Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Psychological assessment is critical for understanding the strengths and limitations of individuals with a clinical disorder. This course provides students with the opportunity to explore and analyse the theoretical underpinnings and practical approaches to measuring psychological constructs. The course explores issues of validity and reliability, cultural and ethical considerations. Students acquire practical skills in administration, scoring, interpretation and reporting of various psychological tests across the lifespan. Assessment covers many areas of expertise and skill including understanding referral questions and disorders of cognition, acquiring relevant information about the client's history, choosing appropriate psychological tests, administering tests in clinical and other settings, interpreting test results and writing a report summarising assessment results with conclusions and recommendations for intervention, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of such interventions.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify and understand the relevant aspects of psychological test construction and critically appraise them. (Competencies 2.3, 3.1, 3.16)

2. Relate social, cultural and ethical issues (public safety) to psychological testing and apply this knowledge to the choice of appropriate tests. (Competencies 3.2, 3.12, 4.2.2)

3. Perform appropriate standardised psychometric testing as part of a broader assessment to assess and interpret aspects of functioning. (Competencies 3.4, 4.2.2)

4. Interpret and communicate findings in oral and written formats, including formal psychological reports, using culturally appropriate language. (Competencies 3.6, 3.8, 3.16)

5. Develop appropriate psychological and behavioural interventions based on results from psychometric assessment. (Competencies 3.4, 4.2.2, 4.2.3)


  • Identification and understanding of psychological test development and critical appraisal of psychometric properties of commonly used tests
  • Disorders affecting cognition across the lifespan including review of sensory processes, perception, attention, executive function, language, memory and learning
  • Understanding referral questions (reasons for assessment) and acquisition of relevant history
  • Selection and administration of appropriate psychological tests including intelligence, aptitude, adaptive, achievement, personality, behaviour and vocational assessment
  • Standardised administration of a test of intelligence, mood and outcome scales
  • Interpretation of assessment results, report writing and recommendations for intervention
  • Social, cultural (including indigenous) and ethical issues that arise when conducting psychological assessments and reporting results


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Professional Psychology [40117], the Master of Clinical Psychology [40187], or the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) [11539].

Assumed knowledge

It is assumed that students will have completed a four-year program in Psychology which has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Adult Cognitive Assessment and Report *

Written Assignment: Child Cognitive Assessment and Report *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Written Assignment: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must pass this assessment task to gain a pass in this course
  • Written Assignment: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in administering and scoring a cognitive test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Students must pass this assessment task to gain a pass in this course

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.