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PSY5140 Comprehensive Psychological Assessment

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Ipswich
Short Description: Comprehensive Psychological As
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090701 - Psychology
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 20 May 2019


Examiner: Adina Piovesana


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: MPPS or be undertaking the course as professional development


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 and consider the implications for test selection and interpretation
  2. interpret assessments conducted and make recommendations regarding intervention;
  3. be able to integrate cognitive, psychosocial, psychoeducational, and behavioural test findings according to evidence-based best practices.
  4. communicate results of assessments in an effective manner and in the context of multidisciplinary teams and clients.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ethical and professional issues will be reviewed in 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. (Competency Assessment 1, 2 and 3); 20.00
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. Students will also gain an understanding of the process of interpreting and integrating test results within the cognitive assessment context (Competency Assessment 1, 2, 3 and 4); 20.00
3. Adult Psychosocial Assessment. This workshop reviews the analysis and interpretation of a comprehensive spectrum personality inventory such as the PAI in clinical, forensic, and neuropsychological settings. Other measures of emotional and behavioural functioning are also explored. (Competency Assessment 3); 20.00
4. 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. The workshop also includes an overview of the intake interview within a cognitive assessment context. (Competency Assessment 1); 20.00
5. Educational and Developmental Assessment. This workshop focuses on commonly administered assessments with a child population in particular. It includes the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (4th edition), the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (2nd edition), the Children’s Memory Scale, and measures of adaptive behaviour (Competency Assessment 1 and 2); 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.
Lezak, MD, Howieson, DB, and Loring, DW 2012, Neuropsychological Assessment, 5th 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.
Strauss, E, Sherman, M.S., & Spreen, O 2006, A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
Vanderploeg, RD 2000, Clinician's Guide to Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd edn, Erlbaum, New Jersey.
Journals: Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology; Assessment; Journal of Clinical Psychology; Psychological Assessment; The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Handouts and other recommended readings will be distributed during the semester.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Private Study 130.00
Workshops 40.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ATTENDANCE AT 5 WORKSHOPS 5 5 26 Feb 2019 (see note 1)
COGNITIVE/INTELLECTUAL ASSESS 50 35 26 Feb 2019 (see note 2)
PSYCHOSOCIAL ASSESSMENT 34 60 26 Feb 2019 (see note 3)

  1. Attendance at five on-campus workshops is required according to the 'MPPS Workshop Schedule' which will be posted on the Psychology Department website.
  2. Assessment pieces are generally 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 generally 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 the compulsory workshops held on-campus, where the skills components of this course will be taught. During these workshops, students will engage in the development and practice of skills related to cognitive assessments. Further, it is the students' responsibility to study all assigned material. If circumstances prevent a student from attending any portion of a workshop, the student MUST contact the examiner IN ADVANCE, if at all possible. The student must also contact the examiner in order to arrange an alternative activity, where applicable. Although it is important to note that it will be at the examiner’s discretion as to whether an alternative activity will be made available, Attendance at and participation in the five workshops and/or completion of one or more alternative activities at a standard judged to be appropriate by the examiner is required before the one mark for the workshops can be awarded.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks available. (See also point 5 below.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 (i.e., obtain a grade of 50% or more) all three assessments (Attendance at 5 Workshops, Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment, and Psychosocial Assessment). All courses in the MPPS are approved by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), which requires that students pass all assessment items in all courses. Where a student fails any assignment, the student will be allowed one opportunity to re-submit their work following feedback from the course examiner. If a student fails any assignment a second time, he or she will be deemed to have failed the course and will be required to undertake the course again at its next offering. This rule applies regardless of whether or not the aggregated marks for remaining assessment in a course are higher than 50% overall. Where illness, bereavement, or circumstances of similar gravity affect a student’s ability to meet the high standards expected in the MPPS, the student should meet with the course examiner or MPPS Program Coordinator to negotiate suitable management of the person’s individual needs.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grade for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  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 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.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require regular access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains elements that are managed electronically via USQ StudyDesk. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should access the student computer laboratories to complete assignment work. External students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission and electronic assessment attempts. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.