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Unit Overview


This unit covers the application of psychological theory and methods for the purpose of ensuring that the particular individuals hired by an organisation are likely to be successful employees. Initially, the unit covers concepts relating to the process of defining the criteria for personnel selection through job analyses. Then, the students learn about the instruments that are available to select the best employees and the criteria on which these instruments can be evaluated that go beyond just predictive validity (e.g., utility, adverse impact, and applicant reactions). Then, the students learn about the differences and similarities between individual and team assessment. In addition, the contemporary scientific evidence about various approaches to personnel selection (e.g., cognitive ability tests, employment interviews, personality questionnaires, assessment centres) is covered.

Unit content is addressed from the perspective of scholarly research as well as applied practice. Throughout the semester, students are continuously exposed to empirical research and scholarly investigation as it applies to selection and assessment, as well as the practicalities of developing and running a selection process. Therefore, the students will be required to participate in three practicals that give the opportunity to practice essential personnel selection and assessment skills: 1) Test administration, 2) Test feedback, and 3) Competency based interviewing. The unit is designed to further students' knowledge of selection and assessment at an advanced level and to give practical exposure to running selection and assessment processes.

6 points

Students are able to (1) understand the processes involved in job analysis, defining criteria for assessments and (criteria for) selecting assessment instruments; (2) understand the major forms of psychological assessments used in the selection of employees and their pros and cons; (3) select appropriate tests for different job specifications, administer, interpret and feed the results back to potential employees and employers; and (4) understand the mechanics of employee assessment and know how to demonstrate different forms of validity as well as utility of the test.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) three in-class practicals (these practicals are linked); (2) in-class test; and (3) case-study assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Djurre Holtrop
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Industrial and Organisational Psychology (coursework and dissertation) (53580)
or the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Industrial and Organisational Psychology (01880/54580)
enrolment in
PSYC5514 Assessment and Selection
Contact hours
lectures/tutorials: 39 hours (13 x 3 hours). Attendance to lectures is compulsory.
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.
  • 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.