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Graduate Diploma in Psychology (340AA) // Attributes, outcomes and skills

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Professional accreditation

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is accredited by the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council (APAC) as the equivalent of an undergraduate Psychology major.

Intended learning outcomes

Graduate Diploma of Psychology graduates should demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

1. Knowledge

1.1. 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.


1.2 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.


1.3. 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.


2. Skills

2.1. 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.


2.2 Communication of psychological knowledge

An advanced ability to articulate cogent scientific explanations of psychological concepts, theories and research findings, and to communicate these ideas effectively to professional and lay audiences in both written and oral formats.


3. Application of Knowledge and Skills

3.1 Develop personal, interpersonal, and professional skills.                                                                                                                                        

The ability to apply psychological knowledge to develop self-awareness and personal integrity, including:

  • respect for the diversity of people and peoples
  • working effectively with people from diverse backgrounds
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • promoting and maintaining the wellbeing of self and others.


3.2 Address real-world problems.

An advanced 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.

Generic skills

Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma in Psychology students should have developed the skills to:

  • apply research and inquiry skills to challenges in workplaces and communities;
  • create novel ideas by critically evaluating alternative possibilities and viewpoints;
  • set their own goals, manage their time and priorities, and organise and direct their own learning;
  • work effectively, both independently and collaboratively;
  • provide evidence beyond personal opinion to support proposed solutions to problems;
  • articulate and demonstrate a high regard for human rights, social inclusion, cultural diversity, ethics and the environment;
  • reflect critically and apply skills in self and peer assessment; maintain a high-level of personal and professional integrity.

Graduate attributes

The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences' Graduate Diploma in Psychology prepares graduates who are distinguished by their breadth and depth of psychological knowledge, research and inquiry skills, and their ability to apply these to inform questions relating to human behaviour. Graduate Diploma in Psychology graduates demonstrate:

Academic distinction

  • In-depth knowledge of psychological science with a broad understanding of its multiple perspectives, spanning the neural to societal levels.
  • Critical, creative thinking with strong reasoning skills. They can apply psychological knowledge, information and research skills to complex problems relating to human behaviour, psychological processes, and behavioural change.
  •  Effective oral and written communication skills for explaining, and evaluating psychological theories, processes, and concepts.
  • They are adept lifelong learners who generate bold and novel ideas by critically evaluating alternative possibilities and viewpoints.


Active citizenship

  • A high regard for human rights, social inclusion, ethics and the environment.
  • An awareness of the social and cultural diversity in communities and can work collaboratively with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  • In particular, they have an understanding of and deep respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture and values.
  • They are equipped to be active, well-informed citizens who make substantial contributions to society, and have the potential to become leaders in their professions and communities.


Integrity and self-awareness

  • Self-direction, with the ability to set goals and manage time and priorities.
  • The ability to work effectively both independently and in groups.
  • Skills in self-assessment, reflective thinking and self-awareness; placing great importance on their personal and professional integrity, and on the willingness to explore, experiment and learn from mistakes.
  • Empathy and concern for the welfare of others and have developed skills in managing their own well-being.