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PSYC4022 Advanced Psychological Assessment

Bachelor Course Unit

PSYC4022 Advanced Psychological Assessment

Duration: One trimester

Level: 4th year (Honours)

Credit points: 8 (out of total of 48 points)

Prerequisites: None

Mode(s) of delivery: Synchronous Online

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the steps involved in conducting psychological assessment in a range of settings. It will cover the assessment of children and adults, the importance of obtaining information from a range of sources including interview and formal assessment, the use of test manuals, cultural issues in assessment, working with special populations, and report writing. The unit also covers key ethical issues that psychologists encounter and provides a framework for addressing these. Through practical work, students will become familiar with selected tests that are frequently used by psychologists.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • describe the different methods of gathering information involved in the assessment process
  • understand the information contained in test manuals and appreciate the importance of this information
  • understand the issues related to assessing different populations and the importance of cultural considerations
  • describe in detail specific adult and child assessment instruments including the family of Wechsler tests
  • consider a new psychological test, evaluate its suitability for assessment, and determine whether you would be competent to administer it
  • describe and have a framework for addressing ethical issues facing psychologists
  • demonstrate an ability to prepare a psychological assessment report

Unit Topic Schedule



Week 1

Psychological assessment and testing: Gathering information (interviews)

Week 2

Selecting tests, diagnosis, and intervention

Week 3

Adult assessment

Week 4

Child assessment

Week 5

Personality assessment

Week 6

Neuropsychological assessment



Week 7

Cultural implications and special populations

Week 8

Ethical issues and report writing

Week 9

Assessment in organisational settings

Week 10

Test development

Week 11

Study week (no seminar)

Week 12

Exam (no seminar)

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly three hour seminars. Students are expected to undertake set reading prior to seminars and be prepared to engage in discussion of the topic as well as presenting information to the seminar group. Group presentations will be a key component of weekly seminars.

Graduate attributes

The material covered in this unit will contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1: Knowledge and understanding of core topics in psychology. These topics include abnormal psychology, biological bases of behaviour, cognition, information processing and language, learning, lifespan developmental psychology, perception, social psychology, and intercultural diversity and indigenous psychology.

2: Research methods in psychology. This attribute covers an understanding of the characteristics of the science of psychology, and the different and varied research methods used by psychologists. It also includes the acquisition of practical skills in laboratory-based research and other methods, the design of studies to address psychological questions, critical analysis, the formulation of testable hypotheses, the choice of an appropriate methodology, the question of reliability and validity and their meanings and operations, the analysis of data, and the writing of reports.

3: Critical thinking skills. This attribute includes the application of scientific method to the study of mental and behavioural problems, the examination of other modes of understanding the world and the development of other world views, and a recognition of the fallacies and the biases that can affect human thinking and analysis.

4: Values, research and professional ethics. This attribute includes the evaluation of the behaviour of psychologists in psychological research and other professional contexts and is in the context of the Australian Psychological Society “Code of Ethics” and the Australian “National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce”. Values and professional ethics must also be understood and evaluated in the context of social ethical principles and ethical conduct in legal, medical and institutional behaviour.

5: Communication skills. Students need to learn how to communicate effectively orally in various settings (group discussion, presentations, both formal and informal) for various purposes. Written communication, in the form of written reports, should be according to professionally accepted formats. In psychology we follow the American Psychological Association structure and formatting conventions.

6: Learning and the application of psychology. This attribute includes the application of knowledge of legislative frameworks and the application of knowledge about laws and conventions in work settings, consumer and carer participation and in the general matter of the conduct of application of psychology. It also considers how there may be variation of legislation across different areas of application.

Students should also be cognizant of the need to sustain independent learning for professional and personal development over their life, in the changing social and cultural practices in society and in the practice and development of the scientific basis of psychology. 

Assessment summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space.

Special provisions

Attendance at seminars is required.

Recommended textbook

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


This unit plan may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.