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PSY8180 Advanced Practicum

Semester 1, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 4
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Grace Pretty
Moderator: Des Coates


Pre-requisite: PSY8150 or PSY8151


The goal of the clinical doctoral practicum is to develop the student's knowledge and skills to a level representing the hallmark of a senior practitioner. This includes best practice in services to clients and best practice in services to the profession itself. The work undertaken by students in this practicum and their supervision is characterised by high levels of professional autonomy and responsibility.


The Advanced Practicum challenges the student across two domains. First, the substance of the clinical training is of significant breadth and/or depth of knowledge and skills in a particular area. This demands a scholarly integration of theory and practice built on self reflective processes, comparative analysis and critical thinking. Second, service to the profession includes the provision of supervision to colleagues who are in earlier stages of postgraduate supervised practice, and provision of a professional development activity for mental health professionals. These activities represent two essential aspects of contributing to Australian Psychology through mentorship and lifelong learning practices.


At the end of the practicum, students will be able to demonstrate high levels of knowledge and competencies identified by the APS Competencies for Psychologists (1996) and specialist areas of the College of Clinical Psychologists. These include: case formulation, assessment and diagnosis; intervention and best practice service implementation at individual, group and community levels; professional, legal and ethical principles; professional communication and cooperation in community health contexts, and contribution to the profession through supervision and professional development activities. Specifically students will be able to demonstrate best practice in the following in relation to the area(s) of specialty that is the focus of the prac:

  1. formulate questions and hypotheses from a critical perspective to guide assessment and inform intervention strategies;
  2. plan, conduct and evaluate assessment protocols at individual, group and organisational levels;
  3. plan, conduct and evaluate intervention protocols at individual, group and organisational levels;
  4. write and present reports in oral and written formats appropriate to the setting;
  5. demonstrate a working knowledge of the contribution of psychological assessments and interventions within multidisciplinary teams and community health contexts;
  6. demonstrate insightful self reflective and generative practice in all aspects of one's work as a clinical psychologist and member of the profession;
  7. demonstrate a working knowledge of the principles and processes of professional supervision;
  8. demonstrate skills in developing and presenting a professional development activity in the specialist area of the prac.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Specific goals for assessment and intervention skills in relation to the specialist area(s) to be arranged between student and supervisors. See Placement Guidelines for Students and Supervisor provided by the USQ Psychology Department. Details of the Critical Case Review requirements are available from the Course Examiner. 70.00
2. Peer Supervision and Mentorship 20.00
3. Professional Development Activity 10.00

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. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
  • Department of Psychology 2013, Practicum 4 contract, goals and objective’s and evaluation forms, USQ, Toowoomba.
  • The Australian Psychological Society Ltd 2007, Code of ethics, Rev edn, The Australian Psychological Society Ltd, Carlton South, Victoria.
  • The Australian Psychological Society Ltd 2010, Ethical guidelines, 10th edn, The Australian Psychological Society Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Directed reading as assigned and recorded in the Student's Goals and Objectives form. Students will consult relevant psychological journals.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Practical Experience 500.00
Supervisor Consultation 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
FINAL PRACTICUM EVALUATION 25 75 26 Feb 2013 (see note 1)
MID-PRACTICUM EVALUATION 25 1 26 Feb 2013 (see note 2)
ONE WRITTEN CASE STUDY 50 1 26 Feb 2013 (see note 3)
PD ACTIVITY EVALUATION 20 8 26 Feb 2013 (see note 4)
PEER SUPERVISION ASSESSMENT 20 15 26 Feb 2013 (see note 5)

  1. Examiner will advise of due dates.
  2. Examiner will advise of due dates.
  3. Examiner will advise of due dates.
  4. Examiner will advise of due dates.
  5. Examiner will advise of due dates.

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 obtain a satisfactory standard on the final placement evaluation of the University and setting supervisors, the student must obtain 75% which is a satisfactory rating on all of the assessment criteria on the Practicum Evaluation Form, which includes an overall Satisfactory rating for the Peer Supervision and PD Activity Evaluations. Students must submit to the Practicum Supervisor to mark a written case study of a de-identified client assessed or treated in the practicum WITH A SELF REFLECTION OF THE PROFESSIONAL/PERSONAL CHALLENGES OF THE CASE, THE LEARNING THAT HAS RESULTED AND ITS APPLICATION TO FURTHER PRACTICE. The case study documentation should conform to the format for case studies as set out in the USQ Psychology Post Graduate Guidelines.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Penalties not applicable.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To receive a passing grade in this course students must complete the required hours of Practical Experience as organised by the Psychology Practicum Coordinator and obtain 75% which is a satisfactory standard on the Final Practicum Evaluation which includes an overall Satisfactory rating for the Peer Supervision and PD Activity Evaluations.

  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 achieve a 75% for each Assessment will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade if they do not achieve the 75% which reflects a minimum level of competency for practice as a doctoral level psychologist. Specific goals are as stated in the Practicum Booklet (referred to in Assessment Note 10). Students who fail the Practicum cannot continue in the Program

  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 student will consult with the Program Coordinator when eligible to commence the Advanced Practicum. The Program Coordinator will advise the student of the staff member who is the Examiner for this course. It will be the responsibility of the student, in association with the examiner, to negotiate the determination of a practicum site and supervisor. At the start of the Practicum a contract will be drawn up between the Examiner of the course who is the university supervisor, the setting supervisor and the student regarding supervisory and practicum requirements.

  2. Specific goals for the practicum will be completed in each competency area by the setting supervisor and the student within completion of the first 80 hours of practicum. Goals are to make specific reference to assessment, intervention, and professional competencies listed by the APS Clinical College

  3. A record of all practicum activity hours and supervision must be maintained by students in log books (see Practicum Guidelines Booklet for details).

  4. Written reports and assignments will be as designated in the Goals and Objectives form.

  5. Supervision meetings will be held with setting and academic supervisors as specified in the Practicum Contract.

  6. Assessment 1 is a Mid-Practicum Interview with Supervisors in the setting to determine the student's progress.

  7. Assessment 2 is a Final Practicum Evaluation from the setting supervisor based on predetermined criteria for each practicum goal.

  8. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of a practicum in extenuating circumstances.

  9. Students must submit a Case Study including a Self reflective Critical Review of 5,000 words (maximum). This comprises (i) a critical literature review of a concept or theme that has been central to the key area of expertise within their doctoral clinical practice, (ii) a critical analysis of one case with reference to this key theme conducted during any of the practica (iii) a conclusion that considers the implications of the above reviews and (iv) a self reflective analysis of the challenges and learning the student experienced from these cases and how this might influence future practice.

  10. Students will assist with some supervision of another postgraduate student who is progressing through the Supervised Practice Program. NOTE: This is not required of students who already have had training and have been assessed in clinical supervision, for example the QLD Registration Boards' STAP program, or another course with an assessment component. The student will attend a 3 hour Introductory Workshop on Supervision in Psychological Practice and be supervised by the Examiner for this component of the practicum. The number of hours of co-supervision to be provided by the student as part of the practicum will be at least 8 and not exceed 12. The number of supervision hours provided to the student for this component of the practicum including the 3 hour workshop is 10.

  11. Students will develop and present/facilitate a Professional Development Activity to their local community of psychologists (and mental health professionals if appropriate). The activity will be at least 1 hour and not to exceed 3 hours. The student will devise an evaluation form to be distributed to participants at the end of the Activity. This evaluation will be submitted to the Examiner as criteria to pass this assessment.

  12. Students will require access to email and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  13. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  14. 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.