PSYC6072 Psychology Practice 5: Placement

Year level and semester: 6th year, trimester 3

Coordinator: Dr Vanessa Beavan

Other staff: Dr Damith Woods; clinical associates (external placement supervisors); Christine Ly and Dee Mahon (Placement officers)

Length of unit: one trimester

Format of unit: 2 X 3 hour professional practice seminars (internal); and 21 to 22 hours practica and clinical supervision (external) per week for 11 weeks or as negotiated with placement supervisor (total 234 hours).


This unit is a core unit in the 6th year of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) program.  The main objective of PSYC6072 is to assist students in working towards the required placement, supervision and clinical skills development for competency in psychological assessment and intervention, as well as to enhance each student’s developing identity as a Clinical Psychologist.

Unit description

In the three units Psychology Practice 3: Placement, Psychology Practice 4: Placement, and Psychology Practice 5: Placement, students will undertake external placements, totaling 700 hours in an adult mental health setting, a child/adolescent mental health or developmental disability setting and one other setting. In each unit students will complete at least 234 service hours and continue to attend weekly on-campus seminars focused on skills training and on ethical and professional practice.   

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a)    demonstrate appropriate professional demeanour;

b)   provide appropriate informed consent to clients;

c)    demonstrate core counselling and interviewing skills;

d)   demonstrate skills in communication suitable for working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.

e)   apply a biopsychosocial model to professional practice;

f)     demonstrate skills in selecting assessment instruments appropriate to the individual, the setting, and the purpose of the assessment;

g)    demonstrate skills in administering, scoring, interpreting and communicating information about assessments;

h)   demonstrate skills in psychological formulation and applying diagnosis;

i)      demonstrate behaviour that is consistent with the legal requirements and professional codes of conduct relevant to professional psychology practice;

j)     demonstrate awareness of issues associated with working with individuals from backgrounds different to one’s own;

k)    demonstrate skills for implementing cognitive behavior therapy;

l)      demonstrate skills for safe professional practice;

m) demonstrate skills in communication suitable for professional development.


Learning and teaching process

This unit requires students to:

  1. attend and actively participate in two 3 hour seminars (held in semester breaks) Students are expected to prepare a case presentation for each seminar and to submit one case report for the trimester.
  2. undertake a minimum of 234 hours of practica and clinical supervision across the trimester.

a. 47 hours of supervision (at least 50% must be individual supervision)

b. a minimum of 94 hours of direct client contact (contact during assessment or therapy, whether individually or in a group; contact with teachers, parents, or significant others that forms part of the assessment or therapy process; observing a more experienced clinician or supervisor engaged in assessment or therapy, whether sitting in on the session or observing through a one-way screen or on a monitor as the session takes place).

c. a minimum of 93 hours of client-related activities (scoring and interpreting tests; writing reports; client related phone calls; communication with other professionals, organizing appointments).

  1. maintain a log of all practica activities and submit this to their individual supervisor at least every four weeks for review.
  2. fulfil administrative responsibilities as agreed to in supervisor contract.  


Study Schedule



Week 1

Placement orientation.

Week 2

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 3

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 4

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 5

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 6

Clinical supervision; placement practice; mid-placement review.

Mid-trimester break

Case seminar; clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 7

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 8

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 9

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Week 10

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Study Week 11

Clinical supervision; placement practice.

Exam Week 12

Clinical supervision; placement practice; end-of-placement review.

Trimester Break

Case Seminar.

Required reading/texts for the unit:

Note. There are no prescribed texts. The books identified for earlier units, particularly PSYC5062 Psychology Practice 1: Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues, will be useful. Students will read journal articles and texts related to specific cases and clinical issues.


Assessment and requirements

In addition to the log book, the 30 minute case presentations and the 2500 word case report , the key assessment for PSYC6072 is the supervisor’s report.  Before a placement is commenced the student and placement supervisor will meet and agree on the objectives of the placement experience, including the range of activities to be covered and the skill base to be developed. This contract will be reviewed and approved by the unit of study coordinator. About halfway through the placement an interim review will be held with the student, the supervisor and the unit of study coordinator. This review will consider student progress, the supervisor-student relationship, the extent to which placement objectives are being met. One hour is allocated for the mid-placement review and the results of the review, including any actions to address issues agreed as a result of the review, will be documented and held at ACAP.

At the completion of the placement there will be an end-of-placement review and the external supervisor will make a recommendation that the student (a) has completed the placement at an acceptable level (Satisfactory); (b) is required to undertake further work to meet the requirements of the placement (Partially Satisfactory); (c) has not met the requirements of the placement (Unsatisfactory). The final decision regarding whether the student has passed or failed the placement will be made by the Coordinator of the Professional Psychology Programs in consultation with the placement supervisor and unit of study coordinator.  


A grade of ‘Satisfactory’ in PSYC6052 along with satisfactory performance of other required assessments is required to progress to the next unit of study that requires working with clients. Students who receive a grade of ‘Partially Satisfactory’ will be required to meet with the unit coordinator and external placement supervisor to develop a plan for additional work to be completed prior to re-assessment of their skills in working with clients. Students who receive a grade of ‘Unsatisfactory’ in PSYC6052 will receive a fail grade on the unit of study and will be allowed to repeat the unit of study once. Students will not be allowed to progress to the next unit of study involving working with clients (PSYC6072) until they have successfully completed the unit of study including receiving a grade of ‘Satisfactory’ for skills in working with clients. Students who repeat PSYC6052 and receive a grade of ‘Unsatisfactory’ on the second attempt will not be allowed to continue with the course.  


Assessment Type


When assessed


Grading structure


Learning Outcomes  Assessed

30 minute case presentation in which student highlights a professional or ethical issueencountered with a case that they have worked with.

Case Seminar 1

Case Seminar 2


(f), (g), (h), (j)

2500 word evidence-based case report.

Week 10


(f), (g), (h), (j)

Log book of professional practice.

Week 13


(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m)

Supervisor’s report.

Week 13

Unsatisfactory/ partially satisfactory/ satisfactory

(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m)

Information given to students at the start of the unit: 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 for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline 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.