Master of Educational Psychology/Doctor of Philosophy
- CRICOS Code: 056962J
What will I study?
Over the course of your degree, you will develop advanced research skills through a focus on a number of key areas, including early childhood development, learning issues, mental health, life transitions and promoting wellbeing.
A minimum of 1000 hours of supervised placement in a professional field setting will enhance and fast-track your understanding. Placement settings include: primary and secondary schools, early learning centres, colleges, clinics, hospitals, private practice and community settings
You are also required to complete a substantial piece of original research within the field of practice of educational psychology.
- Up to 4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
- Coursework and research, comprising:
- 100 points of coursework in the first year (or equivalent for part time students)
- 150 points of further coursework throughout the final three years
- 1000 hours of supervised fieldwork
- 80,000 word PhD thesis.
For detailed course and subject information, see the University Handbook: Master of Educational Psychology/PhD.
- On campus
- Some subjects offered partially in intensive Saturday workshops
- Placement in professional field settings.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Ed Psych Practicum 1 12.5 pts
In this placement the supervisor, in conjunction with the Practicum Placement Co-ordinator, offers a designed set of training experiences which are undertaken with the supervisor. The experiences are determined by the opportunities that arise naturally in the field. The involvement of the student is judged by the supervisor. Generally the student visits a number of educational sites; observes and conducts assessment, interviews, consultations; attends meetings; creates individual behavioural progress charts; researches key issues; experiences the varied opportunities and challenges of the workplace; reflects on matters of professional importance; collects resource materials for future professional use. The placement provides an understanding of the breadth and depth of the role of the educational psychologist. It facilitates the development of an appreciation of complex professional issues, ethics and identity. There are up to three lectures covering issues of ethics, working with allied professionals and contemporary issues in educational practice. Enrolment in this subject requires Provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia, and a Working with Children Card
- Research Proposal 12.5 pts
The student will prepare under supervision a thesis proposal, providing a clear indication of the nature and purpose of the research to be undertaken in the thesis. The proposal should contain:
- a clear statement of the purpose of the research and the research question(s) being investigated;
- a justification of why the chosen topic is a worthwhile one to research;
- a substantial overview and critical discussion of research already done in the area available in the research literature;
- a critical discussion of the research methodology proposed, showing its appropriateness for answering the research question(s); and
- an outline of the research design and the timeline for implementing it.
- Research Methods 12.5 pts
An integrated approach to research in the field of educational and developmental psychology. The interdependence of methods, measurement, design, and analysis is emphasised. Practical aspects of data management and statistical analysis (using SPSS) are included in the laboratory component. Specific multivariate techniques are studied, including their selection, use, interpretation, and reporting. Datasets relevant to the practice of educational psychology are analysed in exercises where students practice statistical analysis and interpretation.
- Psychological Tests 12.5 pts
Psychological tests and testing in educational settings are considered from functional and contextual viewpoints, with emphasis on usage of test results. Test construction and psychometric issues, links between theory and measure, reporting and ethics, are covered through examining specific tests. Hands-on practice with mainstream tests (intelligence, development and personality) is used as the primary vehicle for learning.
- Working with Groups 12.5 pts
A general review of systems theory and practice is presented, with the particular focus of assisting participants to understand the social system and to develop interventions in that context. The sessions cover: communication in groups (selective perception and culture, perception and communication, understanding communication in groups); membership in formal and informal organisations (multiple memberships, group norms, group pressure and deviancy, the power of groups, conformity, compliance and obedience and the goals of a group); surface and hidden agendas; leadership; a systemic view of small group behaviour; group problem solving and decision making; the use of humour in groups; the family as a microcosm of a group; supportive structures and processes within groups. Since learning, development and adaptation of the individual occurs within varieties of social contexts, namely the school, the family and the peer group, the role of the support systems within the school, the family and the community are considered. School and family as systems are examined. Since systems work in education is heavily informed by family systems work and training in family therapy readily generalises to work with other groups, the family as a system is addressed.
- Consultation in Educational Settings 6.25 pts
The unit deals with the role of the educational psychologist as a consultant in helping to maximise to develop an organizational policy and intervention programs on a topics such as discipline, bullying, dealing with trauma, or integration. The program addresses the issues relating to negotiation and consultation, gaining entry into an organisation and the role of the consultant as a collaborative problem solver who works in some circumstances directly and in others indirectly in providing services to an educational community. There is an emphasis on developing the skills that enable an educational psychologist negotiate a consultation in an educational setting; consult with parents and teachers to increase their effectiveness in resolving the psychological and learning problems of children and adolescents; to become a change agent in an organisation (in particular a school); and to deliver a consultation in a team.
- Exceptionality:Assessment & Intervention 12.5 pts
This subject provides relevant information to enable educational psychologists to work with children and adolescents with exceptional needs in regard to identification of exceptionality and appropriate assistance. This includes current policies and practices in regard to assessment, interventions, and recommendations to parents and other professionals working with these individuals. The subject is concerned with the full range of exceptionality, which includes a comprehensive range of disabilities and the related genetic origins, psychopathology and psychopharmacology as appropriate. An examination of key concepts for those with exceptionality is undertaken which includes definitions, characteristics, symptoms, and likely developmental consequences. Psychological aspects and issues arising from the identification of such individuals are considered in the context of current government policies of inclusion and research-based educational theories. Particular emphasis is placed on assessment, program implications, service delivery, and support in meeting the developmental needs of these individuals. The role of the educational psychologist when working with exceptional individuals, their parents, and multidisciplinary teams is explored.
- Counselling Skills for Ed. Psychologists 12.5 pts
Counselling skills are taught within a framework that reflects a person-centred model of counselling, focussing in particular on three aspects: the knowledge and skills involved in establishing an effective therapeutic relationship, the skills of assessment and goal setting, and the skill in the selection and use of action strategies. The skills of attending, minimal encouragers, open questioning, reflective listening, empathy, immediacy, challenging and summarising are covered. Participants are introduced to intervention strategies applicable once the therapeutic relationship has been established. Values and ethics are examined and students are invited to review the influence of their own values in their counselling practice. Cross-cultural issues, developmental stages and specific circumstances are considered. The mode of instruction is largely experiential, using video feedback, small and large group demonstrations, and student participation. Students are introduced to cases from the educational field, and contribute material from their own experience as appropriate. The program draws upon established psychological theory and practice supported by extensive literature. The unit lays the foundation for much of the work of the practising psychologist.
- Learning Processes and Problems 6.25 pts
This subject aims to develop student understanding of learning processes and problems by applying contemporary theories of learning to understand: the processes by which people learn, identifying barriers in the learning process, methods for diagnosing learning disorders, issues with diagnosis and designing effective and evidence based interventions for those having difficulty learning.
- Ed Psych Practicum 2 12.5 pts
In this placement, the supervisor in conjunction with the Practicum Placement Co-ordinator offers a designed set of training experiences to the student. The training experience, undertaken with the supervisor, is built upon the activities observed in Practicum 1. The practicum placement is generally in the same location as Practicum 1. The experiences are determined by the opportunities which arise naturally in the field. The involvement of the student is judged by the supervisor. Generally, the student visits a number of educational sites; observes and conducts assessment, interviews, consultations; attends meetings, creates individual behavioural progress plans and reports upon their outcomes where appropriate. The placement provides the opportunity to carry out the tasks of an educational psychologist under supervision. Opportunities to receive feedback are built into the task design. There are up to three lectures covering the issues of ethics, working with allied professionals and contemporary issues in educational practice.
- Development and Differences 12.5 pts
Mainstream and current research in the fields of personality, intelligence and interests will be investigated. Emphasis is placed on gaining in-depth knowledge of important models within these field, such that students understand the professional implications of utilising psychological measures based on these models.
- Doctor of Education Thesis 0 pts
- Intervention in Problems of Young People 12.5 pts
This unit builds on the assessment, counselling and social context units and has the twin aims of focusing on theory and research as they relate to the treatment of problems of childhood and adolescence. The underlying consideration is prevention rather than cure. For that reason there is an emphasis on developing resilience and psychosocial competence in young people.
The content of the unit deals with an introduction to major approaches such as: Adlerian Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Systems Theory and Humanistic Psychotherapy. A limited number of approaches to intervention from early childhood (e. g. Play Therapy), through to adulthood (e.g. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), are considered in greater detail. These approaches are examined as they contribute to the treatment of the major developmental problems of childhood and adolescence and their manifestations in an educational setting, such as, for example, depression, mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse and sleep disorders. Assessment of the problem involves a systemic approach using DSM-V diagnostic criteria, complemented by an understanding of psychopathology and psychopharmacology. An understanding of the genesis and maintenance of problems, taking into account the social context, is the basis for selecting the most appropriate tools for intervention. The focus is on the development of resilience and psychosocial competence.
- Ed Psych Practicum 3 12.5 pts
In this placement a range of experiences appropriate to the setting are designed by the Field Supervisor and Practical Placement Co-ordinator. These include familiarisation of a unique setting through an induction process; independent experiences in individual services - observation, assessment, interviewing and reporting; program implementation; increased access to professional issues - confidentiality, ethics, identity, networks; professional literature and research. During this placement students are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner with an appropriate degree of autonomy; undertake psycho-educational assessments independently and effectively report on their findings to a range of audiences; undertake small group discussions, interviews, programs and interventions with appropriate negotiation, documentation and evaluation and display sensitivity and skills in counselling, interviewing problem solving, and consultation tasks. There are up to three lectures covering ethical issues in professional practice and the skills required in report writing.
- Doctor of Education Thesis 0 pts
- Ed Psych Practicum 4 12.5 pts
This placement represents the final set of training experiences for the student. In conjunction with the Field Supervisor and the Practicum Placement Co-ordinator, a range of experiences are designed. These include: independent assessment and reporting services; attendance at professional meetings; experience with other agencies and interdisciplinary team work; consultation with a range of personnel; project design, implementation and development; professional development as appropriate. Students are required to conduct themselves in an autonomous professional manner; undertake a wide range of individual assessments, report appropriately and develop successful interventions based on data gained; develop projects around issues of concern; communicate and consult with a range of professions and agencies and have an appreciation of the value of team work when appropriate; utilise the combination of education and psychology to enhance practice. There are up to three lectures covering issues in ethics in practice, legal requirements of an educational psychologist, writing for legal and other practitioners.
- Doctor of Education Thesis 0 pts