Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)

Key Facts

Course Code: PY101
Location: Hawthorn East
Study Load: Full-time (4 years)
Delivery Mode: In-Person
Intake: Semester 1 each year
Application Type: Domestic only
Fees: $150,614.32*
$116,172.72 (with Coral Brown Scholarship)
CRICOS code: N/A
Post-nominal: DPsych(Clin)

Course Overview

The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) involves intensive high-level research training in the professional skills of clinical psychology. Clinical psychology focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of complex clinical disorders across the life span. Students will develop advanced knowledge, skills and experience in psychopathology, assessment and therapeutic interventions.

Students participate in over 1,500 hours of supervised work placements and undertake qualitative or quantitative research into aspects of psychological interventions, such as the therapeutic process, client and therapist experiences, change processes, various presenting issues and studies of treatment outcomes.

Students also undertake advanced coursework units, which are central to the practice of clinical psychology, as well as units of professional skills development and training.

All teaching staff are experienced clinicians and academics who are committed to advancing the field of psychology through their own work and their interaction with students.

What more does this course offer you?

  • Robust supervised placement program – three internal CMI clinics and deep links with industry and professional agencies.
  • Opportunities for all students to observe practicing clinical psychologists in public mental health settings.
  • Coverage of multiple therapeutic modalities (including CBT and psychodynamic approaches, as well as Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Family Systems approaches).\
  • Subjects to equip you for the demands of professional practice across a range of settings including public mental health, private practice, health and hospital settings as well as community agencies.
  • Skill development for future leadership and supervisory roles in your career.
  • Dedicated seminars and mentoring to help prepare you for work in both clinical and academic environments.

2023 Course Information Session

Please note: Cairnmillar’s courses are subject to minimum and maximum group numbers. Courses may be cancelled or postponed if minimum numbers are not achieved by the start date of the course. Courses may close prior to the start date if the maximum numbers are reached. In that situation, eligible applicants will be offered a place in the next available intake.

Application Period

Applications for February 2024 are now closed!

Course Structure

This program consists of 400 credit points. Students undertake a total of 22 units of study, consisting of nine coursework units (112.5 credit points), six placement units (75 credit points) and seven research units (212.5 credit points).

Year One

Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 CLN500 Clinical Placement Intensive Workshops 12.5
1 CLN503 Professional Practice and Professional Ethics 12.5
1 CLN551 Research Project A 12.5
1 CLN502 Psychological Assessment, Diagnostic Testing and Interview Competencies 12.5
1 CLN501 Cognitive-Behavioural Processes and Interventions 12.5
2 CLN552 Research Project B 12.5
2 CLN561 Supervised Clinical Placement B 12.5
2 CLN504 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and Intervention 12.5


Year Two

Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 CLN603 Interpersonal Processes & Therapeutic Practices 12.5
1 CLN653 Research Project C 12.5
1 CLN662 Supervised Clinical Placement C 12.5
1 CLN602 Adult Psychopathology and Intervention 12.5
2 CLN604 Psychodynamic Therapy 12.5
2 CLN663 Supervised Clinical Placement D 12.5
2 CLN654 Research Project D 12.5
2 CLN601 Health Psychology​ 12.5


Year Three

Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 CLN701 Advanced Diagnostics and Interventions for Complex Presentations 12.5
1 CLN761 Supervised Clinical Placement E 12.5
1 CLN751 Research Project E 25
2 CLN752 Research Project F 50


Year Four

Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 CLN861 Supervised Clinical Placement F 12.5
1 CLN851 Research Project G 37.5
2 CLN852 Research Project H 50

Entry Requirements

Applicants to this program must have completed a four-year APAC accredited sequence of study in psychology, or equivalent overseas qualifications recognised by the APS, at first or upper second-class level (H1/80%), or a Master of Psychology (Clinical) recognised by APAC.

Applicants must demonstrate possession of an appropriate level of knowledge and skill related to research. In accordance with the guidelines set by The Cairnmillar Institute to have applied for and gained candidature approved by The Cairnmillar Institute Student Review Committee. Applicants who fail to gain candidature will not be eligible to continue in the doctoral program and may choose to apply for a place in the Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) program.

An order-of-merit for entry will be prepared, taking into account (a) academic record, (b) previous work experience and training, (c) academic and professional referee reports and (d) admissions interview.

Documentation required in the application includes:

  • Most recent academic transcripts.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae (resume).
  • A 500-word personal statement outlining why you wish to study this course at Cairnmillar.
  • Proof of residency/citizenship in the form of a passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate.
  • One academic and one professional reference using the HODSPA reference system.

Please see the How to Apply page for detailed instructions on navigating Cairnmillar’s online Application Portal.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an admissions interview with members of Cairnmillar’s academic faculty. This provides applicants with the opportunity to discuss any questions they have about the course of study. Further information on interviews can be found here.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are those skills, values and behaviours which must be demonstrated by students in order that they successfully complete the program of study. As a guide for prospective and current students, a series of inherent requirement statements have been developed that relate to student admission and progression through the course.  These requirements are mandatory; however, there may be some flexibility in how they can be demonstrated. Click here to view the Inherent Requirements.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) develop skills in each of the areas listed below so as to be able to commence the Psychology Board of Australia’s Registrar Program after they graduate, which will allow them to go on to full registration as a psychologist with an area of practice endorsement in clinical psychology.

Knowledge of the Discipline

  • Implement core clinical psychology principles across a range of settings.
  • Assess and diagnose a variety of clinical presentations with reference to the DSM 5.
  • Interpret current research on psychopathology and apply this to formulate appropriate intervention and assessment protocols.

Ethical, Legal and Professional Matters

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the Australian Psychological Society’s Code of Ethics as well as relevant legislation that informs current professional practice.
  • Apply ethical principles to professional practice.

Psychological Assessment and Measurement

  • Develop knowledge of a broad range of assessment measures and understand the theoretical frameworks and psychometric properties that support their empirical validation.
  • Demonstrate an ability to administer, score, interpret and write up specific assessment batteries.

Intervention Strategies

  • Demonstrate an understanding of a select range of empirically validated interventions suitable for use with adults and children.
  • Perform interventions in an effective and ethical manner and to be able to evaluate therapeutic outcomes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of interventions used for work with clients who have complex presentations.

Research and Evaluation

  • Demonstrate an expert understanding of a particular topic relevant to Clinical Psychology. This understanding is exhibited by the development of the intellectual skills necessary to interpret previous findings and developments relevant to their research in clinical psychology and the ability to devise and implement an original research project that is based on sound and current research methods.
  • Conduct high quality research independently and ethically and be able to disseminate findings to both specialist and non-specialist groups.
  • Produce an extended research thesis that makes a unique contribution to existing scholarship in an area of clinical psychology.

Communication and Interpersonal Relationships

  • Demonstrate effective and efficient written and oral communication skills.
  • Relate appropriately to a range of clients and mental health professionals across academic and clinical settings.

Working within a Cross Cultural Context

  • Develop competence in working in a culturally sensitive manner with clients from diverse backgrounds.

Practice across the Lifespan

  • Deliver a range of psychological services appropriate to adults, children, adolescents and older adults.

Supervision and Reflective Self-Practice

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the importance of reflective self-practice and the ability to implement constructive feedback in order to improve clinical practice.
  • Recognise the dynamics of the supervisory relationship in preparation for potential roles as supervisors and leaders in the field of clinical psychology.

Fees & Scholarships

*Total fees are estimates only based on the current fee schedule. Annual tuition fee review and possible increases applies, see: Fees & Scholarships.

Dr Coral Brown Scholarship

Domestic DPsych students who maintain an 80 WAM in years 1 and 2 will be eligible for the Coral Brown Scholarship (CBS), which covers approximately 50% of the cost of all placement and research units in years 3 and 4.

Estimated course total (at 2023 tuition rate) WITH CBS: $112,499.20.

Estimated course total (at 2023 tuition rate) WITHOUT CBS: $146,940.70.

For information on tuition fees and what scholarships might apply to this course, please visit the Fees & Scholarships page.

Career Opportunities & Study Pathways

Graduates of the Cairnmillar Institute’s Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) are highly sought after for their academic acumen and professional suitability. They have an appreciation of the breadth and depth of psychological practice and are creative and flexible in their thinking.

Graduates are committed to working within the scientist-practitioner model and to using interventions and assessments that have been empirically validated. They are familiar with working with a range of clients and their practice is ethical and culturally sensitive.

Clinical psychologists are trained in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological conditions. They can seek employment in a variety of settings, including:

  • Private practice
  • Community mental health centres
  • Psychiatric hospital settings
  • Tertiary education and universities
  • Teaching and supervision
  • Program and policy development and evaluation
  • Clinical rehabilitation services
  • And many more…

Graduates of this course will be eligible to apply for:

  • Membership of The Australian Psychological Society (APS).
  • Registration as a psychologist with AHPRA.
  • A one-year pathway to endorsement as a clinical psychologist via a Psychology Board of Australia approved Clinical Registrar program.

After one year of a Psychology Board of Australia approved registrar program, membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.


The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) is a Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) accredited program and sits within level 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

This program is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). Further information on accreditation can be found on the APAC website, as well as in APAC’s publicly available accreditation reports.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Applicants to this program may apply to be granted credit or partial credit towards the qualification, in recognition of previous experience where an equivalence of earlier learning can be established.

Credit transfer for an APAC accredited course is only applicable for recently completed APAC accredited postgraduate programs. Credit or partial credit is not granted in recognition of knowledge or skills gained through work or life experience.

The granting of credit for placements on the basis of previous experience gained as a registered psychologist is not permitted by APAC.

Cairnmillar’s RPL policy can be viewed here. Further information on RPL can be found here.

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