Developing the skills of a community psychologist: Recommendations for postgraduate programmes in Australia
College of Community Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society.
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology
Community psychology aims to develop existing strengths in both individuals and groups through guiding principles which include prevention, empowerment, respect for iversity, collaboration, social justice, from an ecological perspective (Duffy & Wong, 2000). In Australia, this branch of psychology is taught both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This paper focuses on community psychology courses at the postgraduate level which includes Masters, Doctor of Psychology, and Doctor of Philosophy levels at Edith Cowan University (ECU) and at Masters level as part of an applied psychology course at Victoria University of Technology (VUT). A students undertaking any of these postgraduate qualifications is required to complete coursework units and a research project, both of which are presented at the academic institution. In addition, completion of a practicum component of the course is required for graduation. The aim of the practica is to develop skills and competencies required of psychologists by the Australian Psychological Society (1996) as prescribed by the College of Community Psychologists (1998). This paper presents student recommendations for postgraduate training in community psychology, and is confined to those issues associated with practica and practica issues units.