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PSYC5392 Professional issues and applications in psychology Advanced

Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate Unit


One trimester


Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science – AQF Level 8
Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science – AQF Level 8

Credit points:

6 (out of 54) - Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science
6 (out of 24) - Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science


Pre-requisite: PSYC5212 Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science 
Pre-requisite: PSYC5132 Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science

Co-requisite: PSYC5142 and PSYC5152 - Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science

Mode(s) of delivery:

Online and on-campus




This unit is a core coursework unit for students in the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science. This unit introduces students to professional psychology.

Unit Description

The focus of this unit is the profession of psychology and how it relates to the broader health, community, educational, corporate and other sectors in which psychologists are employed. The diversity of specialisations in psychology will be explored in the context of the key aspects that identify the profession of psychology. The role of the scientist-practitioner model in the determination of the nature of education of the psychologist and in the training of the professional psychologist will be examined critically. The roles of the national accrediting, regulatory and advocacy bodies for professional psychology will be considered, along with major international developments within and outside the profession of psychology that are influencing the way in which psychologists are educated, regulated and practice in Australia. Current issues related to the practice of psychology will be considered in this light, including working in multidisciplinary contexts and in management and leadership roles.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Reflect upon the nature of psychological practice and its relationship to the scientific discipline of psychology.
  • Critically discuss the nature of the link between the evidence for psychological practices and be aware of the range of methodologies that are available to provide evidence upon which to base investigation and action.
  • Identify the role of psychologists and specialisation within the broader sectors in which psychologists work and practice
  • Describe policy, legislation, and codes of practice relevant to the profession of psychology
  • 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

Unit content

  • Psychology, globally and in Australia; The history of psychology; Australian Psychological Society; Psychology Board of Australia; Psychology as a science; Scientist-Practitioner model; Evidence based practice
  • What does it mean to be a psychologist? Psychology in research, education and clinical practice. Future of Psychology.
  • Competencies and ethical issues in psychology.
  • Mental Health Services & Clinical Psychology.
  • e-therapy; Organisational psychology.
  • Forensic Psychology; Educational psychology.
  • Neuropsychology; Sports Performance Psychology
  • Government Policy, Regulation and Psychologists: Registration, NSW Mental Health Act, NSW Guardianship and NDIS.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): How Psychological Science and Computer Science are combining to change society and explore new understandings about ourselves.
  • Different pathways: Study and work options for psychology graduates.

Learning and teaching process

This unit is taught over 10 weeks and totals approximately 3 student contact hours per week.

The unit comprises ten weekly topics, and students will participate in teaching and learning activities including:

a)     Asynchronous recorded and written lectures 

b)     Live synchronous tutorials or equivalent asynchronous online activities

c)     Online pre-learning activities

d)     Online post-learning

Study schedule

N.B. This unit is at a higher level than that taken by the Bachelor’s degree students, and therefore students will be expected to adopt a critical and evaluative position on the topics and be ready to engage with the tutor at an advanced level.

Assessment Summary

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

Recommended text(s)

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 full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.

Parallel teaching statement

This unit involves parallel teaching. In order to ensure the required coverage of psychology and meet the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Standards, students enrolled in this unit will attend the same lectures as undergraduate students enrolled in the second and third years of the psychology sequence. To ensure learning at the appropriate level, however, students enrolled in this unit will attend separate laboratory and/or tutorial sessions from the undergraduate students. These sessions, rather than focusing on reinforcing the learning of material presented in lectures, are designed to extend this learning in more depth and at an advanced level. This will involve students preparing for these sessions by reading more advanced material. Assessment tasks also differ from the parallel undergraduate unit to ensure students are able to demonstrate the higher level of learning that is required for successful completion of the unit.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of trimester on the online class space.