Admission Requirements

What are the minimum requirements for admission to the MCP
Applicants must have completed an APAC accredited four year Bachelors degree with Honours in Psychology from a Higher Education Provider, gaining at least an upper second class (2.1) Honours or equivalent. The Bachelors degree with Honours must include a major research project and thesis as an essential part of the degree. All qualifications obtained from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider must be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Applicants must submit two referee reports, for the MCP at least one must be academic for the MCP/PhD two academic referee reports must be submitted. Applicants must comply with the English language requirements of University of Sydney and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Applicants must complete a selection interview.

Is my degree equivalent to the Australian Honours degree in Psychology?
The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) provides information on accredited tertiary Psychology courses in Australasia.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the national assessing authority in Australia for assessment of overseas academic qualifications in Psychology. The APS will assess your psychology qualification for a fee.

What is an upper second class 2.1 honours degree?
At the University of Sydney, an upper second class Honours is considered as 75% or above, overall for the fourth Honours year. In some cases this may be equivalent to a GPA of 3 out of 4. However, for international qualifications this is not always comparable, therefore the Clinical Psychology Unit relies on the APS assessment of qualifications for equivalency to an Australian four year Bachelors degree with Honours. The School also assesses the research content of overseas degrees for comparability and asks students to provide the degree name, thesis title and thesis abstract, including information on methods used and whether the project was theoretical or conducted with methods consistent with an Australian fourth year Honours degree.

At the University of Sydney, Honours is one academic year in duration and includes: Empirical Thesis (50%); Theoretical Thesis or Special Fields Coursework (30%); Coursework - Research Methods (15%) and Ethics and Professional Issues (5%).

Do I need to have my qualification assessed by the Australian Psychology Society (APS) for admission to the MCP or MCP&PhD?
All qualifications obtained from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider must be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) before an application may be submitted. This also applies to applicants with qualifications from New Zealand applying as local students. The APS will assess the level that the applicant's qualifications are equivalent to in Australia by considering them against local accredited psychology qualifications. Please note not only is it a requirement for admission to the MCP and MCP&PhD, the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) also requires non-Australian qualifications assessed by the APS for the purposes of registration. This means that if students with non-Australian qualifications were accepted into the MCP or MCP&PhD program, they would not be able to be provisionally registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, and therefore would not be permitted to commence Semester 1 of the MCP or MCP&PhD program. Students would therefore be unable to gain the supervised clinical placement experience provided within the MCP and MCP&PhD program and fail to meet requirements. Email APS at: assessments@psychology.org.au.

What degrees are considered equivalent for admission to the MCP?
Check the APS website or APAC website for information on accredited courses in psychology.
At the University of Sydney, students study a full major in Psychology, including an Honours year, in any of the following programs:
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (BPsych), Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc), Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) (Honours) (BCommLibStud), Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) (BHlthSci), Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) (BLAS Hons), Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) (BMedSci) and although no longer offered, Graduate Diploma in Science (Psycholopgy) (GradDipSc(Psych)) *Pass with Merit, in Psychology. * At the University of Sydney a Pass with Merit is considered as an overall mark of 75% or above for GradDipSc(Psych).

How do I provide evidence of an individually (or group) conducted research project and thesis?
All qualifications, in particular qualifications obtained from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider, must include a major research project and thesis as an essential part of the degree. Upload evidence of an individually (or group) conducted research project and thesis, if not detailed on your academic transcript, particularly for non-Australian qualifications. Provide degree name, thesis title and thesis abstract. Including information on methods used and whether the project was theoretical or conducted with methods consistent with an Australian fourth year honours degree.

I completed a Post Graduate Diploma, as Honours was only offered to students who had already completed an undergraduate degree at that University, however, for all other purposes it is equivalent to the Honours stream.
Provide a letter from your Honours Coordinator stating that the Postgraduate Diploma is directly equivalent to the Honours program.

My tertiary qualification is from New Zealand. Do I need to have my qualification assessed by APS?
Yes. All applicants whose qualifications are from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider must have their qualifications assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Applicants must have their qualifications assessed before applying for the MCP or MCP&PhD. Please note that an assessment involves 6-8 weeks of processing time. You must submit your APS assessment letter with your application, otherwise your application will be considered incomplete. Please note that all MCP and MCP&PhD students are required to be provisionally (or if applicable, fully) registered with AHPRA's Psychology Board of Australia in order to commence candidature and clinical placements in the first semester. It is a requirement of AHPRA's Psychology Board of Australia that all students with qualifications from a non-Australian Higher Education Provider must have had their qualifications assessed by the APS in order to be eligible for provisional registration. Therefore if your qualification has not been assessed by the APS you will not be eligible for provisional registration and therefore not able to commence clinical observation in first semester.

My tertiary qualification and Psychologist's Registration is from New Zealand. Do I need to have my qualification assessed by the APS?
It is a requirement for admission to the MCP or MCP&PhD program at the University of Sydney that all non-Australian qualifications, including qualifications from New Zealand, are assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS).
It is also a requirement of the Psychology Board of Australia that all non-Australian qualifications, including qualifications from New Zealand, are assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Students must be eligible for provisional or full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia in order to commence the MCP or MCP&PhD program and supervised clinical placements. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the national assessing authority in Australia for assessment of overseas academic qualifications in psychology. For a fee the APS determines the equivalent level of an applicant’s qualifications to an Australian program of study that has been accredited by the Society. The APS assessment processing time is approximately six to eight weeks. The APS assessment must be completed before applying for the MCP or MCP&PhD program. As the APS assessment is required for admission to the program and for provisional or full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia, any applications submitted without evidence of the APS assessment will not be considered.
One exception is if an applicant is registered in New Zealand and holds a current practising certificate, an APS assessment is not needed as long as the applicant applies for registration via the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.
However, if an applicant is not registered in New Zealand, or is registered in New Zealand and holds a current practising certificate but choose to not apply under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, then the applicant needs to apply as an overseas applicant and get an APS assessment of qualifications as the first step: http://www.psychreg.health.nsw.gov.au/hprb/psych_web/pdf/FR_090205.pdf. The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) sets the standards for accreditation of Australasian psychology programs. APAC is a body that assesses and approves the minimum qualifications from recognised Schools of Psychology for the purposes of eligibility for registration as a psychologist in Australia and for membership of the Australian Psychological Society. APAC does not conduct assessments, however, you may wish to view their list of Australian accredited qualifications.

I have a Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) from the University of Sydney. Can I apply for the MCP?
The qualification required for admission to the MCP or MCP&PhD is an Honours degree in psychology with a result of 2:1 or better or any other equivalent award. Therefore Graduate Diploma students will be eligible to apply if their grades are sufficiently high to be deemed equivalent to a 2:1 Honours degree. For example, they will need to have a "Pass with Merit". At the University of Sydney the Graduate Diploma in Science (Psych) Pass with Merit is awarded to students who receive a total mark of 75/100 or greater. It is important to note that there are limited places available, and students will not only be competing on the basis of academic merit, but also their personal suitability.

I graduated several years ago from the University of Sydney with a Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) Pass with Merit with an overall result of 75. Can I apply for the MCP?
The Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney introduced new regulations for the award of Pass with Merit in the last year it was offered. A Pass with Merit awarded in 2007/2008 was for an overall mark of 80% or above. In previous years a Pass with Merit was awarded for an overall mark of 75% and above.

My psychology qualification was awarded more than ten years ago, am I eligible to apply for the MCP?
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) will assess your qualifications, however, notes that if your qualifications were awarded more than ten years ago, some Higher Education Providers may not accept your qualifications as sufficiently recent to enter an accredited postgraduate program in psychology. The APS therefore recommends before applying for an assessment to contact the Higher Education Provider's course coordinator. At the University of Sydney, the Faculty of Science advises if a student was awarded their qualifications over ten years ago they are usually required to show evidence that they have been active in the field of study supported by work references and so on. Therefore such students would be eligible to apply but will need to provide more information when and as requested by Faculty.
Important considerations:

AHPRA policy for eligibility for provisional registration for applicant's qualifications more than ten year old
Policy for provisional psychologists with qualifications more than 10 years old
Codes, guidelines and policies > Policies > General policies

APAC's policy on qualifications more than ten year old
Students must have successfully completed a four year, or three year plus a fourth year, APAC-accredited sequence in psychology within the last 10 years, with an upper second class Honours (2A) or equivalent overall mark, and be eligible for registration with the Registration Board as a conditional/provisional psychologist to be eligible for admission to the MCP or MCP/PhD. An exception to this Standard may be made for currently registered psychologists who can demonstrate current compliance with Registration Board CPD requirements seeking to gain a professional postgraduate qualification.

If the student does not meet the above requirement or exception, then the student should complete the three or four year bridging program as the first step, before completing the honours year and then pursing the Master’s degree. The student may be awarded credit. Kindly refer to the current accreditation standards, 5.1.9 – 5.1.19, 5.3.1 and 5.3.2 for more information on the entry requirements and awarding of credit/advanced standing sections for fifth and sixth year programs of study.

  • The admission requirements for the MCP are the completion of an APAC accredited four year Honours degree in Psychology, gaining at least an upper second class (2.1) Honours, or its equivalent. For admission to the MCP you need to determine and provide evidence that your qualifications are an APAC accredited four year equivalent.
  • The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the national assessing authority in Australia for the assessment of academic qualifications in psychology for entry into an APAC accredited course in psychology at an Australian Higher Education Provider. For a fee, 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.
  • All students must obtain provisional registration (or if applicable, full registration) with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) in order to commence the MCP or MCP&PhD. You are advised to contact the AHPRA and the Psychology Board of Australia to determine whether your qualifications and experience would make you eligible for registration. For admission to the MCP or MCP&PhD you must be eligible for registration with the Psychology Board of Australia.

Am I required to complete a course in Abnormal Psychology or complete my honours research in a clinical area?
No, Students applying are not required to have completed an empirical research project in the area of Abnormal or Clinical Psychology or Clinical Neuropsychology. The selection process aims to identify students with a demonstrated interest in abnormal or clinical psychology or clinical neuropsychology, an awareness of clinical issues, and relevant experience. This can be demonstrated in a number of ways, for example relevant work experience or a relevant empirical project. Note also that clinical relevance can apply in many areas of Psychology, e.g. cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, human learning, neuroscience, social psychology.

Do I need to have had some relevant clinical work experience in order to apply for the MCP or MCP&PhD?
Work experience is desirable but not an essential admission requirement. However, applicants are encouraged to have gained some previous relevant work experience which may be an advantage for interview. The benefit of work experience is that it is likely to enhance the understanding of clinical issues and allow a prospective student to determine whether they would like to pursue working with a clinical population. Should an applicant be invited to interview, they will be advantaged if able to draw upon previous work experiences, particularly in regard to answering questions that specifically assess understanding of clinical issues and potential difficulties of work in clinical contexts. Examples of relevant work experience: clinically oriented volunteer work, research involving contact with a clinical population or paid work as a Psychologist. Please note this is not a prescribed list of work experience, however, provides examples of work experience obtained from successful applicants. The amount of experience required is not strictly prescribed in hours etc.

What evidence do I need to provide for conference presentations?
Provide the authors (year) title of presentation, conference, date and place.

Do I need to have a research topic or research supervisor in order to apply for the MCP only?
No. The requirement to submit a research proposal with details of research project and supervisor are only required when enrolling in a research degree. At the time of application you do not need to submit a research proposal, have a research topic or research supervisor.

It is not until enrolled in the program, in the first few weeks of Semester 1 in Year 1, students will be asked to nominate preferences for the general areas in which they are potentially interested in conducting their research. Students will then be provided with the names of relevant academic staff in the School of Psychology who they should approach to discuss/negotiate potential supervision arrangements.

In Semester 2, Year 1 students will submit a research proposal naming the staff member who has agreed to supervise the research, and the general area and methodology of the intended project. This brief submission is used to identify potential problems related to the feasibility/appropriateness of intended research as early as possible. These proposals will be reviewed by the Director of Clinical Research and individual feedback provided to students and their supervisors.

Do I need to have a research topic or research supervisor in order to apply for the MCP&PhD?
Yes. As a requirement for entry into the PhD component of the combined MCP&PhD degree, applicants must arrange a supervisor and prepare a 300 - 500 word statement of research interest. The statement of research interest should contain:
1. The area of focus of the proposed research
2. Any prior research experience and, where appropriate, copies of papers already published
3. The name of the potential supervisor(s) that you have contacted regarding your research proposal
Please refer to the list of available Research Areas in the School of Psychology for more detailed information about potential supervisors.

What is relevant work experience?
Relevant voluntary or non-voluntary work experience is broadly defined as: paid working experience as a Psychologist/Counsellor; voluntary experience with a specific clinical group, research experience working as a Psychologist or Research Assistant (provided that the work is with a clinical group involving face to face interaction). The amount of experience required is not strictly prescribed in terms of hours. The aim of work experience is to enhance the understanding of clinical issues and allow a prospective student to determine whether they would like to pursue working with a clinical population. A list of work experience has been compiled and provides examples of work experience obtained from successful applicants. Please note this is not a prescribed list of work experience.

I have worked as a receptionist to a Psychologist/Psychiatrist. Can I count this as relevant clinical work experience?
No. Receptionist, Shop Assistant, baby sitting or similar work is not considered relevant work experience.

Can I complete Honours in another non-Psychology School but on a psychological topic?
The MCP admission requirements are the completion of an APAC accredited four year Honours degree in Psychology from a Higher Education Provider, gaining at least an upper second class (2.1) honours, or equivalent. The Honours degree must include a major research project and thesis as an essential part of the degree. Honours must be completed in psychology in particular for registration purposes with AHPRA's Psychology Board of Australia, as students must have a four year accredited sequence in psychology in order to obtain provisional registration, and provisional registration is required to commence the MCP program and undertake supervised clinical placements. If you aim to apply for MCP to to train as a clinical psychologist, it would be recommended to apply for Honours in the School of Psychology as it is an accredited program.

Students do not necessarily need to complete an empirical research project in the area of abnormal or clinical Psychology but need to be able demonstrate an interest in abnormal or clinical psychology, an awareness of clinical issues, and experience related to the area by way of a relevant empirical project. Clinical relevance can be discussed on the basis of projects in may areas of Psychology, for example cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, human learning, neuroscience, social psychology. However, the key issue is eligibility for registration by the completion of an APAC accredited four year sequence of study in psychology.

APS assessed my qualifications to be equivalent to five years of study in Australia. Can I gain any credit for my previous studies?
The University of Sydney offers the postgraduate clinical training program, the Master of Clinical Psychology (MCP) coursework degree or the Master of Clinical Psychology and Doctor in Philosophy (MCP&PhD) combined degree. The courses are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) as a 5th and 6th year of training.

The admission requirements for the MCP or MCP&PhD are the completion of an APAC accredited four year Honours degree in Psychology from a University, gaining at least an upper second class (2.1) Honours, or equivalent, including a major research project and thesis as an essential part of the degree.

Credit from other postgraduate clinical psychology training is granted only to applicants who are currently enrolled in clinical graduate study at another University. The University of Sydney Resolutions allow that credit may be received for no more than 48 credit points (equivalent to less than one year of the course) towards the requirements of the MCP. The completed graduate study must have been undertaken within the previous three years and must be considered by the Dean to be equivalent to the units of study prescribed for the MCP. Requests for credit are only considered once the student is successful in obtaining a place on the course. If you have already taken out a Masters degree you will not be able to receive credit for this degree towards the MCP as it is not possible to count your completed studies towards two degrees.

The University of Sydney does not offer a 4 + 2 or 5 + 1 internship program. You may wish to contact the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Psychology Board of Australia who may have a list of board approved supervisors, or the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) or Australian Psychological Society (APS), though you may need to be a member of both these organisations in order to access information.

What is the pathway to clinical psychology if I did not study psychology in my undergraduate or postgraduate degrees?
- Summer School (First year Psychology – PSYC1001 or PSYC1002)
- Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Second and third year psychology)
- One-year Bachelor's degree with Honours year in Psychology (Fourth year psychology)
- Two-year Master of Clinical Psychology (Fifth and sixth year psychology)
- Two-year registration program for endorsement in clinical psychology