1. Handbook
  2. Majors, Minors and Specialisations
  3. Psychology


MajorYear: 2019

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Psychology is a broad and intellectually fascinating scientific discipline focussed on understanding behaviour and experience, particularly in humans. The science of psychology involves a wide range of perspectives and approaches, with psychological research findings having important applications in areas such as health, education, business, and commerce, as well as informing us about how human behaviours and motivations relate to a wide range of societal issues.

Taught at the University since the late 1800s, the Psychology undergraduate program is designed to provide students with flexibility and choice, offering a broad range of subjects that provide a thorough and extensive grounding in the discipline. Studies in psychology prepare graduates for a diverse range of careers that are based on understanding human behaviour, including health, education, industry, commerce, welfare and government.

Completion of a Psychology major accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) is the first step towards registration as a practicing psychologist, or towards a career as a research psychologist.

The APAC accredited sequence consists of a prescribed minimum of 125 credit points of Psychology subjects (i.e.,10 subjects), comprising 100 credit points of core psychology subjects across levels 1-3 (i.e., 8 core subjects), and 25 credit points (i.e., 2 subjects) of level 3 Psychology subjects selected from a range of electives.

The APAC accredited psychology major provides a strong grounding in basic psychological concepts and theories in the areas of biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychology. Students will also develop skills in research methods and data analysis, and an advanced knowledge in at least one domain of psychology. A non-APAC-accredited 75 point minor sequence is also available within the Bachelor of Arts.

Intended learning outcomes

Graduates of the accredited Psychology major will demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

1. Knowledge of Psychology: A broad knowledge of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in the core topic areas of psychology, as outlined by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council;

2. Scientific Enquiry and Critical Thinking: A capacity for scientific reasoning, problem solving and research skills to enable investigation and interpretation of the key factors underpinning behaviour and mental processes;

3.Communication of Psychological Knowledge: Skills in communicating psychological concepts and theories effectively to professional and lay audiences in both written and oral formats;

4. Ethical and Social Responsibility: A broad knowledge of ethical principles and their application to the conduct of research and professional practice, and the development of professional values to work effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;

5. Development of Professional Skills Work and study skills that sharpen their readiness for employment and/or further study, including skills in critical thinking, literature review, experimental design and data analysis, reflective thinking, giving and receiving feedback, and working effectively both independently and in groups;

6. Application of Psychological Knowledge and Skills: An ability to articulate how psychological theories and research relating to human behaviour and behavioural change can be applied to explain and inform problems at the personal, interpersonal and societal levels.

Last updated: 1 May 2019