PSYCH 310 : Introduction to Clinical Psychology


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Describes and evaluates psychological approaches to the assessment and treatment of those mental health problems, in adults and children, most commonly encountered by clinical psychologists. Consideration is given to work in mental health, corrections, child protection and neuropsychology rehabilitation. Issues relevant to Māori mental health, gender, cross-cultural work and prevention are included.

Course Overview

This course describes and evaluates psychological approaches to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in adults and children. We present theory and research on mental health, and include a strong emphasis on the practice of clinical psychology as represented in Aotearoa New Zealand. The course critiques the traditional Western approach to the classification and diagnosis of mental health disorders. Clinical features of a range of psychological disorders are explored and include such issues as aetiology, assessment, and therapeutic intervention. The majority of lecturers on the course have a background as practitioners in mental health services, in addition to their present academic roles in clinical psychology and mental health. This course is good preparation for anyone wanting to do postgraduate study in applied psychology, clinical psychology, counselling psychology, health psychology, speech and language therapy, social work, psychiatric nursing and mental health. The skills developed in this course are particularly useful for those wishing to have a career involving  mental health, social and therapeutic services.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II in Psychology and 15 points from STATS 100-125

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe and critique the major psychological models upon which the assessment and treatment of mental health and neuropsychological problems are based, including Māori perspectives, cognitive, behavioural, psychodynamic, humanistic and family/systems models. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  2. Describe and critique current approaches to assessment and treatment for children, adolescents and adults with mental health problems. (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, working autonomously and with self-discipline and developing independent understanding. (Capability 5)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its relationship to the practice of psychology. (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Class Test 20% Individual Test
Essay 30% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Class Test
Final Exam

Attendance at tutorials is compulsory to be eligible for plussage.


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in. For this course, you can expect a total of 36 hours of lectures, 44 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 70 hours of work on assignments, test preparation and/or examination preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Delivery mode on campus only

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Recommended text:
  • Rieger, Elizabeth. (2017). Abnormal psychology: Leading researcher perspectives. (4th ed.). North Ryde, NSW, Australia: McGraw Hill. 
References to other relevant readings will be sent out during the course. 

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

We continue to make improvements to the course based on student feedback.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 11:28 a.m.