Doctor of Health Psychology


Program Code 11580
Graduate Level Postgraduate
  • Online
UAC Code UAC Website
Contributing Schools and Faculties
Admission Instructions:

How to apply as a:

Program Award Rules and Schedules
Mode of delivery Ten of the eleven taught courses will be face-to-face on campus using a variety of methods, chiefly seminars, workshops, and problem based learning. The course on Organisational Management (undertaken in the third year of full-time study) will be delivered in a flexible mode utilising Blackboard as a primary tool, and including prescribed readings, email discussions and weekend workshops/seminar presentations. The method of teaching in the four practicum courses will be by placement and supervision in the field. The primary means of instruction for the research project will be by individual supervision, with regular meetings between supervisor and student on campus.


This program is only available to students who have already commenced the program. The Doctor of Health Psychology is a professional qualification for those who wish to work as psychologists within the health field. It aims to produce health psychologists who can apply psychological research and methods to: the prevention and management of disease; the promotion and maintenance of health; the identification of psychological factors contributing to illness; and the improvement of the health care system and health policy.

The School of Psychology is currently seeking accreditation from the Australian Psychological Society (APS), and approval by the College of Clinical Psychologists for the purposes of determining eligibility for College membership, and acceptance by the NSW Psychologists Registration Board as an approved program of study.

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities for Health Psychologists in Area Health Services and other government agencies such as the Department of Community Services and the Department of Ageing, Disability & Home Care, as well as in non-government organisations and in the private sectors. Health psychologists work within clinical settings such as hospitals, with individual patients and/or their families, but are also equipped to work as health promotion practitioners across a variety of settings.

Study a Language

All domestic students can now enrol in an undergraduate Diploma in Languages alongside their main degree program. This diploma will enhance proficiency in another language or languages, and will increase international career opportunities. Subject to course availability, this additional program will generally add an extra year to studies, and students will graduate with a Diploma in Languages as well as their other degree. Please note that all language courses are held on campus (face to face) at Callaghan.

International students cannot enrol concurrently in the Diploma in Languages alongside their primary program unless they can complete both programs within the duration of their primary program CoE. For more information please contact the ESOS Student Compliance Unit

Admission Requirements

Not available to new students.

Credit Transfer

The PVC, on the recommendation of the Faculty Board may grant credit for coursework units if (a) they can be demonstrated to be directly equivalent in terms of content and depth of study to the corresponding components of the Doctoral program, and (b) they were completed within the previous five years in a program accredited by the Australian Psychological Society. c) Credit may be granted for the prior award of a Masters degree in Health Psychology (or equivalent) accredited by the Australian Psychological Society but only to a maximum of 120 units, and no credit may be granted for a previous research thesis.
d) Courses for which credit is granted shall attract full fees, unless otherwise approved by the PVC, Faculty of Science and IT.

Practical Experience

The approval guidelines of the College of Health Psychologists (of the Australian Psychological Society) stipulate that students must spend at least 1500 hours in placements. This requirement will be met with four of the courses within the program being devoted to placements, with the last one (500 hours) being referred to as an ‘internship’.

Professional Accreditation

We are seeking accreditation for the program from the Australian Psychological Society and approval from the College of Health Psychologists for the purposes of determining eligibility for membership of the College.

International Students

International students must comply with the University of Newcastle’s English Language Proficiency requirements. Consequently, no additional strategies in relation to English language beyond those provided by the University should be required.

Special Needs

The support structures of the Student Support Unit will be available to assist any students with a disability or chronic illness. The Faculty accepts responsibility, in liaison with the Student Support Unit, for providing reasonable accommodations to allow students with disabilities to complete the program. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will draw on the assistance and support provided by the Wollotuka Indigenous Support Unit.

Requirements and Structure

The program can be completed over three years full-time or six years part-time study. Students commence studies in February. Please refer to the Term dates on the University website at:
To qualify for admission to the Doctor of Health Psychology, a candidate shall satisfactorily complete a program of study totalling not less than 240 units, comprising coursework, placements and a major thesis.
Placements (50 units). Three placements (each 10 units) and one internship (20 units), contributing to a total of 1500 hours of placement experience. The placements and internship are available in a wide range of settings, and the placement supervisors are qualified Psychologists who are eligible for membership of the College of Health Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society.
Research an Research-Related Courses (90 units). One of these is a compulsory taught course on research methods (10 units) while the others comprise an individual research project undertaken under supervision. The project must make an original and significant contribution of merit to scientific knowledge and must address a topic relevant to Health Psychology.
Compulsory Courses (100 units). These courses include: health and psychology, professional and ethical practice, introduction to health promotion, clinical practice, counselling and behaviour change, clinical health interventions, facilitating best practice health care, intervention in health promotion, measurement and evaluation of health outcomes, and organisational management.
Students who have completed the same 160 units that are included in the Master of Health Psychology will be eligible to exit with the Master of Health Psychology.

Course Information

Code Name Availability Units
Complete the following core courses to fulfil the requirements of this program.
HPRO6710 Introduction to Health Promotion Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6501 Professional and Ethical Practice Semester 1 - 2014 (Callaghan) 10 units
PSYC6505 Research Development Semester 2 - 2014 (Callaghan)
Semester 1 - 2015 (Callaghan)
10 units
PSYC6514 Clinical Health Interventions Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6524 Psychology of Organisational Management Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6601 Health and Psychology Semester 1 - 2014 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
PSYC6602 Clinical Practice Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6603 Counselling and Behaviour Change Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6604 Health Psychology Placement I Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6605 Health Research Project 1 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6606 Facilitating Best Practice Health Care Semester 2 - 2014 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
PSYC6607 Health Psychology Placement 2 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6608 Health Research Project 2 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6609 Health Research Project 2 Part B Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6610 Advanced Population Health Psychology Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6611 Measurement and Evaluation of Health Outcomes Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6612 Health Psychology Placement 3 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6617 Health Psychology Internship Not currently offered 20 units
PSYC6618 Health Research Project 3 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6619 Health Research Project 4 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6620 Health Research Project 5 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6621 Health Research Project 6 Not currently offered 10 units
PSYC6622 Health Research Project 7 Not currently offered 10 units