PSYC5392 Professional issues and applications in psychology Advanced

Graduate Diploma Unit


One trimester


Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science – AQF Level 8

Credit points:

6 (out of 54)




This unit is a core coursework unit for students in the GDPsychSc. This unit introduces students to professional psychology.

Learning and Teaching Process

This unit comprises ten (10) weekly 2.5 hour lectures and nine (9) weekly 1 hour tutorials.  Lectures commence in Week 1 of the trimester and will be captured electronically at the time of delivery and will automatically be made available online within the following 24 hours. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory; students should attend, from Week 2, the tutorial class into which they are enrolled.

All students are provided with secure online access to comprehensive unit learning resources via the Student Portal. Unit Coordinators, Lecturers, and Student Support staff are available to students (in all modes of delivery) at designated times via email and telephone contact throughout the duration of the unit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

a) Reflect upon the nature of psychological practice and its relationship to the scientific discipline of psychology and identify possible solutions to the complex problems that exist

b) Critically discuss the nature of the link between the evidence for psychological practices and be aware of and evaluate the range of methodologies that are available to provide evidence upon which to base investigation and action.

c) Identify the role of psychologists and specialisation within the broader sectors in which psychologists work and practice

d) Critically evaluate policy, legislation, and codes of practice relevant to the profession of psychology

e) Be aware of the nature of ethical practice and the history of debate about the nature of ethical conduct and demonstrate familiarity with the ethical principles of the Code of Ethics of the Australian Psychological Society.

f) Evaluate the problems of professional issues in the light of discussions with other allied health professionals

Unit content

Week Lecture Topic Tutorial Topic
1 Psychology, globally and in Australia:  Evidence-based practice: the role of the academic psychologist and the debate about what characterizes evidence and acceptable practice. Publication practices in Psychology and the influences that they have on the development of the discipline No tutorial Wk 1
2 Scientific method and experimental design in applied psychological science, practice and evaluation: The epistemology of practice in the past and future application of psychological science Assignments 1 and 2. Evidenced based practice: A critical analysis of what constitutes evidence
3 Psychology in private practice and the corporate sector Ethics and psychological practice
4 The training and the practice of the practitioner in the global environment in the future. The future employment scenario, including possible effects upon the employment and roles of psychologists.   Ethics and psychological practice
5 Inter-professional learning and practice in health: How does psychology fit in? Inter-professional practice in health. An analysis from a theoretical and experimental perspective

Organisational psychology 

7 Sport and performance psychology

Organisational psychology 

8 Competencies, inherent characteristics and ethical issues Dual roles in sport and exercise psychology
9 Professional, ethical and practical considerations for psychologists conducting psychological testing Competencies in psychology
10 What are the dominant issues in the training for and the execution of the practice of psychology in contemporary society? Pathways to professional psychology in Australia Pathways revision

Assessment Summary

Type Weighting Length
Assessment 1: Essay 20% 1000 word limit
Assessment 2: Reflective Journal 30% 6 entries of 350 words maximum (no entry to exceed this limit)
Assessment 3: Final Exam 50% 2 hour time limit


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time.