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


MajorYear: 2019

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Psychology is a broad and intellectually fascinating scientific discipline focused 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, and is the recommended pathway for a career as a research psychologist.

The APAC accredited sequence consists of a prescribed minimum of 125 credit points of Psychology subjects (10 subjects, each worth 12.5 credit points), comprising 100 credit points of core psychology subjects (two at Level 1; four at Level 2; two at Level 3), and 25 credit points of Psychology subjects selected from a range of Level 3 Psychology elective subjects (two elective subjects).

The APAC accredited psychology major provides a strong grounding in basic psychological concepts and theories and their applications 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 50-point sequence of Level 3 subjects is also available within the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

Intended learning outcomes

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


  • Psychological Knowledge: A broad understanding and application of the foundations of psychological science, with in-depth knowledge of underlying principles, theoretical perspectives, research methodologies, empirical findings, and historical trends of the discipline.
  • Ethical understanding and reasoning: A broad understanding of ethical principles and reasoning in psychological research and practice, with reference to the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics and NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
  • Cultural and social awareness: An awareness of and sensitivity to the diversity of human experiences and cultures and the influence of these on psychological functioning and development, with specific reference to the experiences and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


  • Scientific Enquiry and Critical Thinking: The self-directed pursuit of scholarly inquiry, scientific reasoning, problem solving, and research skills to enable investigation, analysis, and critique of the key factors underpinning behaviour and psychological processes.
  • Communication of psychological knowledge: Effective communication of psychological concepts and theories to professional and lay audiences in both written and oral formats.

Application of Knowledge and Skills

  • Apply psychological knowledge to develop personal, interpersonal, and professional skills: The ability to apply psychological knowledge to: • develop reflective skills to promote self-awareness and demonstrate personal and professional integrity; • demonstrate respect for and the ability to work effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds; • give, receive, and utilise constructive feedback; • promote and maintain the wellbeing of self and others.
  • Applying psychological knowledge to address real-world problems: The ability to analyse and evaluate psychological theories and concepts to: • explain how evidence-based psychological interventions can help address contemporary local, national and global issues; • design a research project to investigate a psychological question.
Last updated: 29 July 2019