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The University of Adelaide

Adelaide , South Australia ,Australia

Master of Psychology (Health)

Treat the whole person

Mental and physical health are inextricably connected. Health psychologists explore brain—body interactions with a view to improving client wellbeing. This requires advanced psychological skills and clinical expertise.

Our Master of Psychology (Health) is one of only two health psychology degrees currently available in Australia. It provides the professional knowledge needed to practise as a registered health psychologist.

What will you do?

  • Enjoy small class sizes with leading health psychologists and educators.
  • Learn about illness, disease, and the promotion and maintenance of health.
  • Study health care systems and policy.
  • Explore psychological factors that contribute to ill health.
  • Undertake three industry placements totalling over 1000 hours.
  • Network with future employers in mental health, health care and government settings.

Where could it take you?

Upon successful completion, you’ll be eligible to apply for full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. You could design public health campaigns to prevent addiction, injury and illness. You might help people manage chronic pain or cope with diagnoses and medical treatments. Perhaps you’ll work to shift individual attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in the clinic. To gain endorsement, further postgraduate supervision is required. 

Note: Entry to this degree is competitive and strict quotas apply.

Campus Information

North Terrace

The campus provides a mix of the historical and contemporary, combining old sandstone buildings with state-of-the-art teaching, learning and research facilities.

Intakes

  • Jan

Application Processing Time in Days: 10

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

There are three key steps you will need to take when addressing the selection criteria in any University of Adelaide job application:

  • Create a new document. Your statement addressing the position’s specified selection criteria should be separate from your cover letter and resume.
  • List each criterion separately. Give each a title, using exactly the same wording as appears on the Position Description (e.g. Excellent verbal communication skills).
  • Address each criterion. Under each heading, write two short paragraphs explaining how your experience, skills, education and training equip you to meet that specific requirement. Dot points are also acceptable.

Please note that failing to submit a statement addressing the selection criteria could result in your application not being considered.

Some helpful writing tips
There are a number of steps you can take when putting together your responses to increase their clarity and impact.

  • Give details of one or two specific things you’ve done that are good examples of the relevant experience or knowledge required. For example: ‘I was responsible for organising an event attended by… This involved…'
  • Preface these examples with a short overview that shows you appreciate the relevance of the specific criterion.
  • Quantify your experience (number of years worked, staff supervised, etc.). For example: ‘I delivered a presentation to an industry forum with an audience of 80 people.’
  • Where possible, indicate how successfully you meet the criterion. You could do this by referring to feedback from others, or things you've set up that are still being used. For example: ‘A report I wrote about… was endorsed by the… Committee and circulated to all stakeholders for discussion.

You could also consider using the STAR method as a structural framework when describing examples of your work. This involves describing, in the order listed here, the:

  • situation you faced
  • task required, and desired outcome
  • action you took to complete the task
  • results you achieved, and lessons you learned.

Career Readiness
After graduation, students have the skills to assist people with mental health and chronic physical conditions and are highly sought after for roles in the public and private sector, or can choose to start their own practice. Health psychologists specialise in understanding the relationships between psychological factors and health and illness. Health psychologists practise in two main areas: health promotion and clinical health.

Health promotion
Development and provision of programs that assist with the prevention of illnesses such as heart attacks, stroke, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking-related-illness and dietary-related problems.
Linking up with other health professionals to understand what behaviours might be contributing to illness and how they might be changed, e.g. understanding why some people overeat or eat a high-fat diet.
Identifying how behaviour is linked with the development of disease and injury.
Designing public health education programs in areas such as exercise and alcohol, cigarette and drug consumption, e.g. 'SunSmart', 'Life. Be in it'.
Determining the distribution of disease and the health needs of communities within Australia.
Working with community members to improve their health.
 Clinical health
Developing therapy and education programs to help people cope with health issues such as weight management, cancer and heart health.
Using psychological treatment for problems that often accompany ill health and injury, such as anxiety, depression, pain, addiction, sleep and eating problems.
Understanding how psychological factors such as stress, depression and anxiety might be contributing to illness.
Helping people with the self-management of chronic illness.
Understanding how people cope with diagnosis and medical treatment of acute health problems and how they obtain medical care.
Understanding how people cope with terminal illness, including the impact of grief, bereavement, death and dying.
Identifying how the relationship between health professionals, such as doctors, nurses and psychologists, and their patients can influence how well they recover from illness and injury.
Helping people cope with trauma, disability and rehabilitation. 

Graduate Attributes
The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
Deep discipline knowledge
Critical thinking and problem solving
Teamwork and communication skills
Career and leadership readiness
Intercultural and ethical competency
Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Industry Placement
Three unpaid practicum placements are arranged by and included in the program.

Graduate registration

Upon successful completion of the degree, graduates are eligible to apply for full registration with the Psychology Board of Australia and find work in a wide variety of public and private settings. Further postgraduate supervision is required to become an endorsed health psychologist. 

Potential careers
Community Services Officer, Mental Health Worker, Health Psychologist, Psychologist

PSW Opportunity

The additional year of post study work rights is not available to international students studying in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Bachelor Degree or Masters by Coursework Degree - 2 years - 3 years (Adelaide)

Masters by Research - 3 years - 4 years (Adelaide)

PhD qualification - 4 years - 5 years (Adelaide)

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

Entry to postgraduate coursework programs as a minimum requires a Bachelors degree or equivalent qualification from an approved institution as a qualification for entry.

Some of the graduate certificates and graduate diplomas that are offered may be accepted as qualifying work for entry to a Masters program, or as professional qualifications in their own right.

IELTS Overall 7 Reading 7 Listening 7 Speaking 7 Writing 7

TOEFL Overall 94 Reading 24 Listening 24 Speaking 23 Writing 27

Pearson Overall 65 Reading 65 Listening 65 Speaking 65 Writing 65

C1 Advanced Overall 185 Reading 185 Listening 185 Speaking 185 Writing 185

Tertiary Qualifications

Entry is available to graduates with a four-year qualification in Psychology or equivalent (including Honours with a minimum grade of Second Class, Division A and an individually-conducted research project carrying 33% or more of the years’ work). The degree must meet the standards set out by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), including the accredited sequence in Psychology having been completed within the last 10 years. if you have completed an Australian Degree and are unsure about the accreditation of your four-year qualification

Applicants who have an overseas Honours qualification should supply a certified copy of the assessment of their qualifications by the Australian Psychological Society (APS), and information about the research component of their qualifications. 

Students who undertake Honours in Psychology at an accredited Australian university do not need to have their qualifications assessed by APS.

In order to be considered for 2021 entry, applicants must have completed their four-year sequence in Psychology between 2011 and 2020. The ONLY exception to this is where applicants have completed their four-year sequence in Psychology before 2011 but have completed a PhD in Psychology between 2011 and 2020.

A students' place in the program is contingent on being able to register as a Provisional Psychologist with AHPRA. If you are unable to obtain provisional registration, then you will be unable to continue in the program. The University of Adelaide accepts no responsibility should you be unable to obtain provisional registration after gaining entry to the program. If your four-year sequence in Psychology was completed more than 10 years ago, or you have any reason to believe your background may impact your ability to register, we encourage you to clarify your eligibility for registration with AHPRA

Invitations to attend an interview will be extended based on a combination of academic performance and references.
Additional Entry Requirements
Additionally, applicants MUST:

be eligible for registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) as a provisional psychologist

provide two referee reports submitted through the HoDSPA (Heads of Departments and Schools of Psychology Australia) by no later than Monday 19 October 2020

provide details of relevant work experience and details of any published works via the submission of a comprehensive CV (Curriculum Vitae) within the SATAC application.