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.

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 opportunities

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.

Examples of student accomplishments from some of our Clinical Psychology Program graduates can be viewed here. Some examples of Clinical Psychology Program Students Publications and Presentations can be viewed here