Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PSYC621 Professional Practice in Psychology AND PSYC622 Practicum Skills AND PSYC630 Psychological Assessment AND PSYC638 Therapeutic Skills

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to integrate theoretical knowledge into clinical practice is integral to the practice of psychology. The practicum unit is designed to provide students with experience in the delivery of psychological services to complement the theoretical learning that takes place in the coursework units. The focus of this practicum is on the development of clinical interviewing, case formulation, treatment planning, delivery of interventions and monitoring client outcomes with clients. Cultural considerations in clinical practice will also be a focus of learning throughout the practicum. Students are encouraged to approach applied problems and skill-based learning from a hypothesis-based assessment perspective consistent with a scientist-practitioner model. Professional ethics and behaviours are an integral part of learning in this unit. The aim of this unit is to facilitate the development of initial psychological practice skills that are required to work effectively with clients.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe the professional ethical code and relevant legal regulations as they relate to clinical placement settings (GA1, GA2, GA5). 

LO2 - Explain the link between diagnosis, case formulation, intervention plans, goals and monitoring of client progress in clinical work (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9); 

LO3 - Implement clinical skills to conduct/observe/participate in the administration of psychological assessment and/or a psychotherapeutic intervention, including maintaining client engagement, monitoring treatment progress, maintaining client files, behaving in accordance to placement setting procedures and adhering to ethical and legal requirements (GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


The Practicum is carried out as a field placement under the supervision of a registered psychologist approved as a Higher Degree Supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia. While on placement, students will develop the ability to integrate skills and intervention models with real clients. Attendance at weekly supervision involves individual and small group discussion of issues relevant to professional practice such as diagnosis, case formulation, choosing appropriate interventions, ethical dilemmas, record keeping and report writing.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in attendance mode because face-to-face attendance at the field placement is required for this placement-based unit. Teaching and learning strategies include a minimum of 300 hours of supervised fieldwork. There may also be workshops, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities. Teaching and learning strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in clinical work and simulated activities. This unit uses an active learning approach to support students to develop psychological practice skills through client-based work. Students are required to attend and participate in individual supervision and facilitated case conferences in order to develop and refine their case formulation skills. Students must complete a minimum of 1 hour of supervision for each 7.5 hours of placement. A minimum of 50% of supervision must be 1:1 supervision with their field supervisor, and a maximum of 50% can be group supervision. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy for this unit allows students to demonstrate their acquisition and clinical application of evidence-based assessment and intervention skills. The written assignment is designed to assess students’ ability to critically evaluate and integrate information gathered during assessment procedures to develop a case formulation and treatment plan consistent with the empirical research literature. If required, students will be given feedback to ensure that the case formulation and treatment plan meets developmental expectations, and the student will be given one further opportunity to resubmit this written assignment within two weeks of the feedback being received. The skills demonstration is designed to assess students’ ability to demonstrate their skills in psychotherapeutic techniques. The client file portfolio is designed to assess students’ ability to maintain appropriate record keeping practices consistent with ethical and professional standards. Students must pass all assessment tasks in order to pass the unit as it is critical that students demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and skills across these areas prior to working with clients and a failure in any of these tasks is likely to translate to an unacceptable level of risk to clients the student will come into contact with as a practising psychologist.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Practicum Logbook

Enables students to demonstrate competence in professional record keeping practices.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9 

Case Conference Presentations

Enables students to verbally communicate a concise case formulation in a small group case conference setting. 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Case Conference Reports

Enables students to construct and communicate a concise case formulation in a written format.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Mid-Practicum Review

Enables students to demonstrate competence in psychological practice relevant to their stage of development.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9 

End-Practicum Review

Enables students to demonstrate competence in psychological practice relevant to their stage of development.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Australian Psychological Society (2007). Code of ethics (rev ed). Carlton South, Victoria: the author. 

Australian Psychological Society (2017). Ethical guidelines (14th ed.). Carlton South, Victoria: the author. 

Baird, B. N. (2010). The internship, practicum, and field placement handbook (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.  

Carr, A. (2016). The handbook of child and adolescent clinical psychology: A contextual approach (3rd Ed.). New York: Routledge.  

Carr, A., & McNulty, M. (Eds.) (2016). The handbook of adult clinical psychology: An evidence-based practice approach (2nd Ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis Group.  

Flanagan, D. P., & Alfonso, V. C. (2017). Essentials of WISC-V assessment. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. 

Lichtenberger, E. O., & Kaufman, A. S. (2013). Essentials of WAIS-IV assessment. (2nd ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley& Sons. 

Sattler, J. M. (2008). Assessment of children: Cognitive foundations (5th ed.). San Diego CA: Sattler Publishing Inc. 

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