Master of Professional Psychology

Welcome!

We are excited to have you as part of the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences (MSPS) and hope that this will be both an enjoyable and successful time for you.

This manual provides information regarding the structure, content and submission of work for Master of Professional Psychology, as well as many of the policies and procedures within the MSPS.

This is important information for the successful completion of your subject and thus students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the content of the manual. The manual should act as your first point of reference for any questions or queries, but also provides guidance about where to seek answers to any other questions you may have.

General Information

  • Contact Information

    MSPS is part of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and is located within the Redmond Barry Building of the Parkville campus.

    Address:Level 12, Redmond Barry Building
    Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
    The University of Melbourne VIC, 3010
    Phone:(03) 8344 6377
    Email:postgrad-psych@unimelb.edu.au
    Website:https://psychologicalsciences.unimelb.edu.au/
    Office hours:Monday to Friday:  9am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

    Below is the contact information for the relevant academic and professional staff:

    Director of Professional Programs
    Professor Lisa Philips
    Director of the University of Melbourne Psychology Clinic
    Dr  Litza Kiropoulos
    Academic Programs Officers
    postgrad-psych@unimelb.edu.au
    Graduate Research Programs Team
    rhd-psych@unimelb.edu.au
    Academic Skills Unit
    https://students.unimelb.edu.au/academic-skills
    Counselling and Psychological Services
    Phone: (03) 8344 6927 www.services.unimelb.edu.au/counsel
  • Stop 1

    Stop 1 is the home of University student services online, on the phone and in person.

    As a student, Stop 1 can help you with enrolment, course planning, administration, support services and skills and development.

    You can book a general Stop 1 advisor by going here.

    The range of services you can access through Stop 1 includes:

    • Administrative and information services including student ID cards, enrolment queries, fees, transcripts, scholarships, and graduations.
    • Skills and development services including employability, academic development, and student development.
    • General support services including disability, housing, financial aid, and the Safer Community Program.
    • Academic support including academic adjustment plans and special consideration via the Student Equity and Disability Support (SEDS) which provides services for students who need ongoing support with their studies.
  • Important Dates

    For a list of important dates such as the start and end of each semester, University holidays, SWOT Vac and results release dates please see: http://www.unimelb.edu.au/dates

    For the census date (i.e. last date to withdraw without incurring a withdrawn (WD) result on your transcript and a HECS-HELP/FEE-HELP/Fees liability) and the last date to withdraw without fail, please see the handbook entry for your subject, and click on the “Dates and Times” tab, as these dates can vary from subject to subject: https://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/

  • Email

    Email is the School’s official mode of communication with students so it is imperative that you activate your student email account. Lecturers, tutors and administrative staff all use the University email system to communicate with students. It is your responsibility to check this email account regularly to avoid missing important information relevant to your studies.  If you have not yet activated your student email account or are having difficulties doing so, please visit this website: http://studentit.unimelb.edu.au/findandconnect/activateresetaccount.html.

    Information on how to set up your student email account on your smart phone/tablet, or how to have your student emails forwarded automatically to your personal email account, can be found here: http://www.studentit.unimelb.edu.au/study/googleapps.html.

    Please note that staff can only be expected to respond to emails during business hours and tutors only during their official employment hours. Please allow at least 3 business days for the staff member to respond and understand that responses may be delayed in some circumstances (e.g. sick leave, annual leave, overseas conferences, etc).

  • Appropriate Behaviour

    Students are required to behave in an appropriate manner towards faculty, tutors and other students. In particular, they must avoid “peppering” staff or tutors with emails, posting inappropriate content on discussion forums and making derogatory or inappropriate comments either in public forums, such as tutorials, or in surveys, such as SES.  They must not attempt to intimidate, harass, or bully staff or other students. It is never appropriate for students to vent their frustration or anger at staff or other students.

    Additionally, students may not take photographs, video or audio recordings of lectures, tutorials, rehearsals, performances or practical classes without the express written permission of both the staff member supervising the activity (or the subject coordinator) and the written permission of the identifiable individual, or their legal guardian.

    The University’s policy on appropriate behaviour can be found here: https://policy.unimelb.edu.au/MPF1324

  • Central Student Information

    http://students.unimelb.edu.au/ provides a single point of access to a number of important online resources.

    The student portal will allow you to:

    • Access timetable and class registration information
    • Access learning management tools (e.g. LMS/Blackboard)
    • Access your student email account
    • Access your library borrowing records and the library home page (where you can search multiple library databases and catalogues)
    • View your enrolment details/study plan, enrol, change or withdraw from subjects
    • View your exam timetable and recent results
    • Apply for scholarships and grants; pay fees
    • Update your personal details
    • Obtain information regarding housing, health and welfare, jobs and employment, social and cultural activities, academic services and financial advice
  • Learning Management System (LMS)

    The LMS is an online resource accessed via the student portal that provides important information about each subject you are enrolled in. You can only view the LMS sites for subjects you are enrolled in. Subject coordinators and lecturers will use the LMS to:

    • Post lecture notes
    • Post assignment details
    • Facilitate student discussion on the subject’s discussion board
    • Upload audio and visual lecture recordings, and readings

    Like your student email account, it is very important that you regularly check the LMS page of each of your subjects to avoid missing important information relevant to your studies.

  • Requisites

    For information on the prerequisites and required knowledge for each subject, refer to the Handbook. It is your responsibility to ensure you have met the requirements for the subjects you enrol in. If you require assistance in planning your course, sequencing subjects, or are unsure whether you need to complete more subjects, contact the Academic Programs Team (see above for relevant contact information).

  • Potentially Confronting Materials

    Academic staff will be considerate and sensitive when presenting materials in class that may provoke phobic or post-traumatic reactions in some students, although it is not possible to anticipate everything that may produce such reactions. In particular, staff will warn students well in advance before presenting graphic images or graphic discussions of sexual assault, blood, self-harm, suicide, combat/war or violence. However, staff are not expected to avoid potentially contentious topics if educationally justified. If you believe that there are exceptional reasons based on your personal reactions to class content why you require alternative tasks or assessments, you will need to apply for special consideration directly, as staff members will not make ad hoc arrangements with individual students.

  • Student Complaints and Grievances

    In the first instance, the student should attempt to resolve their concern by informally discussing the matter with the lecturer/tutor involved. If this does not result in a mutually satisfactory solution then the student may email the subject coordinator. If this still does not produce a mutually satisfactory solution, the student may escalate the matter following the procedure described here.

Assessments and Exams

  • Hurdle Requirements

    Each subject has its hurdle requirements, refer to the Handbook for more information.
    For the purposes of meeting this hurdle requirement, each submitted assessment must be complete and constitute a genuine attempt to address the marking criteria. Submitting only part of an assessment (e.g. only the title page) or an assessment on an irrelevant topic will not meet this hurdle requirement.

  • Resubmission of Previously Submitted Work

    It is your responsibility to get in contact with the subject coordinator and arrange to do an alternative assignment for any assignment that you have previously submitted, regardless of whether or not you received feedback on that assignment. You must do this by the end of Week 3.

    Failure to notify the subject coordinator in a timely fashion will not be considered grounds for an extension.

    More information on repeating a subject available here.

  • Examinations

    All subject examinations will be held during the University examination period at the end of the semester in which the subject is held. You must plan to be available during the entire examination period (including the special and supplementary period), as the exam timetable is subject to change. It is your responsibility to find out the correct information regarding the time, date and location of your examinations – more information available here.

  • Calculators in Exams

    More information is available here.

  • Submission of Work
  • Penalty for Late Work

    For assignments submitted after the due date without an approved extension, the mark awarded will be reduced by 10% of the total marks available for each University working day the work is late. Thus, if the assignment was due at 8 am on Monday but was submitted after this time but by 7:59 am on Tuesday, it would receive a 10% late penalty.

    Conversely, if the assignment was due at 8 am on Friday but handed in after this time but by 7:59 am on the following Monday, it would still count as just one day late as Saturday and Sunday are not working days.

    The above reasoning assumed that Monday was a regular working day. However, if the Monday was a University holiday then it would also not count as a working day. In this case, if the assignment were handed in by 7:59 am on the Tuesday it would still count as only one day late.

    Assignments submitted more than 5 working days after the due date without an approved extension will not be marked and will receive no marks.

  • Word Count Policy and Penalties for Exceeding the Word Limit

    Students are provided with a word limit for written assessments to promote the development of writing skills based on precise reasoning and carefully worded arguments.

    In recognition that the ability to formulate a concise argument is an important marker of academic scholarship, 10% of the total marks available for a given assessment task will be deducted for every 10% that the word count exceeds the word limit specified for the task.

    Example: For an assessment task with a specified word limit of 1000 words marked out of 100:

    • there will be no penalty for assignments with a word count up to 1099 words;
    • a penalty of 10 marks will be applied to assignments with a word count between 1100 and 1199 words;
    • a penalty of 20 marks will be applied to assignments with a word count between 1200 and 1299 words; etc.

    Students are required to report the word count accurately on the front page of each piece of work submitted for assessment, with incorrect reporting potentially liable to an allegation of academic misconduct on the grounds of providing false or misleading information.

    The word count should include all text in the body of the work (including in-text citations), but excluding all words in the title, abstract, headings, tables, figures, captions for tables and figures, references, and appendices. Different software packages may count the words differently. We will consider the word count from the MS Word (English PC) version to be definitive.

    The word count penalty will be capped at 50%. Thus, for an assessment task with a word limit of 1000 words worth 100 marks, if a student were to submit an assignment that was 1700 words long, 50 marks would be deducted as the word count penalty.

  • PeerWise

    Your subject coordinator may opt to make available to you a tool called PeerWise. This is entirely at the subject coordinator’s discretion and will typically be done only for a large subject whose final exam contains a significant multiple choice questions component. PeerWise is an independent website that allows students to create, share and answer multiple choice questions authored by other students. In this way it allows students to revise subject-specific content in a collaborative and supportive environment. If your subject coordinator has opted to make PeerWise available for your subject, please see the following link for detailed instructions on how to use this tool:

    https://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/docs/

  • Feedback on Assessment Tasks and Remarking

    All written assignments will be marked against the marking criteria that were provided by the academic member of staff who set the assignment. Markers will provide detailed comments against the marking criteria to justify the grade assigned. Assignments deemed not to be of a passing standard will be double marked. If you did not receive detailed comments or do not agree with the comments that you received, you may follow the remarking procedure outlined below.

    Our remarking procedure follows that outlined in the University’s Assessment and Results Policy. Students are not automatically entitled to have their result reviewed or their work marked by a different marker. Requests for a remark will be assessed on an individual basis. Before formally requesting a remark you must first meet with your tutor to discuss the feedback you received. Requests to meet with your tutor must be made within 3 business days of receiving the initial feedback and formal requests for a remark must be made within 10 business days of receiving the initial feedback. The procedure is as follows:

    1. If you believe that the comments you received are not sufficiently detailed or the grade you have received is not adequately justified against the marking criteria then you should first contact your marker to discuss this. The request to meet with your marker must be made in writing via email. In particular, you should not approach your tutor before, during, or after a tutorial to discuss remarking. Your request must not be made until one business day has passed from receiving the initial feedback and grade to ensure adequate time to consider the feedback. The request to meet with your tutor must be made within three business days of receiving the initial feedback.
    2. Within one business day of receiving a request to review an assignment, the marker will contact you to arrange a time to meet. This meeting should occur within 8 business days of you receiving the initial feedback. If you cannot arrange this meeting within that timeframe, you should inform the Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning, A/Prof Andrew Perfors (andrew.perfors@unimelb.edu.au), immediately. You should bring the marked assignment and a copy of the marking criteria to the meeting with your tutor.
    3. At the meeting, the marker will discuss the feedback and grade against the criteria. The marker will not provide you with a numerical breakdown of marks for each section of the report, but will discuss each section qualitatively against the criteria. No change to the original grade will be discussed at this meeting.
    4. If you are not satisfied with the feedback provided at the meeting and still believe that there has been an error of academic judgment in the application of the marking criteria, then you may request a formal remark by emailing the Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning,  within 10 business days of having received the initial feedback on the assignment. Late requests will only be accommodated under exceptional circumstances.
    5. Applications for remarking must include the following:
      • Student ID
      • Subject code and name
      • Name of the subject coordinator
      • Name and email address of the marker
      • The date the initial feedback was provided
      • The exact numerical mark you received
      • Copy of the marked assignment which includes all of the in-text comments provided by your tutor as well as all of the comments at the end. The pdf with the in-text comments can be downloaded using the instructions here.
        If the comments at the end are not included, you can provide them as a screenshot or by copy-pasting them into a separate document.
      • If your request for a remark occurs later than 10 business days after you received the initial feedback you need to explain why. Late requests will be considered only under exceptional circumstances. Such a request must state 1) the date the tutor was initially emailed requesting the meeting, 2) the date the meeting occurred, and 3) why your remark request is late.
      • Your remark request must clearly state which of the official marking criteria you believe were not appropriately followed by the marker. Subjective disagreements with the judgment of the marker are not grounds for a remark.
      • You must include a clean copy of the assessment with identifying information removed.
      • You must also include the full marking criteria and all of the assignment instructions.
    6. The Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning will decide whether there are sufficient grounds for remarking the assessment and will contact you within a week with their decision.
    7. If a remark occurs, the entire assignment will be remarked. It is not possible to request that only certain sections of the assignment be remarked.
    8. The re-marker will provide a justification of their grade against the original marking criteria.
    9. The re-marked result will be the final result for the assessment task regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the original result. No further change can be made the grade unless there are grounds to review the process of re-marking.
  • Citations and Referencing

    The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences requires students to adopt the American Psychological Association (APA) format for acknowledging the work of others through in-text citations and referencing. The APA provides some excellent resources for learning APA style http://www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/basics-tutorial.aspx

    The following website is also a good resource for the correct application of APA style for both in-text references and your reference list:

    https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/1/

Extensions & Special Consideration

  • Extensions

    Submission dates for assignments will be provided by the subject coordinators well in advance. Given this, extensions are only approved under exceptional circumstances. You are expected to manage your time to allow for minor illnesses, technology problems, heavy workloads, outside work commitments, transport problems etc.

    • Professional staff at the School may grant an extension of up to 10 working days to allow for unforeseen circumstances that have impacted a student during the time allocated for the preparation of an item of assessment.
    • Applications submitted more than 4 days after the original submission deadline has passed will automatically be rejected. If there exists exceptional circumstances that prevented a timely application from being made, then you are advised to request support under the Special Consideration Procedure. Information about Special Consideration can be found at: http://students.unimelb.edu.au/admin/special
    • Where more than one assessment task is affected, you must submit a separate extension request application for each item of assessment.
    • Submission of an application for extension does not guarantee approval.
    • If you need an extension of more than 10 working days, or were granted the maximum extension but are experiencing circumstances that are still preventing you from submitting the assessment by the revised due date, then you must submit an application under the Special Consideration Procedure. Information about Special Consideration can be found at: http://students.unimelb.edu.au/admin/special
    • If you are experiencing difficulties of an ongoing or recurring episodic nature, then you are advised to seek support and advice from the Student Equity and Disability Unit: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

    The application form can be accessed here:  MSPS Extension Request Form.

  • Procedure for Submitting a Request for Extension
    • Compile supporting documentation that outlines how your circumstances have affected your ability to complete the assessment item before the original deadline
    • Complete the electronic Extension Request Form, which can be obtained via the Extensions link in the main menu on the LMS site for each Psychology subject.
    • The School will contact you about your application within three working days of the receipt of the electronic Extension Request form.
  • Procedure for requesting a continuation for an assignment extension

    If your circumstances continue to negatively impact your studies beyond the duration of the original extension duration, then you must apply for an extension continuation using the link that was emailed to you at the time your original extension request was approved. Be advised that if you have already received a 10-day extension, then you are not eligible for a continuation. You should instead apply for special consideration. Information can be found at: http://students.unimelb.edu.au/admin/special

  • Medical certificates

    The School will not approve an extension request that exceeds the duration of the medical condition as stated by the health professional on a medical certificate. If your condition continues to affect your studies and you require a continuation on your extension, then you will need to provide new and updated medical documentation. Be advised that the School regularly checks the validity of medical certificates. DO NOT, under any circumstances, forge, falsify or alter medical documents.  Falsifying documents constitutes fraud and is treated very seriously by the University. Students caught falsifying medical documents may have their enrolment at the University terminated.

  • Eligible circumstances

    Extensions may be granted in circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Illness or a medical condition, supported by a medical certificate.
    • Injury or physical or psychological trauma, impairment or incapacity arising from an event (e.g. as a result of a car accident), supported by a medical certificate and related documentation (e.g. police report).
    • The death or diagnosis of a serious illness of a close family member or friend, supported by documentary evidence, and an explanation of the nature of your relationship to the person.
    • Illness of a child, parent/guardian, or spouse, for whom the student is the primary caregiver, supported by documentary evidence.
    • An unforeseen event that substantially impacts on the preparation of an assignment, such as family breakdown or substantial change to economic circumstances (e.g. bankruptcy), supported by documentary evidence.
    • Legal commitments, where a student is called for jury duty or is subpoenaed to attend a court, tribunal or hearing, supported by documentary evidence.
    • Obligatory involvement in a religious ceremony or cultural event of a unique nature, supported by documentation from a relevant official or leader.
  • Ineligible circumstances

    Extensions will not be granted for the following circumstances.

    • Computer failure. Software malfunction, disk failures and printing difficulties are an unavoidable aspect of computer use and should be anticipated and planned for. The subject coordinator may, at their discretion, grant an exception where computer failure affects submission of an assignment that had preparation time of less than a week, in which case an extension of up to 24 hours may be granted.
    • Assessment tasks in other subjects due. You will be given fair notice of assessment due dates and are expected to manage their time in order to meet the set deadlines. This specifically includes assessment resulting from an approved overload.
    • Employment responsibilities and routine financial support needs.
    • Stress or 'normal' anxiety. The stress or anxiety normally associated with the completion of required assessment tasks or any aspect of coursework is not considered grounds for an extension. A medically diagnosed anxiety disorder may be grounds for an extension or other accommodation under the Student Equitable Adjustment Procedure.
    • Study difficulties. Difficulties adjusting to university life, the self-discipline needed to study effectively, and the demands of academic work, or resulting from a lack of knowledge of the requirements of academic work or failing to anticipate correctly the time required to complete a specific task, are not grounds for extensions. You should consult with a student adviser about the options provided by support programs such as the learning skills programs offered by Academic Skills.
    • Language difficulties. You are expected to possess a specified competency in English. If you are experiencing English language difficulties you should consult with a student adviser about ESL support options, such as those offered by Academic Skills.
    • Minor inconveniences
    • Regular, normal life events, such as family life, work, sporting activities, social, or other commitments
    • Minor interruptions and disruption to routine that might result from minor illness, mishaps or other minor adversity.
  • Special Consideration

    Special consideration is granted to students who are experiencing a hardship that has significantly impacted their performance during the academic semester. As soon as you are aware of factors that are affecting your studies, or are likely to do so, you should seek advice from a student advisor at Stop 1.

    Applications for special consideration are submitted through your Student Portal.

    Details of all applications for special consideration are treated in the strictest confidence. Applications for special consideration are made in accordance with the Statute 12.4.5 (set out in the University Policy Library).

    For more information about applying for special consideration go to: http://students.unimelb.edu.au/admin/special

    Please note, ongoing and recurring episodic circumstances, are managed through the Student Equity and Disability Unit: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

    Even when students are assessed as being eligible for special consideration it is not always possible to grant what the student requests. For example, the constraints of a subject may prevent us from granting extensions beyond a particular duration. Therefore, students should not assume that they will always be granted what they request. University policy places the outcome at the discretion of the School.

    While waiting for the outcome of a special consideration application, students should still attempt to submit their assignments as soon as possible in case the special consideration application results in an extension less than what was asked for.

  • Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP)

    Students with an academic adjustment plan must contact the subject coordinator as soon as possible, preferable within the first week of the semester, to discuss appropriate adjustments. The sooner you discuss your AAP with your subject coordinator, the easier it will be for the subject coordinator to help you. The AAP is not a list of entitlements or guarantees. Rather, it is designed to form the starting point of a discussion. While the subject coordinator will attempt to accommodate reasonable adjustments, the particular requirements of an individual subject may preclude some adjustments, in which case you may need to withdraw from the subject. The subject coordinator will need to discuss any unusual adjustments (e.g. alternative assignments) with the Director of Teaching and Learning (DOTL) before granting them.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism

  • What is plagiarism?

    Plagiarism is the act of representing the creative work of another as one's own original work, without appropriate acknowledgment of the author or source. The following are examples of plagiarism if appropriate acknowledgement or referencing of the author or source does not occur:

    • Copying directly (or allowing to be copied) paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or significant parts of a sentence. An end reference without quotation marks around the copied text may also constitute plagiarism
    • Copying ideas, concepts, research results, statistical tables, computer programs, designs, images, sounds or text, or any combination of these
    • Paraphrasing of another's work closely, with minor changes but with the essential meaning, form, and/or progression of ideas maintained
    • Relying on a specific idea or interpretation that is not one's own without identifying whose idea or interpretation it is
    • Cutting or pasting statements from multiple sources or piecing together work of others and representing them as original work
    • Presenting as independent, work done in collaboration with other people (e.g., another student, a tutor)
    • Submitting, as one's own, all or part of another student's original work
    • Resubmitting your own work for more than one assessment, except where explicitly authorised to do so.
    • Preparing an original and correctly referenced assignment and submitting part or all of the assignment twice for separate subjects or marks
    • Cheating in an exam, either by copying from other students or by using unauthorised notes or aids.

    For the university’s advice on academic integrity and plagiarism please see here.

    For advice from the University’s academic skills unit please see here.

    Because this issue is so important, we have created a short video to remind students of the different forms of plagiarism. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT YOU WATCH THIS VIDEO BEFORE SUBMITTING ANY ASSIGNMENTS. See here.

  • What is collusion?

    Collusion is the presentation by a student of an assignment as his or her own which is in fact the result in whole or in part of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons. Collusion involves the cooperation of two or more students in plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct. Both the student presenting the assignment and the student(s) willingly supplying unauthorised material (colluders) are considered participants in the act of academic misconduct. Whilst discussion amongst students is encouraged, it is expected that the written submission be planned and completed by each student independently, except when a group assignment is required.

  • Penalties for Plagiarism and Collusion

    The potential penalties for plagiarism and collusion are severe and can include receiving a zero for the assignment or even the entire subject. If there are two or more pieces of work from different students that cannot be differentiated, all students involved may be penalised.

Administrative Matters

  • Work Commitments

    A clash with employment commitments is not regarded as a valid reason for changing your allotted tutorial time. Whilst the importance of employment is recognised, such commitments will not be treated as grounds for special consideration. You are expected to manage your work commitments so that they do not interfere with your studies and ensure that your timetable is workable so that you meet the attendance requirements of your subjects.

  • Subject Evaluations and Feedback

    The University and the MSPS place great emphasis on promoting and monitoring the quality of their teaching programs. In order to receive feedback from students on teaching, each semester students are requested to complete an online subject questionnaire. Students will receive an email notifying them when the Subject Experience Surveys are available to be completed and can be accessed from the Student Portal. All questionnaires and comments provided are strictly confidential. Results from the questionnaire will be published on each subject’s page on the LMS together with details of any action taken to address the issues raised as a result of the feedback process.

    Students may also be asked to respond to short surveys administered by the subject coordinator, during the semester. These surveys are designed to allow the subject coordinator to monitor how the subject is progressing.

    Students are of course invited to provide feedback to lecturers or subject coordinators at any time, providing it is done in a respectful and constructive manner.