university of sydney psychology phd

Doctor of Philosophy (Science) [MCP/PhD]

Why study clinical psychology with us?

Read: The University of Sydney Advantage

Our rankings

  • 30th in the worldWe’re ranked 30th globally for psychology by the 2021 QS University Rankings by Subject.
  • 1st for employabilityOur graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th globally for employability by the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

Overview

In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the ava…more informationCourse detailsFaculty/University School: Faculty of ScienceCredit points required:Course abbreviation: PhDUSyd code: RPPHDSCI4000UAC code: N/AStudy mode: On-campus dayStudy type: PHDFLocation: Camperdown/Darlington campusGraduate AttributesDuration full time: 4.5 years full timeDuration part time: Not available part time

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

IELTS score

A minimum result of 7.0 overall and a minimum result of 7.0 in each bandFind out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

English language proficiency

TOEFL – IBT score

A minimum result of 96 overall including a minimum result of 23 in Reading, Listening and Speaking and 25 in WritingFind out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Pearsons Test of English

A minimum result of 68 overall and a minimum result of 68 in each bandFind out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

What you’ll study

Study plan

In first year, you will enrol full time in the MCP coursewor…more informationUnits of Study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 1200 hours.

This mandatory work component must be completed as part of the award requirements for the course.View the faculty handbook

Applying for entry

2021 applications will open on 30 July 2020.

Inherent requirements

There are inherent requirements for clinical psychology study at the University of Sydney, including for both the MCP and the MCP/PhD. Applicants should review these inherent requirements to ensure they are able to successfully complete the course.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course, while preserving the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes.

The University welcomes and encourages applications from students with disabilities, and from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Where there are physical, intellectual, cultural, religious or other factors that impact on a student’s ability to meet the inherent requirements, the University will make reasonable adjustments to assist the student to meet the requirements. 

Admission requirements

  • Completion of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited four year bachelors degree with honours in psychology from a higher education provider, gaining at least an first class honours or equivalent. 
    • The bachelors degree with honours must have been completed within 10 years of commencing the MCP/PhD.
    • The bachelors degree with honours must include a major research project and thesis as an essential part of the degree.
  • You must satisfy the Head of the School of Psychology (or delegate) of your personal suitability for the practice of clinical psychology through your application, references and selection interview.
  • Prior to applying, you must arrange a research supervisor from the School of Psychology, by contacting academics directly to discuss potential supervision. 
  • You will be required to provide evidence of supervisor contact and acceptance. Once you have arranged a supervisor, you will be required to submit a research proposal to support your application. 
  • Search for a potential supervisor with clinically relevant research areas via:
Non-Australian qualifications (if relevant)

The Australian Psychological Accreditation Council (APAC) provides information on APAC accredited psychology qualifications in Australia.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) assesses non-Australian qualifications for APAC equivalence. All qualifications obtained from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider must be assessed as equivalent by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) before an application may be submitted.

English language requirements (if relevant)

Applicants must comply with the English language requirements of the University of Sydney (a minimum of 7.0 overall and a minimum result of 7.0 in each band). English language test scores must be less than two years old from course commencement.

Applicants must also comply with the English language requirements of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Additional English language requirements apply under the current AHPRA standards for registration. Where AHPRA standards are inconsistent with University of Sydney standards, the higher standard will apply. 

Applicants relying on primary, secondary and/or tertiary qualifications to satisfy AHPRA’s English language requirements must provide documentary evidence to demonstrate completion of the qualification, language of instruction, duration and recognised country. Recognised countries include: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, UK or USA.

English language requirements must be met by the application closing date.

Selection criteria

Admission is very competitive due to the large number of high calibre applications received and limited number of places available each year. All applications must be submitted by the application closing date. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered for the selection interview. Only top-ranking applicants meeting all academic admission requirements and selection criteria will be invited to attend a selection interview.

In order to be competitive:

  • Within the Faculty of Science in the University of Sydney, first class honours is considered to be an overall fourth year result of no less than 80%. A minimum result of first class honours is required for entry into MCP/PhD.
  • The overall fourth year result includes fourth year units of study only. Results from the first three years of undergraduate study are not included in the calculation.
  • If you are unable to provide evidence of your overall honours result as a mark out of 100 (%) on your transcript or as a letter from your fourth year coordinator or administrator, your numeric GPA or non-numeric grade will be mapped to the lower end of the scale for ranking purposes.

The selection interview aims to identify applicants who have a demonstrated interest in clinical psychology, an awareness of clinical issues, and are personally suitable for clinical practice, with sound interpersonal and relational skills. We are looking for applicants who demonstrate the capacity to achieve high levels of scholarship, to be responsive to diversity, and to handle the stress and demands of clinical training. We aim for our graduates to become emerging leaders in the profession, in clinical, research or academic contexts. The selection interview is usually held in the first week of December.

Offers of admission will be made to qualified applicants on the basis of academic merit and interview, according to the admissions and selection criteria. Offers are usually made from mid-December.

How to apply

What to apply for?

  • The MCP/PhD double degree is only available to domestic applicants. Applicants submit two separate admission applications – one for MCP and one for PhD.
  • Please note that the application for PhD (for MCP/PhD) is different to the application for standalone PhD. Please do not submit an application for standalone PhD.

Gadigal Program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants who wish to be considered for admission under the Gadigal Program must additionally submit a Gadigal application. Eligible applicants may be given priority for the selection interview.

Application procedure

  1. Identification PDF
  2. Academic PDF
  3. English PDF (if relevant)
  4. Research PDF (research proposal, supervisor acceptance)
  5. Authorisation PDF (for applicants currently enrolled in fourth year honours)
Referee reports

All applicants must provide references via the Psychology Reference System.

MCP/PhD applicants must provide two academic references.

Applicants must register with the Psychology Reference System to nominate their two referees online. Referees are then prompted to complete an online reference. Applicants must share the completed references with the University of Sydney via the Psychology Reference System.

  • Applicants who do not correctly provide completed references and share these with the University of Sydney via the Psychology Reference System by the application closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that the University of Sydney does not operate the Psychology Reference System. The University of Sydney is not responsible for monitoring and reviewing content of the Psychology Reference System website.

Professional accreditation, registration and endorsement

Accreditation

The MCP/PhD provides a professional postgraduate qualification in clinical psychology. 

  • The MCP/PhD is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) as a 5th and 6th year of study, and is an approved qualification for Associate Membership of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) and the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists. 
  • The Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), through APAC, also recognises both courses for the purposes of registration and for endorsement of practice in clinical psychology.
  • The MCP/PhD is recognised, in principle, by the New South Wales Ministry of Health as qualifying the holder for progression to the grade of Clinical Psychologist. 

Registration

Provisional registration
  • Before commencing candidature in the MCP/PhD, all students are required to have applied for provisional registration with AHPRA’s Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA). 
  • Students must hold provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) in order to commence clinical placements in the first year of the MCP/PhD.
Full registration
  • MCP/PhD students will be eligible for full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA), following the completion of all coursework and placements of the MCP, and research writing has progressed sufficiently to be equivalent in size and scope to the thesis requirements for the MCP.

Clinical endorsement

In order to gain endorsement from the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) as a Clinical Psychologist, following the completion of the MCP/PhD, graduates need to undertake a two-year full-time equivalent Registrar program. 

  • The Clinical Psychology Registrar program is a two-year full time equivalent program which involves clinical psychology practice, supervision, and continuing professional development.
  • Students are eligible to apply to AHPRA’s Psychology Board of Australia, seeking approval to undertake the Registrar program once they have been granted full registration.

International equivalency

In regard to international equivalency for accreditation and registration of the MCP/PhD, students are advised to contact the relevant accreditation and registration bodies in their own country for accurate advice.

However, with careful selection of clinical placements and additional clinical placements hours, MCP/PhD graduates may meet UK, European, US and Canadian standards.

Careers & future study

Career Pathways

The MCP/PhD is a path to professional specialisation in clinical psychology. By the end of this double degree, you will have the highly developed knowledge base and strong clinical skills needed to work as a professional clinical psychologist in many clinical and community settings.

The MCP/PhD is recognised by the NSW Ministry of Health as qualifying the holder for progression to the grade of clinical psychologist.

Upon graduation, students are eligible for membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists, and Associate Membership of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA).

Your fee

Eligible domestic Higher Degree by Research students may receive a Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset under the Australian Government’s RTP, which will cover the cost of their tuition fees.
Students who are awarded a RTP Fees Offset will be entitled (depending on their course ) to either up to a maximum of 4 years of full time equivalent study for an eligible Doctorate by Research, or 2 years of full time equivalent study for a Master’s Degree by Research. A student’s award of, and continued entitlement to, the RTP Fees Offset is subject to change consistent with relevant laws and University rules, policies and procedures.
Please read carefully the ‘Important Fee Information’ section set out below.Scholarships

Scholarships

Every year, we provide hundreds of scholarships, awards and prizes to students of all backgrounds and levels.

Tanya Sackville Memorial Scholarship

Postgraduate coursework scholarships

Postgraduate research scholarships
Find out more about scholarships

How to apply

Read the Application Procedure Guide (PDF, 750KB).

Application deadline is 9am Friday 30 October 2020 for 2021 admission.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

Important fee information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount

The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University’s Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increase

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Domestic Higher Degree by Research Student fee information

Commencing 1 January 2017, the Research Training Program (RTP) has been introduced by the Australian Government to support postgraduate research scholarships. The RTP enables the University to award eligible domestic and international Higher Degree by Research students (RTP Students) with a RTP Fees Offset, which is a type of RTP Scholarship. This RTP Scholarship is to assist with tuition fees that would otherwise be payable by students. The University’s allocation of funding under the RTP is governed by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017 (as may be amended or replaced from time to time) and relevant Conditions of Grant prescribed by the Government (Relevant Laws).
A student’s continued eligibility is subject to Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended or replaced from time to time). A RTP Fees Offset entitles a student (depending on their course) to a period of tuition fee support for either up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a Doctorate by Research, or up to a maximum of two years of full-time equivalent study for a Master’s by Research from the course of study commencement date. Different periods of support apply for a part-time student as set out in University policy and procedures. Please note that, when a student has exhausted the maximum period of support under this RTP Scholarship, or they do not comply with a requirement of the RTP Scholarship as set out in University policy and procedures, the University must terminate the Scholarship. If the student wishes to continue their candidature in the same degree (and they are approved to do so), they will be transferred to a domestic fee paying place and may be liable for tuition fees at a rate determined by the University at the time.
Please note that a student’s award of, and continued entitlement to, the RTP Scholarship is subject to change consistent with Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended and replaced from time to time). The University determines the allocation of this Government support and the processes by which this support is managed.
Please consult the Australian Government’s website at: https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program for information on RTP Scholarships and eligibility requirements.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or JCB. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.