University of Technology Sydney

96044 Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health (GEM)
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject integrates current research evidence and clinical theory in the planning and delivery of treatment for clinical disorders that emerge in childhood and adolescence. This subject focuses on the scientist–practitioner model in the delivery of evidence-based treatments and explores these aspects of professional practice as they apply to social, emotional and behavioural characteristics prevalent in this population. Key to the subject is an understanding of relevant ethical, legal and practical considerations in working with children and young people. Emphasis is placed on research evidence, assessment and diagnosis, clinical formulation and treatment, clinical disorders common in childhood and adolescence, and cultural competence.

Successful completion of this subject is required for progression to all second-year subjects in the Master of Clinical Psychology (C04300).

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

001. Locate scholarly literature relevant to a given topic
002. Critique selected research
012. Communicate research findings and outcomes
015. Apply research in a given clinical context
016. Integrate diagnostic information with formulation in treatment planning
020. Develop a formulation from a range of clinical perspectives
022. Determine the appropriateness of providing a diagnosis
024. Identify comorbidity
025. Determine differential diagnoses where appropriate
026. Apply diagnostic systems (e.g. DSM, ICD) in a given clinical context
028. Identify appropriate referral services for the client's needs
029. Follow a structured process to arrive at the most accurate diagnosis
030. Draw on clinical evidence to propose an intervention
031. Justify the selection of a particular intervention
033. Evaluate stakeholder perspectives in the planning of an intervention
035. Justify the links between diagnosis, formulation and the intervention chosen
039. Respond to the immediate needs of any clinical presentation
057. Use written and spoken communication in a manner appropriate to the target audience
058. Produce accurate, succinct and well-organised written communications
070. Interpret initial client information
073. Provide a rationale for the method(s) of assessment utilised
074. Ensure that assessment includes memory, intelligence, personality, behavioural functioning and mental state
076. Interpret assessment results
077. Communicate results of assessment in an appropriate format to relevant individuals
078. Respond appropriately to any risk arising from assessment
082. Apply knowledge of historical and contemporary indigenous experience to professional practice
090. Recognise ethical dilemmas
091. Apply ethical decision-making principles in professional practice

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

The learning outcomes for this subject are as follows:

  • Apply in practice accurate and comprehensive knowledge of the current state of psychological theories and models, the application, implementation and interpretation of psychological investigations, and the implementation of psychological interventions. (.001)
  • Provide ethically and legally accountable client-centred care, with awareness of own capabilities and limitations. (.002)
  • Assess and report on individual and population psychological health status, using appropriate testing and/or observation methodologies. (.003)
  • Design and evaluate psychological interventions to optimise client or organisational health. (.004)
  • Evaluate evidence and engage in systematic inquiry. (.005)
  • Communicate effectively and accurately with clients and stakeholders in written or spoken language appropriate to their needs. (.006)
  • Demonstrate respect and value for diverse ways of knowing, being and doing, in particular recognising the diversity of Indigenous Australians, while critically reflecting on the impact of ongoing colonisation and its pervasive discourse on their health and wellbeing, and integrating this knowledge into practice (.007)
  • Reflect on the knowledge, skills and attributes required for the evaluation and integration of emerging evidence into practice, promoting the growth of personal and professional learning, and the education of others. (.009)
  • Represent the psychologist's perspective in multidisciplinary environments, and through self-awareness and acknowledgement of the contribution of other health practitioners, support an interdisciplinary approach to attain the best outcomes for clients. (.010)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of psychological practice in national and global communities, with awareness of their social and cultural contexts, using a consultative approach to the formulation and implementation of management plans to meet diverse needs. (.011)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

Lifelong learning

Graduates of the Master of Clinical Psychology are lifelong learners, committed to and capable of reflection and inquiry in their quest for personal development and excellence in professional practice.

Professional capacity

Graduates of the Master of Clinical Psychology are client-focused, ethical practitioners with the understanding and proficiency to be leaders in their profession, capable of effectively researching and communicating solutions in a global context.

Global citizenship

Graduates of the Master of Clinical Psychology contribute to society, resolving to undertake those actions and responsibilities that will enhance their role in local, national and global communities.

Cultural competence

Graduates of the Master of Clinical Psychology are culturally competent professionals, able to reflect on and explain their own cultural perspectives, accommodate cultural differences and achieve optimal outcomes through the adoption of a consultative approach to patient care with indigenous Australians and other cultural groups.

Teaching and learning strategies

Preparation for Learning:

Students are required to prepare for learning by completing relevant learning activities before attending face-to-face classes. These learning activities include completing the required readings prior to attending the workshop. This will enable students to have a basic understanding of the topic prior to the workshop which they can then build on in the workshop with the subject matter expert who is leading the workshop.

Active Lectures:

During classes, the teaching staff will demonstrate various clinical techniques and interventions, which students will then practice in pairs or small groups throughout the semester. During classes, students will also have the opportunity to discuss the associated readings, as well as any issues or questions arising from the information delivered during the lectures. The lectures are designed to facilitate active learning and discussion.

Case-based Learning:

Case-based learning is a form of problem-based learning and is a key learning strategy in this subject. Authentic and de-identified case examples will be provided to students to inform their simulated practice throughout the semester. Teaching staff will give case examples relevant to Clinical Child Psychology in this subject. This will facilitate learning of the required practical diagnostic, assessment and intervention skills.

Collaborative Learning:

Much of a clinical psychologist’s work involves working with/within multi-disciplinary teams. Therefore, it is essential that clinical psychology students develop skills in teamwork. Collaborating with peers during class and outside of class activities assists students in building collaboration and leadership skills. In this subject, students are required to collaborate on various workshop activities.

Reflective Learning:

Reflective practice is central to clinical psychology. This subject fosters reflective practice by regularly asking students to participate in, observe and reflect on their own professional role-playing and identify areas of strength and weakness.

Practice-based Learning:

Students will engage in a considerable number of role-plays as well as additional practice-based tasks throughout the semester to ensure that they are comfortable engaging in work with clients.

Simulated Clinical Experiences:

In this subject, students will observe experienced clinicians completing assessments and interventions and will role-play skills with their peers.

Ongoing Feedback:

In-class verbal feedback is an important teaching and learning strategy employed throughout the subject. Specifically, teaching staff will observe skills practice and provide feedback where relevant. Each student will also receive written feedback on each submitted assessment task in order to inform their ongoing learning.

Content (topics)

  • Comprehensive theoretical underpinnings of the social, systemic and interpersonal basis for child and adolescent mental health and ill-health.
  • Comprehensive theoretical underpinnings of the social, emotional and behavioural characteristics of child mental health and ill-health
  • Foundational clinical skills in Clinical Child Psychology.
  • Foundational clinical skills clinical assessment, risk assessment, formulation and treatment planning.
  • Special topics related to child and adolescent risk and resilience including Attachment, Systemic influences, Sexual and Gender identity, Trauma, Eating Disorders, Neurodevelopment topics and Self-harm/suicide.


Assessment task 1: Report: Forced Removal and Attachment: Is there a relationship? (must-pass assessment)


The intention of this piece of assessment is to provide students with an opportunity to synthesise knowledge gained across areas of attachment and Indigenous Australian experience of forced removal as accounted for in the Bringing Them Home Report, with a view to considering the social, developmental and clinical implications of this experience for Indigenous wellbeing historically, now and into the future.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

001, 002, 012, 015, 082, 090 and 091

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

.001, .002, .004, .005, .006, .007, .009 and .011

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

600 words


Marking criteria is provided on Canvas

Assessment task 2: Clinical Formulation (must-pass assessment)


The intention of this piece of assessment is to introduce students to the practice of developing a mechanistic case-based formulation to account for characteristics of presentation, psychometric assessment, clinical theory and research evidence. The assignment provides an opportunity for students to develop their understanding and use of hypothesis testing by accounting for descriptive information with mechanistic thinking, clinical insight and clinical judgement. This task is designed to reflect that way a Clinical Formulation may be completed in the workplace and informs Assessment task 3.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

001, 015, 016, 020, 022, 024, 025, 028, 030, 031, 033, 035, 070 and 076

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

.001, .002, .003, .004, .005, .006, .010 and .011

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

600 words


Marking criteria is provided on Canvas.

Assessment task 3: Clinical Assessment Report (must-pass assessment)


The intention of this assignment is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in assessment report writing in a manner that is consistent with clinical practice. Students are asked to synthesise Demographic Information, Referral Information, Presenting Characteristics, Mental Status Examination, Assessment and Results, Formulation, Diagnosis and Recommendations for treatment and their own clinical insight and judgement in developing their Clinical Assessment Report. This task is designed to reflect the way a Clinical Assessment Report may be completed in the workplace and focuses clinical thinking prior to the first clinical placement in the UTS Psychology Clinic.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

001, 015, 016, 020, 022, 024, 025, 026, 028, 029, 030, 033, 039, 057, 058, 070, 073, 074, 076, 077 and 078

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

.001, .002, .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .009 and .011

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

1800 words max


The marking criteria is available on Canvas.

Minimum requirements

Students are required to attend 100% of classes.

To pass this Subject students must achieve a minimum grade of 50%.

This subject contains must-pass assessment tasks. Students must pass all of the assessments to pass the subject.

Required texts

Coursework Assessments Policy

Coursework Assessments Procedures

Graduate School of Health Policy, Guidelines and Procedures (login required)