Course Outline

PSY703 Practicum Placement 1

Course Coordinator:Helen Stallman ( School:School of Health and Behavioural Sciences

2022Semester 1

Thompson Institute

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


The USC postgraduate psychology  programs is committed to maintaining the primacy of public safety in the delivery of the program within the education and placement environments. Practical experience is an important component of the preparation for independent professional roles in clinical psychology. The essential purpose of the first practicum is to ensure that interns have appropriate opportunities to apply, under supervision, the knowledge and skills acquired in the program. During this practicum you will gain experience in providing clinical psychology services for clients within the Psychology Clinic, for a minimum of 250 hours, and will develop skills in the range of professional and administrative activities involved in professional clinical practice.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – 2 hours tutorial/workshop and case conference 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Placement – Minimum 250 placement hours 250hrs Week 1 Once Only

Course Topics

This course will cover:

  • intake interviewing
  • how to structure a session
  • suicide prevention
  • formulation
  • specific CBT techniques (e.g. guided discovery, behavioural experiments, using homework)  


What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate competency with knowledge and skills required to work as a clinical psychologist. Knowledgeable
2 Demonstrate competency/ strong knowledge and skills in the design and implementation of clinical psychological interventions. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
3 Demonstrate competency/strong knowledge and skills in dealing professionally with clients and with other professionals. Knowledgeable
4 Demonstrate competency in ability to communicate knowledge and skills effectively in writing and through oral presentation. Creative and critical thinker
5 Demonstrate strong knowledge of ethical, legal and professional aspects of psychological practice and understanding of using the APS Code of Ethics and its accompanying Guidelines, and other relevant sources, to resolve ethical questions. Ethical
6 Demonstrate behaviour consistent with the legal requirements and code of conduct relevant to psychologists. Ethical

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


PSY701 and PSY702 and PSY705


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Limited Grading (PNP)

Pass (PU), Fail (UF). All assessment tasks are required to be passed for successful completion of the course.

Details of early feedback on progress

Placement performance (weekly supervision meetings) which constitutes an ongoing formative appraisal of the students performance.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Placement performance Individual
*250 hours
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) To Supervisor
All 2 Code of Conduct Individual
Refer to Format To Supervisor
All - Assessment Task 1:Placement Performance Supervised casework
Provide assessment and diagnosis of, and intervention for clinical psychological problems.
Product: Placement performance
The minimum 250 hours for this course consists of face-to-face client contact, clinical supervision  and other clinical activities. 

Casework involves providing assessment of and psychological treatment for USC Psychology Clinic clients, as well as engaging in weekly supervision meetings with your clinical supervisor/s. Prior to beginning supervised casework, you and your clinical supervisor will complete and sign a supervision contract stating the objectives for the placement including the range of activities to be covered and the skill base to be developed. This will be signed and approved by the course coordinator. You will also complete a mid-practicum review and an end of practicum review with your supervisor.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and competent skills in a range of clinical/professional activities (including assessment, case formulation, diagnosis, treatment planning with on-going monitoring and revision of problem formulation and interventions where necessary.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Oral communication and interpersonal skills for effective communication with clients, other psychologists and other professionals and the ability to work as part of an active member of the clinical team and engaging in relationships in the clinic.
Maintain client files appropriately and accurately, consistent with the legal and ethical responsibilities of a registered psychologist. Each client progress note and report must be dated and signed by you and reviewed & cosigned by the supervisor.
5 6
Write client progress notes, reports and other documents in an informed, succinct, accurate, lucid and well-organised manner, and for a range of audiences.
1 2 4
Maintain a single log book that details your Direct Client Activities, Client-Related Activities and Supervision Hours. The log book must detail the nature and hours of all practica undertaken, as well as the dates, nature and hours of supervision.
5 6
Complete a mid-practicum review
1 2 3 4 5 6
Complete and pass an end of practicum review
1 2 3 4 5 6
All - Assessment Task 2:Code of Conduct
This task enables you to be familiar with the Code of Conduct for your discipline and work within its guidelines during a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience.
Product: Code of Conduct
SUBMIT:  Throughout the pre- and post-placement process, on campus and throughout the placement.

During your WIL experience you are required to complete 250 hours of placement activity (client contact, supervision and client related activities) — undertaken for 2 to 2.5 days per week over 16 to 20 weeks. To be eligible to pass, you are required to complete the placement satisfactorily according to the criteria below. 

See Canvas for discipline specific Code of Conduct.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Adherence to the policies and procedures in the Psychology Clinic Manual.
1 5 6
Adherence to the policies and procedures of the University and the Thompson Institute
1 5 6
Knowledge and behaviour as outlined in the APS Code of Ethics and Ethical Guidelines;
1 5 6
Adherence to the USC Student Conduct and Discipline – Governing Policy
5 6
Adherence to the USC Placement Contract
1 2 3 4 5 6
Completion of the 250 hours

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

You are expected to attend all face to face workshops. For any lectures that are missed you will need to demonstrate to your course coordinator that you have covered the required material. This will usually take the form of a detailed summary and reflection of the Directed Study Activities for the missed lecture.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

This course will be graded as Pass in a Limited Grade Course (PU) or Fail in a Limited Grade Course (UF) as per clause 4.1.3 and 4.1.4 of the Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) - Institutional Operating Policy of the USC.

In a course eligible to use Limited Grades, all assessment items in that course are marked on a Pass/Fail basis and all assessment tasks are required to be passed for a student to successfully complete the course. Supplementary assessment is not available in courses using Limited Grades.

Assessment: Submission penalties

You must contact your Course Coordinator and provide the required documentation if you require an extension or alternate assessment.


USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

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General Enquiries

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  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890