Skip to Content

Department of Psychology

Master of Clinical Psychology

Course code: MCLPSY

Postgraduate Training in Clinical Psychology

The Master of Clinical Psychology degree is the standard professional training course for candidates who want to practice as a clinical psychologist. In Australia this degree has been the traditional route for training in clinical psychology. It provides high-level training in clinical practice with a solid, but relatively small emphasis on research. It is suitable for those people who want a professional career in clinical psychology.

In Australia, more focussed researchers and academics have traditionally done a PhD. PhD’s in Australia are pure research degrees and rarely involve any clinical training. However, it is very possible (and common) for students to undertake PhD’s in clinically relevant areas under the supervision of one of Macquarie’s leading clinical academics (see staff research interests). This degree would suit people who wish to have research or academic careers in clinically relevant areas, but do not wish to conduct clinical practice (more information about PhDs can be found here).

For students who wish to combine clinical practice with high-level research in the clinical field (e.g., those wanting an academic career teaching clinical psychology), we also offer a combined Masters/PhD degree. This is a difficult degree that is reserved for only the most competitive students. It provides high-level training in both clinical practice and international standard research.

All these degrees are fully accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council and those involving clinical training are approved by the Clinical College of the Society. Completion of the clinical training components of the above degrees is necessary for endorsement as a clinical psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia.

Clinical Scholarship

The Clinical Psychology Scholarship (formally named the Mental Health Post Graduate Scholarship Scheme) is available to students enrolled in a clinical psychology postgraduate course in Australia which satisfies the Psychology Board of Australia" Area of practice endoresment registration standard" in clinical psychology.
For full scholarship details aand application information visit SARRAH.

Information on scholarships to support clinical psychology studies are also available from NSW Health

Admission requirements

Entry to the Master of Clinical Psychology degree requires an honours degree in psychology or equivalent (see below for definitions of equivalence).

For the combined PhD/Master of Clinical Psychology degree, only students with a good 1st class honours are eligible.

We do not accept people with alternate (non-honours) 4th year qualifications into the Master of Clinical Psychology degree unless they can demonstrate equivalence. Equivalence is generally demonstrated by:

  1. demonstration that their undergraduate record was eligible for entry to honours in their university but they chose not to go this route and
  2. demonstration of independent, high-level research ability, generally through a journal publication.

International students who do not have honours in their country need to supply:

  1. an academic transcript and complete descriptions of the courses covered;
  2. preferably a copy or at least a thorough summary of an independent research thesis.

International applicants are also required to prove that their qualifications are equivalent to those offered in Australia by submitting them to the Australian Psychological Society (APS) for assessment. Equivalency is determined by the APS; the outcome of the APS assessment must be submitted with the application.

For PhD and combined PhD/Masters degree, eligibility also requires the identification of a suitable supervisor who is willing to cover supervision. It is therefore imperative that if you are applying for one of these research degrees, you contact potential supervisors in the department ahead of time (see staff research interests) and obtain a commitment from a supervisor.


Most years approximately 150-200 applicants apply for a total of 20-25 positions. Therefore, even for students with honours degrees, there is no guarantee of acceptance. Entry to these degrees (Masters and combined) is extremely competitive.

There are two stages to the selection process (for those degrees involving clinical training):

  1. scoring of eligibility requirements – (to select potential applicants for stage
  2. a selection interview for the top applicants based on the above.

Eligibility Scores

The following items are scored from applicants’ forms:

  1. Grade of degree. This provides a maximum total of 6 points. Points are allocated for Honours grade, as well as for previous Masters or PhD degrees, where relevant. Non-honours fourth year qualifications are not accepted, except as described above in admission requirements.
  2. Relevant work experience. This provides a maximum total of 6 points. Points are pro-rated according to years of experience. Directly relevant work (e.g., counselling, psychology, youth work) is awarded more points compared to moderately relevant work (e.g., research, teaching, nursing, volunteer work).
  3. Publications (e.g., scientific journals, government reports, manuals) receive up to 4 points.
  4. Additional training receives up to 2 points. This can include other courses or degrees (eg counselling courses) or training workshops.
  5. Referees’ reports get up to 1 point.

Please note: In recent years interviews are granted to people who score at least 12 or more points on the above system, and are rank ordered in the top 30 - 40. The quality of applicants seems to be increasing each year so that the cut off for interviews increases each year. If you do not believe you will be close to this score, it may not be worth your time to apply this time around.

(This points allocation system was used as described above in recent years including 2011. A similar system is likely to be used in 2012 for selection of the 2013).


Approximately 35-40 applicants are selected for interview based on the above scores. Interviews are conducted by two staff and are aimed to look for the fit between the applicant and the Macquarie program. Characteristics such as open-mindedness, flexibility, desire for Macquarie’s approach, and interpersonal skills are counted.

Length of Candidature

Masters: 2 years full-time, 3-4 years part-time

PhD: 4 years full-time, 8 years part-time

Combined degree: 4-5 years (note: this degree must be undertaken full time in the first three years, but the final year can be split into 2 years part-time if required).

Note that maximum lengths of candidature are enforced very strictly by the university, especially for research degrees (ie doctorates). Penalties may be applied for candidates who go beyond their maximum length.

It is possible to move between part and full time fairly easily (except for the combined degree).


Most units are offered in the afternoon or evening, but units are not run separately for part or full-time students. Therefore, part-time students will need to be able to take time from work on at least one or preferably two afternoons per week.

Research can also be very time consuming and students will need to have sufficient time available in their weeks to be able to conduct high quality research projects.

Most importantly, for all course involving clinical training, practical placements are a major part of the course and are very time-consuming. In most cases, placements will require students on 2 to 3 days per week over several months. Students with work commitments will need to be able to demonstrate availability for such placements before being accepted.


1st half year only (i.e., Feb/March). We do not have a mid-year intake for the Masters of Clinical Psychology or combined PhD/Masters program.

Tuition Fees

Fees are charged for the Masters on a credit point basis. The Master of Clinical Psychology is a 64 credit point program

For specifc program fees and information visit Postgraduate Fees.

International students work under a different fee schedule. See the International Students website for information.

At present, there are no fees charged by the university for PhD or the Combined degree. In addition, student undertaking both of these degrees are eligible to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Research Award.



Dr Maria Kangas
telephone: (02) 9850 8599

Psychology PG Officer
telephone: (02) 9850 8087

Program of Study

Full Program desctiptions including units of study are available at Find a course

[Back to top]