USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

PSY8040 Individual Assessment

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Graeme Senior
Moderator: Lucille Douglas


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPCL or MPCL or PDPP

Other requisites

Students enrolled in the DPCL or MPCL program MUST enrol in the TOOWOOMBA offer of this course.
Students enrolled in the PDPP program MUST enrol in the SPRINGFIELD offer of this course.


Psychological Assessment is a core competency area in the practice of Clinical Psychology and other applied specialties in Psychology. The skills-based competencies of this course will enable the student to contribute to individual assessments with an appreciation for and mastery of the technical, multi-disciplinary, cultural, and personal aspects of psychological test use with a focus on evidence-based analysis, interpretation, and report-writing.


This course aims to provide students with a broad understanding of approaches to assessing individual behaviour in adults and children through the use of standardised tests. Students will develop expertise in the analysis, interpretation, and communication of psychological test data pertinent to clinical practice.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. inspect appropriate methods, tools, and approaches with an awareness of ethical issues in the conduct and use of psychological tests;
  2. interpret assessments conducted and make recommendations regarding intervention;
  3. compare the operating characteristics of different tests and consider the implications for test selection and interpretation;
  4. utilise knowledge of the clinical judgement literature to enhance assessment practices;
  5. communicate results of assessments to multidisciplinary teams and clients.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Workshop 1 Ethical and professional issues in psychological assessment. This workshop reviews ethical and professional responsibilities with regard to psychological assessment. Included are methods related to how clinical practice can be informed by the research literature along with concerns and cautions regarding clinical decision-making this workshop will also review measures for evaluating risk of self-harm and causing harm to others. Also examined is the important area of cognitive effort and motivation and its impact upon test performance. Current methods for incorporating symptom validity testing into every assessment are reviewed (Competency Assessment 1, 2 and 3); 20.00
2. Workshop 2 Evidence-based report writing. This workshop examines the importance of evidence-based report-writing and promotes best-practice in effectively, accurately, and openly communicating test findings in psychological reports. The basis for this workshop is informed by clinical, forensic, and neuropsychological practice as well as psychometric principles and relevant Australian legislation and codes of practice (Competency Assessment 1, 2, and 3); 20.00
3. Adult Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment. This workshop examines the role and methods associated with the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (4th Edition) along with other measures of cognitive functioning commonly employed in clinical practice. Emphasis is placed upon advanced methods of analysis and interpretation in addressing issues appropriate to both children and adults in relation to evaluation of clinical hypothesis. These include verbal fluency measures, Trail Making Test, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Shipley Institute of Living Scale, Rey Complex Figure Test, Boston Naming Test and the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System. (Competency Assessment 2); 20.00
4. Workshop 4: Educational and Developmental Assessment. This workshop focuses on measures that are commonly administered to assess psychoeducational and developmental issues including the Wide Range Achievement Test- Fourth Edition, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third Edition, and the Beery-Buktenika Developmental test of Visual Motor Integration (Competency Assessment 2); 20.00
5. Workshop 5 (Adult Psychosocial Assessment. This workshop reviews the analysis and interpretation of a comprehensive spectrum personality inventory such as the the MMPI-2, MMPI-2-RF, or PAI in clinical, forensic, and neuropsychological settings (Competency Assessment 3); 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Required texts are determined by the modules undertaken.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • Assessment.
  • Butcher, JN 1999, A Beginners Guide to the MMPI-2, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
  • Graham, JR 2005, Assessing Personality and Psychopathology MMPI-2, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Greene, RL 2000, The MMPI-2: An Interpretive Manual, 2nd edn, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
  • Journal of Clinical Psychology.
  • Lezak, MD, Howieson, DB, and Loring, DW 2004, Neuropsychological Assessment, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Mitrushina, MN, Boone, KB & D'Elia, LF 2005, Handbook of Normative Data for Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Psychological Assessment.
  • Strauss, E, Sherman, M.S., & Spreen, O 2006, A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • The Clinical Neuropsychologist.
  • Vanderploeg, RD 2000, Clinician's Guide to Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd edn, Erlbaum, New Jersey.
  • Handouts and other recommended readings will be distributed during the semester.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 130.00
Tutorials 40.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ATTENDANCE AT 5 WORKSHOPS 1 1 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
COGNITIVE/INTELLECTUAL ASSESS 1 35 28 Feb 2012 (see note 2)
ETHICS AND PROF PRACTICE 1 30 28 Feb 2012 (see note 3)
PSYCHOSOCIAL ASSESSMENT 1 34 28 Feb 2012 (see note 4)

  1. Attendance at five on-campus workshops is required according to the `Postgraduate Workshop Schedule' which will be posted on the Psychology Department website.
  2. Assessment pieces are due two to three weeks following the presentation of the workshop for which they are intended to examine. A schedule of due dates for each piece of assessment will be distributed at the first workshop.
  3. Assessment pieces are due two to three weeks following the presentation of the workshop for which they are intended to examine. A schedule of due dates for each piece of assessment will be distributed at the first workshop.
  4. Assessment pieces are due two to three weeks following the presentation of the workshop for which they are intended to examine. A schedule of due dates for each piece of assessment will be distributed at the first workshop.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the competency assessments satisfactorily, students must obtain the required competency level for the task chosen.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit Competency Assessments late without the approval of the Examiner, they may be given a Fail grade for the course.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, students must submit and satisfactorily complete three competency assessments (Ethics and Professional Practice, Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment, and Psychosocial Assessment).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for assessments is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. In accordance with the university's Policy on Assessment, the Examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. This policy may be found in the USQ Handbook, the Distance Education Study Guide and the Faculty of Sciences' Orientation Handbook for new on-campus students. All students are advised to study and follow the guidelines associated with this policy.

  2. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.