Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology - Inherent Academic Requirements

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Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology - Inherent Academic Requirements

Breadcrumbs

Program AR703 Master of Psychology (Clinical) and AR702 Master of Professional Psychology

Committed to equity and diversity
  • At USC, we are committed to facilitating the integration of all students into the University community.
  • Reasonable adjustments in teaching and/or assessment methods can be made for students provided those adjustments do not compromise the inherent academic requirements of the program.
  • The inherent academic requirements of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology are the fundamental skills and abilities that the student must be able to achieve to demonstrate the essential learning outcomes of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology.
  • This statement provides realistic information about the inherent academic requirements that you must meet to complete your course and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology so you can make an informed judgement about your ability to fulfil them.
Externally accredited

The USC offers Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology which meet Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accreditation requirements and, in the case the Master of Psychology (Clinical) provides graduates with the necessary qualification to apply for registration as a psychologist in Australia.

  • Key psychology practice skills are embedded and assessed throughout the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology.
Skills you need

The Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology has inherent academic requirements in four categories:

  • Communication skills
  • Intellectual, such as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Behavioural and social skills
  • Sustained Performance

Before you enrol

If you intend to enrol in a Master of Psychology (Clinical) or Master of Professional Psychology degree at the USC, look carefully at the inherent academic requirements listed in this statement and think about whether you might experience challenges in meeting them.

  • If you think you might experience challenges related to your disability, health condition or for any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a University Disability Adviser or Faculty staff.
Reasonable adjustments

Students with disabilities or other special circumstances may be provided with reasonable adjustment to enable them to meet the inherent academic requirements of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology if the adjustment is:

  • logistically reasonable
  • likely to result in the student being able to perform the skills adequately and in a timely manner.

Communication skills

The capacity to demonstrate a strong command of English, both in the conversational form and in the written form, to:

  • Perform clinical duties in a timely manner, including scheduling of regular appointments with clients and supervisors, and the preparation of reports, file notes and letters to clients and external organisations and practitioners.
  • Provide clear and appropriate feedback and instructions in a safe environment.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology because effective verbal, nonverbal and written communication represents a core competency for psychologists and underpins and complements most other skills required in psychological practice.

Adjustments

Verbal communication adjustments must address the capacity to convey information in an accurate, coherent and timely manner across various formats (e.g., feedback, oral presentation and group discussion).

Nonverbal communication adjustments must address the capacity to recognise and interpret nonverbal cues from others but also to have an insight into the display and interpretation by others of one’s own nonverbal behaviour (e.g., facial expressions, posture, body language and attire).

Written communication adjustments must address any impairment with writing, clarity, accuracy and organisation.

Exemplars

As a student you must:

  • liaise with others for a range of different purposes
  • display, interpret and be aware of nonverbal cues including attention, non-judgement, respect, empathy and appropriate posture and attire

Behavioural and social skills

  • Ethical and legal
  • Emotion regulation
Ethical and legal

The capacity to demonstrate ethical and legal practice and conduct including:

  • Appropriate knowledge of the APS Code of Ethics and the APS Ethical Guidelines, and how to apply these in their day to day practice as a psychologist.
  • Appropriate knowledge of the key legislation governing the organisation of the profession, including (but not limited to) the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, the QLD Mental Health Act, the QLD Health Ombudsman Act and the Human Services (Medicare) Act, and how these might affect their day to day practice as a psychologist.
  • Appropriate knowledge of the broader legislation, practice standards, policies and guidelines with which psychologists are, from time to time, likely to interact.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology because students undertaking training in clinical psychology must be able to understand and adhere to a wide range of codes, guidelines, legislative requirements, practice standards and workplace policies governing their practice and conduct.

Adjustments

Any adjustment must ensure that the provisions of the relevant codes, guidelines and legislation continue to be met.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • Synthesise the competing requirements of various codes, guidelines, practice standards and workplace policies in a way that enables the student to act professionally and ethically.
  • Identify potential ethical and legal dilemmas and apply an evidence-based decision-making model that promotes ethical, responsible, accountable and professional conduct.
Emotion regulation

The capacity to demonstrate emotion regulation and associated behaviours to function competently and effectively in the required academic, practicum, and clinical settings throughout the course of the program.

This will enable the student to manage the demands and workload inherent in the masters of psychology programs and ensure the wellbeing and protection of clients, peers, supervisors, and professional colleagues.

Due to the nature of training in psychological practice, which can be challenging, the student must exhibit and maintain emotional regulation and behavioural stability. Required abilities include, but are not restricted to:

  • An overall ability to manage one’s own mental health and associated behaviour.
  • An overall ability to regulate one’s emotion and behaviour that aligns with AHPRA’s criteria for the provisional psychologist, the APS’ Code of Ethics, and USC’s student conduct policy.
  • An ability to manage one’s emotions when working with all clients, including situations where client’s own mental and emotional stability is changeable and reactive.
  • An ability to have insight and recognise when one’s emotions are overwhelming or unmanageable and take appropriate action.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology because students must manage the demands and workload inherent in the masters of psychology programs and ensure the wellbeing and protection of clients, peers, supervisors, and professional colleagues.

Adjustments

Adjustments in emotion regulation must address and support the ability to develop, or regain, and maintain stable emotion regulation and exhibit appropriate behaviour (i.e., can meet other IARs) in the relevant settings that will not impact on clients.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • Manage your emotions when working in highly demanding clinical settings that can be unpredictable.
  • Manage your emotions and behaviour appropriately when being supervised on practicum.
  • Manage your emotions and behaviour in external environments where you may meet a current or past client or supervisor.

Intellectual – conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities

The capacity to demonstrate a range of scientific and clinical skills to maintaining effective patient care in clinical psychology placements:

Scientific skills

  • Capacity to locate, read, and understand a range of literature and information relevant to clinical practice.
  • Numeracy skills that demonstrate the capacity to collect, interpret, and accurately respond to qualitative and quantitative data in the delivery of clinical psychology practice.
  • Scientific reasoning skills, using a range of information and data.

Clinical skills

  • Capacity to engage in clinical and ethical reasoning using a range of data and information.
  • Awareness and respect for personal and professional boundaries.
  • Self-awareness skills that enable students to accurately reflect on their professional practice.
  • Self-management skills that ensure students can regulate the expression of emotions and behaviours and maintain a high level of professionalism.
  • Capacity to seek out, and accept feedback on professional practice through engagement in individual and group supervision, and respond to feedback in a constructive and professional manner.
  • Ability to manage time well to complete a range of clinical and administrative tasks within expected timeframes.
  • Appropriate self-care to effectively manage one’s own physical and mental health.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology because these programs require knowledge of psychological theory and clinical practice skills and the capacity to demonstrate a scientific approach to the design, delivery and evaluation of psychological treatment.

Adjustments

Reasonable adjustments must address capacity to demonstrate scientific and clinical skills. Adjustments must ensure the minimum standard of capacity in scientific and clinical skills can be demonstrated.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • Use a range of methods to collect information, and organise this using relevant academic conventions.
  • Gather, and accurately organise and record data relevant to clinical practice.
  • Integrate relevant theory, knowledge and data into clinical practice.
  • Understand the perspective of others.

Sustained performance 

The capacity to demonstrate:

  • Reliable and sustained physical energy to complete tasks within required timeframes.
  • Reliable and sustained mental energy to complete tasks within required timeframes, which is particularly important given that work that psychologists often undertake can be stressful and emotionally taxing.
  • An ability to manage physical and mental health effectively.

This skillset represents a core competency for psychologists and promotes sustainable performance in the workplace.

Justification

This is an inherent academic requirement of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) and Master of Professional Psychology because, to ensure the best outcome for clients, psychologists must maintain a professional identity and be able to consistently work across a range of demanding environments. Psychologists also need to form constructive relationships with other professionals to promote positive outcomes for clients.

Adjustments

Any adjustments must not compromise client care or ethical guidelines on professional conduct.

Exemplars

As a student, you must:

  • Develop and maintain professional working relationships with clients, colleagues, and other professionals.
  • Maintain consistent, professional behaviour with clients, colleagues, and other professionals.
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