Finding a Supervisor

Finding a Supervisor is one of the most important decisions you will make as a counselling or psychology student.

Search for a supervisor

The most common ways to find a supervisor are;

  • Speak to your Uni, Tafe or College
  • Search the association that you will join once completing your studies
  • Google Search for potential supervisors 
  • Use Supervision by Supportive to find a supervisor in Australia. 

Contact your potential supervisor

Once you have found the name of a potential supervisor, you can work out if they would be a good fit for your research project. It’s a good idea to:

  • Do your homework: Develop an idea about their approach to your field of research by reading some of their previous academic work.
  • Invite your prospective supervisor to meet in person: This can help you work out how well you might work together. If this is not possible you should at least talk to them over the phone and exchange emails about your topic.
  • Develop both of your expectations from the very beginning: Ask them about their communication and work styles. How often would you expect to meet – and what would those meetings cover? Will they be active in helping you set academic goals or take a more hands-off approach?

Please note, changes can be made to your supervisory panel at any time throughout your journey if required.

What to expect from your supervisor

Your supervisor’s role is not to tell you what to do or monitor you. They will act as a guide to discuss your ideas with and seek advice from. Benefits include:

  • Intellectual support: Your supervisor can help you find your way through the literature and in later stages of your studies.
  • Emotional support: Your supervisor should take a critical approach to your work, but also give you understanding and encouragement.
  • Quality assurance: Your supervisor knows what standard your thesis should meet and can assess the feasibility of your plans.

What your supervisor will expect from you

You will be expected to show your supervisor that you have:

  • Good communication skills: You need to keep them informed about the progress of your work and whether you’re facing any problems.
  • A strong work ethic: Treat your studies like a job, work hard, take your role seriously and meet agreed deadlines.
  • The ability to take initiative: You need to take responsibility for your research project and direct your own learning.

Finding a supervisor for the field that you decide to specialise in will be paramount to your success. A great place to start your search is with Supportive.