Major/Minor/Specialisation !BH-ARTS-SPC+1029 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences


Arts Student Centre


Psychology is a broad and intellectually fascinating scientific discipline with a focus 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.

A fourth year in Psychology accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) is a prerequisite for the further studies in Psychology that are necessary to register as a practicing psychologist. An APAC accredited fourth year in Psychology is also a recommended pathway for students wishing to undertake a higher research degree in Psychology to pursue a career in psychological research.

The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences offers an innovative fourth year program that has been designed to build on the knowledge and skills attained in the APAC accredited undergraduate Psychology major. The course provides students with flexibility and choice in advanced coursework in the core discipline areas of Psychology, as well as an opportunity to undertake advanced training in the conduct of a significant research project, and to develop foundational knowledge of the ethical principles and assessment and interviewing skills that underpin further professional training as a psychologist.

Entry Requirements:

The minimum eligibility requirement for Psychology honours is completion of all the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and a major in Psychology with a weighted average of at least 75% in second and third-year subjects, or equivalent. The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences then selects students on the basis of a weighted average score including all four second year Psychology subjects and all third year subjects (psychology and non-psychology). The second year Psychology subjects contribute 1/3 to the weighted average score, and the third year subjects contribute 2/3.

Please Note: There is no mid-year entry into this course.

Learning Outcomes:

The objective of the fourth year program is to help students acquire advanced knowledge, skills in psychology as a pathway to further professional training and/ or research. Graduates of the Psychology Honours program will demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Advanced knowledge of psychological concepts, theories, and research findings: Graduates will demonstrate a depth and breadth of 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. Advanced scientific reasoning, problem-solving and research skills: Graduates will demonstrate advanced skills in critically analysing existing knowledge of a research topic, designing and executing a clearly articulated and theoretically motivated research plan to address a research question, analysing data utilising appropriate research methods and interpreting results coherently to determine their implications. Graduates will also develop advanced knowledge of the range of research methods employed in psychological science and an ability to evaluate and interpret the results of such methods.
  3. Advanced knowledge of ethical principles and their application to psychological practice in a diverse world: Graduates will demonstrate a deep understanding of an adherence to the regulations of that govern ethical practice both in psychological research and in professional and clinical settings. They will display professional values that will help them work effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  4. Psychological literacy and communication skills: Graduates should be able to articulate cogent scientific explanations of psychological concepts, theories and research findings, and should be able to communicate these ideas effectively to professional and lay audiences in both written and oral formats.
  5. Application of Psychological knowledge and skills within a scientist-practitioner framework: Graduates should be able to apply psychological principles to develop effective independent work habits, and the ability to collaborate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds. Graduates will develop foundational knowledge of the skills involved in psychological assessment, including the theoretical bases of the construction, implementation, and interpretation of cognitive and personality assessments. Graduates will also develop foundational skills in interviewing techniques and will understand the basis of these skills as informed by psychological research.
Structure & Available Subjects:

Students undertaking honours in Psychology must complete:

  • three compulsory subjects (which include the research project) (75 points); and
  • two elective subjects (25 points)

Total 100 points

Subject Options:

Compulsory subjects:

Total 75 points

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

Elective subjects:

Students must choose two electives (25 points).

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours)
Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours)

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