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North Terrace Campus
Level 4, Hughes Building
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005

Telephone: +61 8 8313 5693
(Country and interstate callers toll free on 1800 061 459)
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 3770

Master of Clinical Psychology (Defence)

There is currently no intake into this program.

The School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide in conjunction with Joint Health Command, Australian Defence Force (ADF), is offering a new University program that has been developed to enhance professional skills in the field of Occupational Mental Health. The Master of Clinical Psychology (Defence) will be available to University graduates with an accredited Honours degree in Psychology (or equivalent) working in the ADF. The broad and eclectic Defence environment has created a need for a specialised course which is able to provide Defence psychologists with the necessary skills required for providing health care and organisational support to ADF personnel. Successful graduates will gain a broad understanding of ADF Health Services as well as develop the relevant skills and training relating to mental health promotion and clinical practice. This course is a significant contribution to the clinical upskilling of the ADF mental health workforce. It is designed to satisfy the full requirements of the State/Territory registration boards (as well as membership to the Australian Psychological Society), and may assist ADF Psychologists to qualify for the non standard pathway into the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

Administrative Structure

The degree is awarded by the University of Adelaide through the Faculty of Health Sciences. Responsibility for the administration of the Program lies with the Head of the School of Psychology in consultation with the Director of Mental Health (Joint Health Command). The Head of the School of Psychology delegates authority for the day-to-day administration of the program to the Program Coordinator (UA). Policy matters relevant to the Master of Clinical Psychology (Defence) program are conducted by the School’s Learning and Teaching Committee.

This program has conditional APAC accreditation and has been endorsed by the APS's College of Clinical Psychologists. The APAC Accreditation Standards are available at APAC.

Program Aims

The aims of the Program are:

  • To develop psychologists who can apply human science research and methods to enhance the delivery of psychological and mental health support in an occupational setting within the context of the Defence environment.
  • To develop psychologists with an understanding of the holistic and multi-level aspects of providing health care, organisational support, and performance enhancement in an occupational setting within the context of the Defence environment.
  • Successful completion of this program will assist graduates to meet the full requirements of the State/Territory registration Boards (and the future national registration board) and to meet the entry requirements to the Australian Psychological Society as a full member, and to meet the requirements of Joint Health Command.
  • The program will help psychologists to meet the competenceis required in the broad practice environment of psychology and mental health services in an occupational setting within the context of the Defence environment.

Program Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of the Program are to:

  • provide comprehensive studies across the field of Occupational Mental Health, with a particular focus on the mental health of a military workforce;
  • improve student conceptual and applied knowledge, skills and capabilities as professionals, and broaden their horizons intellectually;
  • stimulate awareness of existing and emerging theories and issues in occupational mental health;
  • advance student skills in health promotion and clinical psychological practice; and
  • advance student research skills by requiring students to formulate research problems and write a research thesis.

Program Structure

In the normal pattern of study, candidates enrolled on a full-time basis will complete eight scheduled courses together with four placements and the research project. The research project for the thesis may be commenced at any time during the two years, although (full-time) candidates will formally enrol for it only in the second year. Candidates may wish to consider linking the project to one of the placements. Candidates enrolled for half-time study may spread these commitments over four years.

Students complete the following courses:

First Year January (summer semester)

PSYCHOL 7402 Evidence-Based Practice
PSYCHOL 7407 Interviewing & Intervention

First Year, March semester

PSYCHOL 7403 Psychological Assessment
PSYCHOL 7404 Clinical Disorders in Adults & Children
PSYCHOL 7408EX Mental Health Disaster Management

First Year July Semester

PSYCHOL 7401EX Regimental Officer Basic Course
or PSYCHOL 7406EX Mental Health Support on Operations
PSYCHOL 7412 Placement 1
PSYCHOL 7413 Placement 2

Second Year, March Semester

PSYCHOL 7421 Advanced Child & Adult Interventions
PSYCHOL 7417 Placement 3
PSYCHOL 7418 Research Project in Clinical Psychology 1

Second Year, July Semester

PSYCHOL 7409 Neuropsychology & Disability
PSYCHOL 7419 Research Project in Clincal Psychology 2


Completeion of Program

The Academic Program Rules in the University Calendar 2012 (p.326) state that: “Except with the permission of the Faculty, the courses of study and the dissertation shall be completed in not more than two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study. A student whose work on the dissertation is interrupted for a reason acceptable to the Executive Dean may be granted an intermission by the Head of the School of Psychology on behalf of the Faculty. If such an application is approved the maximum period specified in clause 1.1 will be adjusted accordingly by adding the length of the intermission.” In other words, it is essential that you complete your course within four years, including your dissertation.