PSYC521-19Y (HAM)

Professional Issues in Clinical Practice

20 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


Edit Staff Content





Placement Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)



You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

Paper Description

Edit Paper Description Content

Although PSYC521 is listed as a year-long course, it is run concurrently with PSYC522 across both semesters. It involves classes, run by Armon Tamatea and occasional guests, as well as activities organised by Kyle Smith. Note also that PSYC521 is connected with PSYC522, insofar as they share the same exams. In other words the mid-year and final exams will cover material from both courses.

The purpose of the 521 course is to introduce you to the science and practice of clinical psychology. It is designed to provide an entry into the profession and to understand the history and nature of our field. Some have called this process the "socialization" into the profession. Professional issues such as ethics, registration, mental health policy, and the various Acts of Parliament relevant to clinical practice will be covered in some detail. You will be introduced to a sample of practical settings in which clinical psychologists work and gain an understanding of the network of services and the political forces that impact these services and their clients. Please note that this is a 20 point paper.

Edit Paper Description Content

Paper Structure

Edit Paper Structure Content

This class will involve a blend of lecture, discussion, practice sessions, agency visits, and exercises and projects. You will be required to participate in class discussion and to this end you will at times need to read material prior to the class so that you are able to make a useful contribution.

Other components
Child Development Centre placement
Kyle will provide details of the Child Development Centre (CDC) placement and the written work required (one case study). She will also let you know the dates for the introductory session and for your placement. The CDC case study will be reviewed by Kyle who will provide feedback on your professional writing style, use of terms, and correct use of psychological language. You will be required to present your case study based on your CDC experience to the class at case conference.

Clinical and community agency site visits
There will be a number of site visits during the year which will give you the opportunity to see the different settings that clinical psychologists work in. Further information is provided below in the assessment section. On the first day of class you will receive a hand-out which provides you with all the relevant information, including the address of various sites.

Case Conference
It is expected that first year clinical students will attend these sessions (along with year 2 and 3 clinical students), which are held each Monday at the University from 11.15am to 12.30pm. As mentioned above you will be required to present a case study based on your CDC experience to the class. More details (e.g. re length of presentation will be provided later).

We consider your attendance and contribution to these sessions as an important part of your professional development. This is also the main opportunity for all those on the clinical programme to meet and exchange ideas and support each other’s progress. Kyle will provide details of the schedule.

Clinical Skills Workshop
This three-hour weekly workshop is held on Friday. It is focused on developing and practicing some of the basic skills required to begin clinical practice, such as administration, scoring and interpretation of standardized tests, interviewing, planning and implementing interventions, and clinical writing skills. The first semester’s classes will focus on developing skills in assessment, and the second semester in basic CBT and related intervention skills. The class will include lecture, discussion, watching video examples, role playing, and practice with tests and techniques both inside and outside of class. You will be expected to become competent at administering the WISC-IV during the year, and there will be a check-out process to ensure that you are able to administer this test properly before using it clinically. We are working with CDC toward providing an opportunity to administer the WISC-IV in a supervised clinical context toward the end of the first year or early in the second year.

Edit Paper Structure Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • identify and articulate the roles and tasks that are required of clinical psychologists (e.g., formulation, report writing)
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate an understanding of ethical, legal and related issues in clinical psychology practice
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate reflective practice skills, including awareness of strengths and weaknesses, stress management and self-care
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content


Edit Assessments Content

Assessment Components

Edit Assessments Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Mid-year exam (oral)
  • Other: Oral examination
2. Final exam (oral)
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content

Required and Recommended Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

Required Readings

Edit Required Readings Content
There are no required readings. However, readings will be disseminated or notified in class or via email pertaining to relevant topics and students are highly recommended to digest this material.
Edit Required Readings Content

Recommended Readings

Edit Recommended Readings Content

Barlow, D. H., Durand, V. M., & Hofmann, S. G. (2016). Abnormal psychology: An integrative approach. Cengage.

Durie, M. (2001). Mauri Ora: The dynamics of Maori health. Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Kennerley, H., Kirk, J., & Westbrook, D. (2017). An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Skills and Applications. Sage.

Kingi, T., Durie, M., Elder, H., Tapsell, R., Lawrence, M., & Bennett, S. (2018). Maea te toi ora: Maori health transformations. Huia.

Seymour, F., Blackwell, S., & Tamatea, A. (Eds.). (2018). Psychology and the Law in Aotearoa New Zealand (3rd ed). Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Psychological Society.

Speigler, M. D. (205). Contemporary behavior therapy (6th ed.). Cengage.

Waitoki, W. M., Feather, J. S., Robertson, N. R., & Rucklidge, J. J. (Eds.). (2016). Professional practice of psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand (3rd ed.). Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Psychological Society.

Edit Recommended Readings Content

Other Resources

Edit Other Resources Content

Students are expected to be familiar with the international clinical psychology literature throughout their training. The following relevant (but by no means exhaustive) selection of journals are available on Browzine:

Clinical Psychology Review

Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice

Journal of Clinical Psychology

British Journal of Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychologist

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

New Zealand Journal of Psychology

Psychotherapy Research


Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Edit Other Resources Content

Online Support

Edit Online Support Content

Availability of lecture notes
Lecture notes will be made available on Moodle.

A communication space for students studying psychology, available via Moodle

Graduate Virtual Common Room

The Graduate Virtual Common Room has been designed to help you locate the resources you are likely to need as a graduate student, to find out what is happening in the School and to network with other graduate students.

Edit Online Support Content


Edit Workload Content
The amount of work expected of a typical student in a full graduate paper (offered over one semester) is approximately 20 hours per week, including class contact time. This figure is only an approximation, as the clinical papers usually involve more time in site visits and practical experience. Students also vary in the amount of effort they required to pass the course and in the level of grades they aim to achieve.
Edit Workload Content

Linkages to Other Papers

Edit Linkages Content
522, 523, and 524
Edit Linkages Content


Prerequisite papers: PSYCH556, PSYCH562, PSYCH564, PSYCH575, PSYCH581




Restricted papers: PSYC701

Edit Linkages Content