Teaching Matters


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Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017


Get PSYCHed – Psychology Students Yearning for Careers in Helping: an education program


Mandy Matthewson, School of Medicine — Psychology
Kimberley Norris — Psychology
Andrea Carr, University College


Innovative Teaching for Successful Graduates

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre




Unlike other allied health training programs (e.g. nursing, medicine, pharmacy) which are oriented towards producing practice-ready professionals, the majority of students who major in psychology will not become a registered (and therefore practicing) psychologist (Bryan, Ranzijn, Balfour, & Jackman, 2012). The current training pathway to becoming a registered psychologist in Australia is a three-year undergraduate degree program (AQF level 7), followed by an honours-level year (AQF level 8), followed by either a Master’s program (AQF level 9) or two years of supervised professional practice (Psychology Board of Australia, 2010). Although most students enrolling in a psychology major expect to become a practicing psychologist (Bryan, et al., 2012), the limited number of places in the Master of Clinical Psychology and Master of Professional Psychology at UTAS means that only a small number of students will become registered psychologists. Graduates not pursuing further training in professional psychology will often seek employment in applied mental health settings; however, the undergraduate psychology programs at UTAS (as indeed the majority of undergraduate psychology programs in Australia) do not incorporate work-integrated learning (WIL) principles, particularly in regards to applied counselling and intervention skills. Thus, this project involved developing and piloting a WIL program – Get PSYCHed. Get PSYCHed involved a combination of online modules, face-to-face workshops and mentoring within the discipline of psychology at UTAS. Participants undertook modules on professional identity development, professional communication skills, ethical conduct and work readiness skills. The aim of the research was to evaluate Get PSYCHed in terms of its capacity to inform participants’ decision-making and work readiness regarding future training and employment in the mental health workforce. Participants completed an online survey before and after completing Get PSYCHed. Results showed that Get PSYCHed enhanced readiness and confidence to work in the mental health workforce and engage in further training to do so.


Bryan, J., Ranzijn, R., Balfour, C., & Jackman, G. (2012). Increasing the work-readiness of Australian psychology undergraduates by changing the curriculum. In S. McCarthy, A. Dickson, J. Cranney, K. L. Trapp, & V. Karandashev (Eds.), Teaching psychology around the world. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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