coursework courses

PSYC9411 PhD Clinical Coursework I (10 units)

PSYC9421 PHD Clinical Field Placement I (6 units)

PSYC9412 PhD Clinical Coursework II (10 units)

PSYC9422 PHD Clinical Field Placement II (6 units)

PSYC9413 PhD Clinical Coursework III (10 units)

PSYC9423 PHD Clinical Field Placement III (6 units)

PSYC9414 PhD Clinical Coursework IV (10 units)

PSYC9424 PHD Clinical Field Placement IV (6 units)

128 units from completion of the following research component

PSYC9002 PHD Clinical Research which must be enrolled in multiple times over consecutive semesters

Admission Requirements

At a minimum, all applicants must meet program-specific academic/non-academic requirements, and English language requirements. Entry to this program is highly competitive. Therefore, meeting all admission requirements does not automatically guarantee entry.

Admission to a Doctor of Philosophy is also subject to supervisory capacity, availability of appropriate infrastructure and resources, and approval from the relevant Delegated Authority within the Academic College.

Applicants must:

1.   Have completed:

  • an APAC accredited Bachelor degree with a minimum grade of with H2A in Honours in Psychology or international equivalent with a GPA of at least 5.5/7.0; or
  • an APAC accredited AQF Level 8 qualification, which must include a substantial research methodology component in Psychology, with a GPA of at least 5.5/7.0.

2.   Have the written approval of an identified supervisor for the research project/thesis.

3.   Provide:

  • A detailed research proposal outlining your intended research, (applicants should seek guidance from the potential supervisor regarding length and content);
  • Original evidence of all relevant academic qualifications and graduation documentation (with English translation as appropriate);
  • An up-to-date CV including academic qualifications, work experience and research publications;
  • At least three referee reports;
  • Completed Supplementary form (check link goes to PhD page - not MCP)

4.   All applicants must meet the University‚Äôs English Language Admission Requirements for Students

5. Satisfy a successful assessment of suitability which will be based on interview, supplementary form, CV and the referee reports.

6. Demonstrate eligibility for provisional or full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia.

Annual indicative fee for international students

For further information on International Tuition Fees see:

Fee Information

All students are required to pay the Services and amenities fee (SA Fee)

The annual indicative fee provides an estimate of the program tuition fees for international students and domestic students (where applicable). The annual indicative fee for a program is based on the standard full-time enrolment load of 48 units per year (unless the program duration is less than 48 units). Fees for courses vary by discipline meaning that the fees for a program can vary depending on the courses selected. Course fees are reviewed on an annual basis and typically will increase from year to year. The tuition fees payable are dependent on the year of commencement and the courses selected and are subject to increase during the period of study.

For further information on Fees and Payment please see:


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

Exceptional research degrees at ANU

The Australian National University provides PhD candidates with a vibrant research community and outstanding program support. When selecting a research program, an institution's reputation is everything. ANU is one of the world's leading universities, and the smart choice for your research program.


As a PhD candidate, you will work with increased independence, under the direction of a supervisory panel of experts in the field. Your research will make an original and important contribution to human knowledge, research and development.

This program is designed for those who have a particular interest in the academic and research aspects of clinical psychology. Graduates of this program have the benefit of the training provided to Master of Clinical Psychology candidates with the intensive research training provided by completing a research PhD in the field of clinical psychology.

The PhD (Clinical Psychology) program aims to develop effective clinical competencies and to encourage a critical approach to the application of these competencies to practice. The emphasis is on a science-based approach to clinical psychology and the development of clinical problem solving skills, with a focus on scientific evidence combined with practical experience based on the theory of clinical psychology.

Please view the website for further information on the program, environment and resources offered by the School of Medicine and Psychology.

Career Options

ANU ranks among the world's very finest universities. Our nearly 100,000 alumni include political, business, government, and academic leaders around the world.

We have graduated remarkable people from every part of our continent, our region and all walks of life.

Employment Opportunities

Career options following the Doctor of Philosophy degree include an academic path and/or public and/or private clinical psychology practice.

Learning Outcomes

  1. critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate complex information in a specific area of the discipline relevant to their research;
  2. formulate a research plan and undertake independent research to address specific research questions that make a substantial contribution to knowledge;
  3. ensure that research is carried out with integrity and actively promote responsible conduct of research;
  4. develop, adapt and implement research methodologies relevant to their research questions;
  5. demonstrate expert technical and/or specialist skills relevant to their research focus;
  6. communicate effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences in both written and oral form;
  7. demonstrate appropriate collegial and professional behaviour, and safe working practices as required by their specific research focus.

Inherent Requirements

During the PhD, Clinical Psychology, students must develop professional competencies that allow them to provide psychology services to potentially vulnerable clients in a range of settings. Developing these competencies requires students to be able to:

  • Communicate effectively in English, including understanding and conveying nuance and adapting their communication style to suit the preferences and needs of others.
  • Use cues other than the literal meaning of spoken words to interpret the thoughts, emotions and motivations of others.
  • Reflect on how their verbal and non-verbal communication is interpreted by others and use these insights to develop positive professional relationships.
  • Monitor, reflect on and take responsibility for their own mental wellbeing, assumptions, beliefs and reactions to ensure they have the capacity to provide effective psychology services to clients.
  • Develop productive professional relationships with supervisors, colleagues and fellow students, take proactive steps to resolve difficult situations and learn effectively from supervisor feedback.
  • Students who cannot meet these requirements throughout the entirety of the program will be unable to complete compulsory assessment requirements and will therefore be unable to complete their degree.

Throughout the program, students must complete supervised clinical placements and other activities that are governed by standards set out by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council and the Psychology Board of Australia. Participating in these activities requires students to:

  • Hold provision registration with the Psychology Board of Australia, which includes meeting requirements for criminal history checks and English language skills.
  • Meet reasonable requirements set by the clinic at which they conduct their placement, including working at set times, suitability screening and, at some placements, requirements for immunisation.
  • Students who do not meet these requirements by the deadlines set by the program convenor will not be able to complete their degree.

Clinical placements typically involve students providing face-to-face psychology services in spoken English. Applicants are encouraged to contact the program convenor if they are unable to provide psychology services in this format, but may be able to in other formats (e.g. in Australian Sign Language). We will work with you to investigate whether you can meet the program and Psychology Board of Australia requirements and whether there is a placement available that meets your needs. We encourage applicants to begin these discussions as early as possible, as they must be finalised before we will be able to offer you a place in the program.

Further Information

APAC Accreditation

The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC)

APAC Clinical Competencies:

  1. Advanced knowledge of and the ability to critically evaluate theory in clinical psychology including a deep understanding of theories underlying assessment, diagnosis, case formulation, and the treatment of psychopathology across the lifespan.
  2. An advanced level of skill in the application of psychological knowledge to a wide range of psychological problems and disorders across the lifespan
  3. An advanced level of skill in diagnostic interviewing and counselling and a high level of competence in the principles and practice of clinical assessment, diagnosis, case formulation, and psychological therapy.
  4. An advanced level of skills in psychological testing and test data interpretation and in the writing of psychological reports.
  5. Advanced knowledge and skills in the interpretation and critical evaluation of psychological and other research relevant to the broad field of clinical psychology practice.
  6. Advanced knowledge and skills in the application and implementation of appropriate research methodologies to advancing knowledge in both fundamental and applied issues in clinical psychology.
  7. Understanding of the principles and application of the scientist-practitioner model and evidence-based psychological practice to the field of clinical psychology.
  8. Knowledge and application of the ethical, professional, and legal frameworks relevant to the practice of clinical psychology.
  9. Advanced skills in communicating and working with other health professionals and non-professionals including a high level of ability in written communication (e.g., clinical and research reports) and oral communication (e.g., research, case presentations, seminars).
  10. Awareness, knowledge and skill in interacting and working with clients across the lifespan and from diverse cultural settings including those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Additional information for admissions purposes:

Additional program information

  • Clinical Field Placements

In their first semester, students attend courses preparing them for their first clinical placement which begins towards the end of the first year in the ANU Psychology Clinic. Subsequent to this placement they undertake three or more supervised clinical field placements.

  • Clinical Research

Part of the requirements of the PhD, Clinical Psychology degree is the completion of an appropriate empirical thesis normally supervised by a member of staff of the School of Medicine and Psychology.

  • Performance and attendance

The PhD, Clinical Psychology is a professional training program and the School has a responsibility to ensure that graduates complete certain training requirements to a high standard. Both attendance and the satisfactory completion of assessment processes are necessary conditions for the successful completion of any of the degrees offered in the clinical program. High standards of academic and professional performance as well as ethical conduct are expected of all our students. All coursework components of the Doctor of Philosophy of Clinical Psychology will be assessed. Students must satisfy course requirements in each and every component of the program (coursework, clinical placements and research) in order for the degree to be awarded. Students will not be permitted to proceed with their research if failures are recorded in the coursework or clinical placement components of their study program.

Other program information:

  • The completion of a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology normally takes between four and five years of full-time study or part-time equivalent and is conducted in English. The award is made on the basis of independent research resulting in a detailed thesis comprising original written work, normally of up to 100,000 words, that is independently assessed by no fewer than two external examiners of international standing.
  • All candidates are required to complete Research Integrity Training. In addition, candidates will also be able to participate in the College of Health and Medicine Career Development Framework and demonstrate broader skills in research training, teaching and learning, industry and innovation, policy and governance; and opportunities to develop other transferable skills.
  •  There are a number of scholarships available to ANU HDR candidates to assist with the cost of their studies; however, in general first class honours might be required for consideration for a scholarship. Scholarships are highly competitive and not all applicants that receive an offer of admission to a HDR program will be successful in receiving a scholarship.
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