Frequently Asked Questions
Applications & Admissions
When and how do I apply?
Applications must be made online through our official Application Portal. If applicable, references will be submitted separately via the HODSPA PsychologyReference.org system.
If you need assistance using the application portal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for IT support.
Will you have an Open Day or Information Evening?
Additional Open Nights will run later in 2020 for our 2021 intake.
Our Open Night and Information Evenings are normally held at our Hawthorn Campus, 391-393 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, VIC 3123.
If you are unable to attend the open night for your course/s of interest then you can use the form at the bottom of this page to send us additional questions. We cannot offer one-off tours or pre-application meetings with applicants, but we will try to respond to any questions which are not already answered on this page or the Course Pages.
If you are interested in a course which does not have a current intake, please consider registering your interest HERE and we will contact you when we have more information relevant to your course interests, including open night offerings.
How many offers do you make?
Most programs take between 20 to 30 students per intake through two to four rounds of offers.
- MPsych (Clinical) and DPsych (Clinical) – 24 max (combined), Feb intake only
- MPP – 30 max, Feb intake only
- BPsych(Hons) – 25-30 max per intake (mid-year intake is smaller)
- Counselling and Psychotherapy – 30 max (combined)
Note: This information is indicative only. We reserve the right to vary our intake numbers with or without notice based on availability or resources and the calibre of applications in any given application period.
Do you have a mid-year intake?
Applications for our mid-year (September 2020) intake in the Master of Clinical Psychology (Post Registration) program are open now and will close at 5pm on 19 July 2020.
Applications for our mid-year (July 2020) intake for the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) program are now closed.
We are not currently expecting to offer mid-year intakes for any other programs in 2020.
What is the results or WAM cut-off for an offer in your courses?
The entry requirements listed on our Course Pages are the minimum to apply and be considered for entry, meeting the minimum to apply will not guarantee entry. We do not have a specific WAM or grade based cut-off for offers. Selection at Cairnmillar is holistic and includes factors other than academic grades. There is no guaranteed entry grade and prior grades for those made offers will vary.
We take into consideration a number of factors in addition to academic results, in particular performance in the interview and academic references may impact your chances of an offer in your program of choice.
Please note: experience and references cannot be taken instead of the required academic results. Where we have a minimum grade range to apply this is strictly enforced and is a genuine minimum grade for further consideration. Meeting the minimum cut-off to apply is not normally enough for an offer to be made.
Clinical Psychology: While a high H2A (75%+) is the required minimum to apply, the WAM to be competitive for the MPsych(Clinical) is normally in the 80-85+ range (e.g. H1 or HD). We do not normally have capacity to interview applicants with a WAM below 80 for the Clinical Psych programs.
How do I calculate my Average Grade or Weighted Average Mark (WAM)?
- For Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) applicants, it is important that you only provide the WAM for your 2nd and 3rd year level Psychology subjects.
- All other Psychology applicants should provide the total WAM for all subjects in their most recent APAC accredited qualification.
- Counselling applicants should simply provide the total WAM for all subjects in their most recent qualification.
If your current or most recent institution is one of the few in Australia which does not provide exact marks on your official academic transcript, we will require an additional document from you in order to process your application. See the answer below for more information.
My current institution does not list final marks out of 100 on my transcript (e.g. Fed Uni or ACU), what should I do?
We will need a formal letter from your Head of School or Head of Department of Psychology, or from your Course or Year Coordinator, which states your marks out of 100 for all APAC accredited units of study in psychology and your current weighted average mark (WAM) out of 100. Your Psychology Department or School should be familiar with providing these letters as WAM on entry is an APAC requirement.
Once you have obtained the letter please attach it with your application or send it to email@example.com we can append it to your application for you. It is likely that other institutions you have applied to will also require this information and we suggest you keep a copy once you have the letter.
If your university asks to send the document directly to us (in the case that some of your marks are still provisional, for example) then it can be sent by them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
When will interviews be held?
Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) TBC: Interviews will be held in a number of rounds starting in early November and early December 2020. A second round of interviews may be held in January 2021.
Master of Professional Psychology TBC: Interviews will be held in a number of rounds starting in early November and early December 2020. A second round of interviews may be held in January 2021.
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) The Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) program does not normally interview. If required an interview will be held informally by phone.
Counselling and Psychotherapy Programs TBC: Interviews will be held in a number of rounds starting in early November and early December 2020. A second round of interviews may be held in January 2021.
Can I have my interview by Skype?
The interview will normally be held at the originally offered time (note all interview offers are Melbourne time – if you are overseas you will need to work out the correct time for your timezone).
I have another qualification, can I get RPL/Advanced Standing/Credit Transfer?
Students who are offered a place can apply for RPL and, where previous studies are directly comparable to our accredited units of study RPL may be granted for up to 50% of the course of study (program) e.g. for no more tha 4 units if the course has 8 units total. More information on the RPL process will be available when offers are made.
For Psychology courses, RPL and credit can normally only be granted if your prior studies were in an APAC accredited program or the same or higher level than the one you are applying to. This means you cannot get credit for 4th-year psychology units in a 5th-year course, nor 2nd or 3rd-year level units in a 4th-year course even if they have similar nomenclature such as both being Graduate Diplomas.
I have a specific qualification am I eligible for one of your courses? Can you pre-assess my application?
The minimum requirements for each course are listed on this website on the relevant Course Pages.
Any requests for pre-assessment or specific eligibility will not normally be responded to.
I have an overseas qualification, am I eligible and how do I apply?
Applicants applying to a psychology course with overseas qualifications will need to provide an assessment of overseas qualifications from the APS with your application. We recommend that you apply as soon as possible to the APS for assessment as time frames vary and your application for our programs will not be able to be considered without a valid APS assessment.
You can find more about APS assessments here: https://www.psychology.org.au/membership/qualifications/university/
If you are applying for a counselling and psychotherapy course your qualifications will be assessed once you make an application. We do not pre-assess applications and you will need to use your best judgement about the equivalency of your overseas qualification to the Australian AQF system.
You can find the entry criteria for all of our courses on their specific course pages here.
What is your IELTS requirement? Do you make conditional offers without or with lower IELTS scores?
Psychology courses will not consider any international applicants with an IELTS lower than 7. All psychology applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements for AHPRA registration. See the AHPRA website for more information.
The Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy may provisionally consider applicants who have an IELTS score of 6.5 or better where other factors are exceptional.
We do not consider international applications without an IELTS score or other evidence of meeting English language requirements, and we are unable to offer conditional places on these grounds. Applicants attending an English course in Australia or elsewhere are encouraged to apply at the end of that course once their IELTS score has been improved.
When will offers be made?
Waitlisted and later round offers can be made at any time including up until the start of teaching in some cases.
We let applicants know as soon as possible once a decision is made however this is a long and fairly complex process. All rejected applicants will be contacted as soon as possible. All applicants should have a final outcome by the end of March 2021.
Please do not contact Cairnmillar to follow up on the status of your application – we do not currently have the capacity to respond to such requests and answering these slows down processing for all applicants. Any such queries will not be responded to.
You can also check the status of your application in our Application Portal.
How do I apply for a Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science?
To register your interest in this or any of our other future or possible programs, please follow this link and complete the form: https://www.cairnmillar.edu.au/register-for-course-information/
We will be in touch with more information for people who have registered their interest should we start offering this or a similar program in future. Please do not expect an immediate response.
Where can I find more information about Admissions Transparency Implementation and your Information Sets?
Cairnmillar does not offer any undergraduate degrees. This means that we do not have any data for Admissions Information Sets and ATAR is not relevant for our entry and admissions processes. If you have further questions please contact email@example.com for advice or clarification.
Do you work with International Education Agents? Can we become an Agent?
We ask that education agents do not contact us or our staff.
I need help using or accessing the Application Portal
Documentation & References
What documentation do I need to provide with my application?
- Your most recent academic transcripts
- A current curriculum vitae
- A 500 word statement on why you wish to study at Cairnmillar
- Proof of residency/citizenship (e.g. passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate)
- References through http://www.psychologyreference.org/ (see FAQ below for more detail)
International applicants will also need to provide:
- Proof of IELTS score
Applicants with overseas qualifications will also need to provide:
- Certified translations of any academic documents not issued in English.
- APS certification for overseas qualifications (for Psychology courses only)
If you are using copies they must be certified, if you are scanning and uploading originals they do not need to be certified.
You must attach your documentation to your online application, you cannot always re-start an application once you get to this stage so please have your documents ready before you apply. If you miss something or want to update a document after you apply, you can provide the documents by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not have my final grades yet, what should I do?
Once you have your final grades for all units or study you can re-submit your updated Official Academic Transcript and final WAM score to email@example.com and your application will be updated at that time.
If an offer is made on a current and non-final WAM score then the offer will normally be conditional upon maintaining or exceeding a specific score.
I have submitted an application, can I check on my application, referee or document status?
Please use http://www.psychologyreference.org/ to check your referee and reference status. When used correctly this system works well and Cairnmillar cannot take responsibility for checking this for you.
How do I provide references? How many referees do I need to provide?
References are provided through http://www.psychologyreference.org – a guide to the service can be found here. Remember: you need to login and ‘share’ the confidential reports with the Cairnmillar Institute after they are submitted by your referees before we will be able to see them.
The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), The Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), the Master of Professional Psychology Practice and Master of Professional Psychology courses require (2) two academic references and (1) one professional reference.
The Master of Clinical Psychology (Post Registration) requires a minimum of three (3) referees but we will read up to four (4) if you submit more than three (3). We recommend that you include at least one of each type of reference if possible (e.g. at least one (1) academic and at least one (1) professional reference, the third reference can be either).
The Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) course does not require any references.
The Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy all require (2) two references, we prefer at least (1) one academic reference. However, if you have been out of higher education for more than ten years then two professional references or voluntary references will be sufficient.
There will be no exceptions to this. For fairness to all applicants, requests for alternatives to this service will not be possible. Please contact the service directly if you have problems or issues with using their system or their fees: https://www.psychologyreference.org/contact
Can I re-use old referee reports?
Our preference is for you to provide new requests/referee reports each time you apply mostly to ensure that they are available for the full consideration period. If your referee reports from a previous application period are still in the www.psychologyreference.org system then yes, you can share them with us again and we will accept them if the service provides them.
You will still need to have an active account and may need to login to www.psychologyreference.org and ‘share’ the reports with the Cairnmillar Institute again before we will be able to see them.
NOTE: please be aware however that www.psychologyreference.org do sometimes clean their database and delete old or expired reports. If the reports have been deleted then you will need to re-request reports from the same or new referees.
Please contact the service directly if you have further questions about using old referee reports: https://www.psychologyreference.org/contact
The HODSPA Reference System needs a student ID but I don’t have a Cairnmillar ID yet?
Please do not contact CMI about ID numbers. New students will not be given ID numbers until after offers and enrolment are both processed in early 2021.
Who should my referees be?
You need to do your best to provide a strong application including choosing the referees who can best attest to your suitability for a professional career in psychology or counselling is part of that process.
An academic reference can be: a teacher, a tutor, a lecturer or a research supervisor. These referees need to be able to comment on your writing and research abilities as well as your suitability for a psychology or counselling career. For the Master of Clinical Psychology (Post Registration) course you can also often use your professional psychology supervisor as an academic referee (just make sure you check with them first that they feel confident addressing this).
A professional referee can be: an employer, a volunteer coordinator, a representative from an organisation you volunteer for (e.g. a Lifeline team leader), or a professional counsellor or psychologist, or other relevant person you have worked with who can comment on your work ethic and your personal qualities with some authority.
Referees should not be close friends and should not be related to you.
We do not answer questions about the suitability of your choice of referees and do not pre-assess applications. If you need help in finding suitable references and making the best application possible we suggest that you speak to your current academic advisors, or someone you know in the field or counselling or psychology.
We are a small school and cannot provide tailored support to all applicants. Ultimately applicants are responsible for finding suitable referees who know them well enough to comment on the relevant areas of their ability.
How to get help with reference portal?
This is an external service. Cairnmillar cannot assist you with using this system.
Please contact the service directly if you have problems or issues with using their system: https://www.psychologyreference.org/contact
What should I write in my personal statement? How long should it be?
CV: What should I put in my CV? How long should it be? Can I apply without a CV?
The best content and format for a CV document will vary depending on your situation, history and relevant experience. There is no one format or best practice for all applicants. In general, a shorter CV (2-6 pages) is best. You can use your current professional CV if you choose.
We are a small school and cannot give external applicants specific advice about application planning and document preparation. Please contact your current or undergraduate institution for careers advice or talk to a mentor or other trusted friend or professional for CV and application preparation advice. You may also be able to find templates and advice online to best suit your situation. Ultimately applicants are responsible for making these decisions and presenting the best possible application.
Make sure that you review your CV carefully for accuracy and avoid minor errors.
Do I need to provide a Working With Children Check or Police Check in order to apply?
If we make an offer of place we will send you detailed information about what kind of checks are required and when and how you must provide them.
Do my documents need to be certified?
International students making a paper application should have all copies certified.
Can I add additional documents or amend the documents I uploaded after my application was submitted?
If you need to add or amend documents or information for an existing application which has already been pre-checked (e.g. after we mark it as ‘Complete’ or ‘Interview’ status) then you will need to email us to edit it for you. If you need to amend a completed application please email your new or updated documents to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will attach them to your existing application.
I am a former or current Cairnmillar student or alumni and I need a Cairnmillar transcript or other official letter, who do I contact?
If there is a postage or re-print cost for your request, you will need to pay this via PayPal. Some requests are free, full details of relevant costs are on the form.
If you want evidence or re-prints of records from 2013 or prior, please contact email@example.com before you fill in the form to confirm that we are able to provide the document or record that you require. We cannot always provide formal documents for some programs offered before we became APAC and TEQSA accredited.
Offers & Enrolments
What happens if I accept an offer and later change my mind?
As long as you are a domestic student and you formally withdraw from the course before the census date your tuition fees will be refunded (for International Student Refund Conditions please check your International Student Agreement or contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
Can I apply to defer an offer until next year?
I have a question about Orientation or O-week?
You will have at least one compulsory Welcome Day event prior to classes starting. Other optional events will also run during the weeks prior to classes starting.
RSVP links or free ticketing info will be emailed to enrolled students closer to the time.
How much are the tuition fees for each course?
You can find more information about our current and prior years tuition fees on our Fees page.
Can I get FEE-HELP loans for your courses?
For more information on the FEE-HELP program and eligibility criteria see www.studyassist.gov.au
Do you offer CSP places or HECS-HELP?
However, we are a registered FEE-HELP provider. The FEE-HELP loan scheme works in a similar way to the HECS-HELP loan scheme. We suggest that you check out www.studyassist.gov.au to find out more about FEE-HELP. For more details about our fees and fee structure, click here.
When will my tuition fees be due?
Students who are enrolled in the intensive classes, tuition fee payment or FEE-HELP application forms will be due on 5 February 2021.
2020 Semester 2 tuition fees will be due on 10 July 2020.
For more information about tuition fees, click here.
How do I get a FEE-HELP form?
More information will be sent to you after you accept your offer.
For information about FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP eligibility please see: http://studyassist.gov.au/
What does 'pending' or 'complete' or other application status in the Apply Now portal mean?
Once an administrator has reviewed your application we will update the status to ‘Complete‘ or ‘Incomplete‘. If your applications is ‘Complete’ it will move on for academic assessment and offer or interview list ranking. If your application is ‘Incomplete’ we will email you to let you know what additional documents or evidence are required.
Important: your application can still be considered ‘Complete’ while we are waiting for your references via HODSPA (psychologyreference.org) however no offer can be made without references (if applicable to the course you are applying for). We will be in touch if there are any issues with accessing your references.
For courses with an interview requirement, your application status will be updated to ‘Interview‘ if you are going to be invited for an interview. We will then email you an interview invitation and time if this occurs.
If an offer is made, your application status will be updated to ‘Offer‘. If your application is declined, the status will be ‘Rejected‘. You will be emailed a formal notification with more information once either outcome is decided. You do not need to keep checking the application portal as we will let you know as soon as possible once a final outcome is decided.
Some courses have a ‘Waitlisted‘ status. This status means that we would like to make an offer but no places are currently available. You will be emailed a formal offer as soon as possible if a place does become available for you.
Please note: it can take some time for an application to move from ‘Complete’ or ‘Interviewed’ to having a further outcome. We consider applications one by one, so just because some applications have been finalized or offered it does not mean that all applications for the course are final yet. Please do not worry if a friend gets an invitation to interview, an offer or even a decline notice before you do.
Academic Calendar & Timetable
Do you offer distance or online learning?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute has transitioned to fully online only delivery from 23 March 2020. At this stage, we expect to deliver all our teaching and assessment online for the rest of 2020 Semester 1.
While the situation is evolving daily, we hope to confirm arrangements for the first half of 2020 Semester 2 by no later than mid-June (with teaching due to start on 13 July 2020).
For detailed information, please click here.
Do you have evening or weekend classes?
When do classes start for 2021?
Most courses start on 22 February 2021, with orientation dates TBC during the week prior. Orientation and Welcome Day is normally compulsory, so you may need to start as early as 15 February 2021.
The Master of Professional Psychology (5th year) program starts with a two week intensive on 8 February 2021.
The specific course and class timetables are not yet available. A detailed provisional timetable will only be provided to applicants only if an offer is made. Most of our courses are full-time and students are expected to make arrangements to be available for classes during work hours.
We try to schedule classes to run on the same day or days of the week to minimise disruption, especially for courses with placements. This is not always possible as a range of factors impact the timetable. In general, you will have one 3-hour class per taught unit you are enrolled in, plus placement and thesis supervision as and if applicable on an individual basis to be arranged with your supervisor/s. You can ask further questions about the classes for your course and program if you are invited to an interview.
How many classes, contact hours or days of classes will I need to attend?
It should be noted that the final class timetable is subject to change up until the first week of teaching. Course level details are not yet available.
A detailed provisional timetable will be provided to applicants only if an offer is made.
Requests for more information on specific courses or class times may not be answered. If you attend and open day or are shortlisted for an interview you will have an opportunity to ask these questions at that time or before accepting an offer.
Where are your programs taught?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute has transitioned to fully online only delivery from 23 March 2020. For detailed information, please click here.
Do you offer 4+2 internship program in psychology?
What is the difference between the Master of Professional Psychology (5th year) and the Master of Professional Psychology Practice (5+1)?
Where are the Current Student FAQs?
I have another question not covered here?
If you have questions not answered above you can use the form below
Please note: if your questions is answered on our FAQ page you may get no answer or a form answer redirecting you to try this page.