3. Course Information

3.1 PhD (by research only)

The Monash University Handbook for Doctoral and Master of Philosophy Degrees in Chapter 1 states that:

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Monash signifies that the holder has completed a course of postgraduate training in research under proper academic supervision and has submitted a thesis that the examiners have declared to be a significant contribution to knowledge and which demonstrates the candidate’s capacity to carry out independent research.

The Handbook for Doctoral Degrees contains all critical policies concerning candidature and supervision for doctoral and research master's degrees at Monash University.  Upon enrolment all students agree to be bound by the provisions in these Handbooks and in the statutes and regulations of Monash University.

As  of 1 January 2015, the new Graduate Research Progress Management Policy and accompanying Procedures will come into effect. Please refer to the Monash Policy Bank to view these documents. The Doctoral and Research Master's Handbooks will be updated to reflect these changes in due course.

3.1.1 The Monash Doctoral Program

The Monash Doctoral Program is a part of the University's strategy to improve the educational experience and outcomes of our graduate research students through a range of professional development courses and seminars. This program is designed to give graduates the skills and capabilities sought by employers, giving them the competitive edge in an ever increasingly competitive employment market.

Students participating in the Graduate Research Professional Development program are required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of professional development activities throughout their candidature. You are able to tailor your own program selecting from the range of courses available. Your program must include activities from the two streams below:

  • Excellence in Research & Teaching
    A minimum of 60 hours need to be completed from this sub-topic which is designed to develop knowledge, skills and abilities that are immediately relevant to academic life.
  • Professionalism, Innovation & Career
    A minimum of 60 hours need to be completed from this sub-topic which is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to apply your expertise within and beyond academia.

3.2 PhD (Clinical Psychology) and PhD (Clinical Neuropsychology)

Course requirements

The clinical doctoral programs comprise:

The initial two years of the course must be completed on a full-time basis, after which the candidate may be enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis. Students have four years (full-time equivalent) to complete their thesis.

More information about the structure of the programs can be found in the University Handbook:

Attendance requirements

Because of the nature of training in professional psychology, regular attendance is necessary.  To pass a unit, students must attend at least 80% of all classes, per unit, each semester. Attendance sheets are administered at the beginning of each class and late arrivals are noted.

If you are unable to attend a class, you are expected to notify your unit coordinator beforehand where possible, and to provide appropriate documentary evidence, such as a medical certificate. Students are not permitted to take holidays during semester.  For all unattended classes, you must discuss with the unit coordinator how you intend to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills.

When a student is absent from more than two classes:

  • Written documentation, such as medical certificates, must be supplied to the unit coordinator.
  • Additional assignments may be requested by unit coordinators, to ensure the relevant knowledge has been acquired.

When the absence affects attendance at placements for more than one week, you must gain permission from the placement supervisor and placement coordinator.

Conference and other extended leave

If you need to apply for leave to attend a conference or for other reasons, please follow these steps:

  • If requested leave falls during semester and will mean that you miss more than one day of coursework classes, you must apply for approval for leave from the Board of Studies by emailing the Clinical Programs Curriculum and Student Liaison Coordinator in advance to put forward a case for consideration. If you will only miss one day of classes, you just need to contact the unit coordinators for the relevant classes as per the usual procedure for any absence from class.
  • If requested leave means that you will be absent from placement, you must email the Placement Coordinator in advance and also gain permission from your placement supervisor.
  • If you will not miss any coursework or placement, only approval from your research supervisors is required.


All assignments must be submitted via Moodle.  Assignments should conform to the conventions that are stipulated in the 6th edition of the APA manual.  Plagiarism, and submitting the same piece of work for separate units, is strictly prohibited.  While some assignments involve collaboration, unauthorised collusion is not allowed.  If you are unsure what level of collaboration is acceptable for a particular assessment piece, you should discuss it with the unit coordinator.  See also the University guidelines on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Collusion.

Late assignments will be penalised by 10% per day (including weekend days), although special consideration will be granted under exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

For coursework units graded out of 100, students are expected to receive an overall mark of at least 70.  If an overall mark of less than 70 is awarded,  the student's progress will be reviewed at the relevant Board of Examiners meeting, and students may be required to undergo additional training and/or assessment.  For some coursework units, because of their requirements or because collaborative work is emphasised, a pass or fail grade is awarded.

In the fourth year of the degree, students will be required to complete a Supervision Training Workshop. Compulsory attendance at and participation in this workshop is a hurdle requirement, and students will not be graded.

To complete the degree, students must pass all coursework units and placements.

Key Dates

Principle/semester dates and holidays can be found here.

3.3 Key Contacts & Roles

3.3.1 Academic Staff

For assistance with

  • assignment extensions
  • coursework content
  • research progression
  • placement/internships
A/Prof Clare AndersonDirector, Graduate Education and Industry Centre 
Coordinator, Graduate Research
Prof Jennie PonsfordDirector, Clinical Programs
Dr Katherine LawrenceCourse Convenor, Clinical Psychology
Lead, Clinical Psychology Community Clinic
Dr Rene StolwykCourse Convenor, Clinical Neuropsychology
Prof Peter NortonDirector, Monash Psychology Centre
Dr Cathy WillmottLead, Neuropsychology and Concussion Clinics
Dr James CourtneyDeputy Director, Monash Psychology Centre
PhD Clinical Psychology Clinical Placement Coordinator
Dr Chris HutchisonPhD Clinical Neuropsychology Placement Coordinator
Dr Ali CrichtonClinical Programs Curriculum & Student Liaison Coordinator

3.3.2 Professional Staff

Kathie BarwickSchool ManagerSchool Management
Liza BinderSenior Graduate Research CoordinatorPostgraduate team management & strategic direction
Policies and regulations
Admissions management
Scholarships management
Aidan SollaResearch Training OfficerGraduate Research Programs
Amelia MorrisonAdministrative Officer, Graduate ProgramsPlacements
Catherine RalstonAdministrative Officer, Graduate ProgramsTest Library, Milestones

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