Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) is a four year (full-time) program of coursework, clinical placements (1,000 hours) and a research thesis equivalent to a PhD by research thesis in size and scope. This program is designed for those who have a particular interest in the academic and research aspects of clinical psychology. Graduates of this program have the benefit of the training provided to Master of Clinical Psychology students with the intensive research training provided by completing a research PhD in the field of clinical psychology. Further academic teaching and research opportunities are open to graduates of the clinical PhD.

The PhD (Clinical Psychology) program aims to develop effective clinical competencies and to encourage a critical approach to the application of these competencies to practice. The emphasis is on a science-based approach to clinical psychology and the development of clinical problem solving skills, with a focus on scientific evidence combined with practical experience based on the theory of clinical psychology.

The programs include the three components of formal coursework, supervised clinical practice (internships) and original clinical research. Students complete the coursework component in first and second year.

Beginning in January / February of their second year, students undertake supervised clinical practice in the ANU Psychology Clinic. Subsequently they undertake two or more supervised clinical placements external to ANU. Internships are undertaken, in addition to the ANU Psychology Clinic, in a variety of community and hospital based settings within Canberra or nearby country areas, and include community health centres, general hospital, psychiatric and medical units, neurology and neuropsychology services, veterans' counselling services, alcohol and drug services and school counselling units.

Immediately following their acceptance into the program, PhD students also commence a program of extensive clinical research. At the end of the fourth year of study, PhD candidates are required to present a major thesis (equivalent in size and scope to a research-only PhD thesis) for external examination.

Please note that the closing date for applications is 30 September each year.

International and domestic applications are open now. Please see below application information for how to apply.

Applications for the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) program at ANU are considered after the 30 September each year and over a four stage process.

STAGE 1 applications are submitted (complete by 30 September);
STAGE 2 complete and eligible applications are considered at the Clinical Committee Meeting (November);
STAGE 3 successful potential applicants will be invited for an interview by a clinical panel (late November/early December);
STAGE 4 successful applicants will be offered a place in the program (early-late December)

*Please note that if you are an international applicant and wish to be considered for the ANU scholarship round that your complete application is required to be submitted by 31 August each year.


Admission Requirements

  • The equivalent to an Honours degree in Psychology at the Second Class Honours – Upper level or higher (First Class Honours or equivalence is often required) or its international equivalent or,
  • a fourth year Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, however the Diploma must:
    1. be of an Honours standard
    2. contain a substantial research methodology component; and
    3. be accredited with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. 
  • All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission requirements for students

Applicants with qualifications obtained outside Australia must have a formal assessment completed by the Australian Psychological Society before submitting an application for study. Further information is detailed below in the application information.

Additional factors considered in assessing applications are previous relevant experience, availability of supervision for research component and written application. The Clinical Committee will invite prospective students to a personal interview prior to making a final decision on admission.

Eligibility for conditional registration as an intern psychologist with the Psychologist's Registration Board of the Australia is a condition of entry into the School of Psychology's Clinical Program. Other entry qualifications need to be assessed for their compliance with the above-mentioned standards.


  • The completion of an undergraduate course(s) in abnormal psychology (or equivalent) is a strongly recommended, but not required, for entry into the Clinical Program
  • The completion of undergraduate courses in the areas of psychometrics, personality and health psychology are also highly recommended. 
  • Some competence in statistics and research methodology is required, as is typically demonstrated by the successful completion of an Honours research thesis, given the considerable research component in each of the clinical degrees.

Application information

Applications for the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) program at ANU are considered after the 30 September each year and over a four stage process.

A complete application contains the following information:

  Item Details
1 PhD Clinical Psychology Application form  (completed online) via the ‘APPLY’ button on the ANU website
2 Transcripts and Testamurs Scanned official academic transcripts and testamurs in colour
3 Curriculum Vitae Please ensure this is up to date
4 English Language Proficiency Evidence All applicants whether domestic or international, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. The English Language Requirements for Students policy outlines approved methods for meeting the English requirements.
5 3 Referee forms

Please contact your referees well in advance to ensure that your application is complete by 30 September 2018.

When you apply online at ANU and provide the contact information for your referees, they will be sent a request to complete an online reference for you. This system is automated so that it will send reminder emails automatically to your referees until they complete the referee form. Alternatively you can opt to access the National referee system offered by Psychology Reference. The Reference Request System allows applicants for Australian post-graduate programs in Psychology to apply for a reference from academic and /or professional referees and for these references to be shared with the nominated institutions. For further information regarding this system please visit

6 Personal Statement All applicants to submit 200-300 word support statement outlining why you wish to undertake a program of study in clinical psychology at the ANU.
7 Supplementary form  
8 Australia Psychological Society qualification assessment (APS Assessment)

*Please note this can take approximately 2 months – if studied in Australia this is not required.*

*The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the national assessing authority in Australia for the assessment of academic qualifications in psychology for the purpose of migration. The APS assesses the level at which an applicant’s qualifications are comparable to an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) sequence of study in psychology. A fee is applicable for this service, which is for people who are seeking to:

  • Migrate to Australia under the General Skills Migration Categories;
  • Apply for registration or work as a psychologist in Australia; or
  • Apply for entry into an APAC-accredited course in psychology at an Australian university.
9 Research Proposal and Supervisor Confirmation (1 Page) PhD applicants are to submit details of proposed research study and secure a potential supervisor before submitting their applications.

For information about the program and the areas that have available supervision, please visit this link:

Please ensure that you have provided all the required documentation in your application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Further information for the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) program can be viewed on programs and courses at the following link: 


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to current and future students to assist with the cost of their studies. The University is committed to enabling all students, regardless of their background, to achieve their best at ANU and realise their potential. 

Eligibility for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

ANU scholarship round due dates are:

  • 31 August each year              International applicants
  • 30 September each year       Domestic applicants (although the ANU due date for this scholarship round is 31 October in order to be considered for the clinical program all applications are due by 30 September each year).

Environment & resources

Following are some of the benefits that the ANU Research School of Psychology can offer PhD students.

Resources & office space

Psychology research students normally share an office with an average of four other students during their first two years. In later years research students will normally share an office with one other student. All students have desktop computers and receive a high level of technical and administrative support. Students receive financial support for research needs and peak-conference attendance based on the submission of an annual budget.

Supervisory panels

Students work closely with their principal supervisor to identify supervisory panels within three months of enrolment. For information about the areas that have available supervision, please visit this link:

Excellent statistical & methodological support

ANU psychologists that carry out the advanced (ie fourth year) research methods training have published extensively on research methods and statistics.

Active research environment

Psychologists at ANU are actively involved in publishing research. They are at the forefront of international developments in their fields. ANU students have multiple opportunities to obtain publications.

Equipment & research space

The Research School of Psychology has large, dedicated psychology research laboratories, equipped for running most forms of research including computer-mediated communication. The School employs a full-time postdoctoral research officer whose duties include managing the laboratory.

Teaching opportunities

Casual employment as tutors is available during semester. Interested students have the opportunity to complete training in teaching through the Graduate Teaching Program.

Other local facilities

Unlike other Australian universities, ANU is primarily a research institution. The Research School of Psychology is part of the ANU College of Health and Medicine. It hosts a variety of research schools and centres. Library facilities are excellent and the National Library is just across the lake.


Career prospects

The Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) program is accredited for full membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). It is also accredited for membership of the Clinical College of the Australian Psychological Society though, as with all accredited postgraduate clinical programs, a further two years supervised clinical practice may be necessary before full membership is given, depending on past clinical experience. In addition, this program fulfils the requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia.

Updated:  19 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSP/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSP