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PSY8040 Individual Assessment

Semester 1, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Individual Assessment
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


Examiner: Leander Mitchell


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: MPCL

Other requisites

Students enrolled in the DPCL or MPCL program MUST enrol in the TOOWOOMBA offering 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 of assessment 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 begins by introducing the student to the relevance of assessment within clinical psychology. It then 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 (including risk, effort, and motivation issues) and the test selection process. This workshop will conclude with an overview of the intake interview in the context of a cognitive assessment case. (Competency Assessment 1, 2 and 3) 15.00
2. Workshop 2 - Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment. This workshop begins with a brief overview of brain physiology and functionality. It then examines the role and methods associated with the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for adults and children along with other measures of cognitive functioning commonly employed in clinical practice. Emphasis is placed upon building the student’s confidence in using the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, as well as their understanding of the assessment process at a practical rather than purely theoretical level. (Competency Assessment 1, 2, and 3); 20.00
3. Workshop 3 - Adult Memory Assessment & Evidence-Based Report Writing. This workshop looks at memory function in adults, including the Wechsler Memory Scale. The second half of this workshop is devoted to evidence-based report writing practices. (Competency Assessment 1, 2, and 5) 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 in children. Tests explored will include the Wechsler Individual Achievement and the Children’s Memory Scale (Competency Assessment 1, 2, and 3) 15.00
5. Workshop 5 - Adult Personality & Psychosocial Assessment. This workshop begins by looking at the Personality Assessment Inventory. It then moves to explore assessment of emotion and behavioural assessment, other tests of memory, tests of language, and tests of executive function. The final session of the workshop aims to guide students in interpreting and integrating assessment results. (Competency Assessment 1, 2, 3 and 4) 20.00
6. Workshop 6 - Assessment of Special Populations. This workshop takes a look at older adult, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse populations to highlight factors needing to be considered when assessing such populations (Competency Assessment 1, 3 and 5). 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. (

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.
Butcher, JN 2011, A Beginners Guide to the MMPI-2, 3rd edn, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
Graham, JR 2012, Assessing Personality and Psychopathology MMPI-2, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
Greene, RL 2011, The MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF: An Interpretive Manual, 3rd edn, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
Journal of Clinical Psychology.
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.
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 expectations

Activity Hours
Private Study 120.00
Workshops 48.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
COGNITIVE/INTELLECTUAL ASSESS 34 34 09 Apr 2020 (see note 1)
ATTENDANCE AT 6 WORKSHOPS 6 6 08 May 2020 (see note 2)
ETHICS AND PROF PRACTICE 20 20 08 May 2020 (see note 3)
PSYCHOSOCIAL ASSESSMENT 40 40 01 Jun 2020 (see note 4)

  1. Assessment pieces are generally scheduled to be 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.
  2. Attendance at six on-campus workshops is required according to the `Postgraduate Workshop Schedule' which will be posted on the Psychology Department website.
  3. Assessment pieces are generally scheduled to be 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 generally scheduled to be 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 the Attendance at Workshops satisfactorily students must obtain at least 70% of the marks available. To complete the Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment satisfactorily students must obtain at least 70% of the marks available otherwise they will be expected to complete make up work to demonstrate the advanced competency expected of a clinical psychologist. To complete the Ethics and Professional Practice satisfactorily students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available. To complete the Psychosocial Assessment satisfactorily students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available.

  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 a passing grade a student must submit/attend and satisfactorily complete each assessment item (at least 70% of the marks available for Attendance at Workshops, at least 70% of the marks available for the Cognitive/Intellectual Assessment, at least 50% of the marks available for Ethics and Professional Practice and at least 50% of the marks available for the Psychosocial Assessment).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks /grades 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 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.

Date printed 19 June 2020