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Unit Overview


Clinical psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists work with people across the lifespan who experience a range of mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties. This unit aims to provide a foundational conceptual and practical framework for the assessment and conceptualisation of common mental health, behavioral and/ or neurodevelopmental conditions in children, young people and adults.

Students are introduced to psychological assessment and the diagnostic process (using DSM-5-TR and/or ICD-11), clinical interviewing and observation methods (e.g., history taking and conducting a mental health status assessment) and psychometric instruments appropriate for the measurement and monitoring of a range of common mental health and/or neurodevelopmental conditions in both children and adults.

Students also learn how to organise clinical information into a case assessment report, and how to use the clinical information they gather towards an integrated biopsychosocial formulation to guide intervention and supports' selection and delivery. Consideration is given to co-occurring conditions and sociocultural diversity and how these may influence and inform clinical assessment and formulation, and clinical practice more broadly.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) identify, self-reflect on, and consider the evidence base alongside relevant clinical information from different methods of psychological assessment in relation to formulating and intervening with common psychological presenting difficulties, across the lifespan and considering diversity (e.g., culture, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander).; (2) identify psychological conditions/ disorders using a taxonomy system and explain their clinical decision making in relation to diagnostic considerations, including differential diagnosis; (3) identify, organise and communicate in written report the presenting difficulties, predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating and protective biopsychosocial factors across the lifespan in case formulation of common mental health presentations, drawing from case information, psychological theory and research to consider options for intervention; (4) administer common psychometric instruments of intellectual functioning and memory; and (5) use professional communication skills in written case-based scenarios and in verbal interactions in role-play scenarios being sensitive to context (e.g., developmental stage, diversity).


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) intake report; (3) video assessment: psychometric test administration; and (4) attendance. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the attendance component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Andrew Sheridan and Associate Professor Iliana Magiati
Unit rules
Enrolment in
01890/54590 Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Neuropsychology
or 01870/54570 Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Psychology
or 53370 Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology
Successful completion of
Or Enrolment in
One Unit(s) PSYC5672 Foundations in Clinical Skills I
Contact hours
2 1/2 hours/week
plus workshops: 3 x 4 hours
Students enrolled in an APAC accredited program must hold provisional registration as a psychologist. It is the students' responsibility to ensure registration eligibility. Enrolled students are also responsible for maintaining provisional registration for the duration of their enrolment in the program.

There is no one textbook for this unit. A selection of key books and readings will be given at the start of the unit, and specific readings will be shared by the lecturers for each seminar.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.