Newshub - NUS' News Portal

22 May 2008

NUS Launches Joint Master Of Psychology (Clinical) Degree Programme With The University Of Melbourne

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Students aspiring to pursue a career in clinical psychology have a new attractive option at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Starting in January 2009, NUS and the University of Melbourne (UM) will offer a joint Master degree programme in clinical psychology.

In the latest development to provide clinical psychology training in Singapore, the National University of Singapore's Department of Psychology will team up with the Department of Psychology at the University of Melbourne to offer the UM-NUS Master of Psychology (Clinical) Programme. The agreement for the joint degree programme was inked between NUS and the University of Melbourne on 22 May 2008 at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The two-year programme will commence in January 2009. Students will take courses in the University of Melbourne during their first year of study and return to NUS in their second year to complete the remaining modules and clinical placements.

Professor Catherine So-kum Tang, Director of Clinical Psychology explained the objective and structure of the curriculum for the joint degree program; "The objective of the collaboration with University of Melbourne is to benchmark the new programme with international standards of training. The curriculum for the joint degree programme is founded on a scientist-practitioner approach and reflects the curricula of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme offered at UM and the new Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme at NUS. Students will also receive extensive supervised clinical experience in hospitals and clinics in Singapore and are expected to develop research skills relevant to evidence-based practice." The NUS programme was launched this past January and received a large number of applications.

Professor George Bishop, Head of the Department of Psychology at NUS said, "It is beneficial for NUS to capitalize on a ready pool of expertise within an internationally renowned department. The Master of Psychology (Clinical) programme offered by UM is a first-class programme and has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council since its inception more than 30 years ago. As such we're proud to be teaming up with them in this joint degree. Students of the joint degree programme will benefit from the strengths of both departments as they pursue their clinical psychology training."

Professor Tan Tai Yong, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences remarked "We are very excited about this new joint degree programme as it will offer our students even more choices in terms of their studies and career. The fact that the University of Melbourne like NUS is also one of the leading Universities in the world means that this is a prestigious programme that will prove to be extremely attractive to potential students. This programme will also afford the opportunity for faculty members from both universities to work closely together, further fostering academic and research links between NUS and University of Melbourne. We look forward to having more of such collaborations with University of Melbourne in the near future."

The clinical psychology programme at the University of Melbourne began in the early 1970s. The programme enjoys an excellent reputation and is one of the premier clinical psychology programmes in the region.

Professor Philip Smith, Head of the Department of Behavioural Science at the University of Melbourne, said this strategic link between the National University of Singapore and the University of Melbourne, two of the Asia-Pacific region's research leaders, reflects the increased globalisation of higher education. "Not only does it respond to Singapore's workforce need for more professional psychologists, but it will also establish a relationship between the two universities that is likely to lead to future collaborative research."

Professor James Angus, Dean of the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences said this partnership builds on the long-standing ties - at many levels - between Melbourne and NUS, both of which are highly-respected internationally for the quality of their staff and students; their teaching and research. "In our faculty, growing numbers of Melbourne medical students are undertaking their Advanced Medical Science year in Singapore, and are taking units in paediatric, clinical, toxicology and venom research, radiology and molecular research at NUS."

Clinical psychologists are specialists in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and mental illness. They can be found in private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health centres and mental health services. They work with children, adolescents, adults and older adults. They are also involved in designing and implementing a wide range of prevention and mental health promotion programs.

Thus the contribution of professionally trained clinical psychologists can have a significant impact on the health and quality of life of a large number of individuals across the life span. There is strong evidence for the contribution of clinical psychology to individuals' physical and mental health as well as well-being across the lifespan in many different settings.

Applications for the joint degree programme will commence on 2 June 2008 and close on 31 July 2008. An information session of the programme will be held on 23 June 2008 in NUS. More details will be published in the advertisement for the programme application and the website of Department of Psychology, NUS at