Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced)

Course GDA-PSYCH (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 026666K
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Fourth Year Coordinator



Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

The University of Melbourne

VIC 3010

12th floor of Redmond Barry Building


Phone: 61 3 8344 6377

Course Overview:

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) is offered as an alternative to the BA and BSc Honours degrees and is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) . Staff supervising and teaching the fourth year program have national and international recognition in research in their specialisation, and bring to the program the breadth and depth of that experience.

TheGraduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) is identical in content and assessment to the Honours program, but has a different grading structure (an Honours student requires a minimum of 65% to successfully complete the degree, whilst a Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) student requires a minimum of 50%). The academic results obtained through both courses are considered equivalent for those intending to undertake further study. The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences offers an innovative fourth year program that has been designed to provide students with flexibility and choice in coursework areas, as well as a significant research component.

Learning Outcomes:

The objective of the fourth year program is to help students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and scholarship necessary for achieving excellence in psychology. More specifically, the fourth year program is designed to provide students with the opportunities to learn the intellectual background, ethical principles, and content areas of psychology as a scientific discipline.

  • Critically analysing the existing knowledge about a research topic prior to one's own research (e.g. conceptual analysis of relevant content/area/literature/intervention program etc., critical appraisal of one's own and others's research, generation of productive research questions).
  • Constructing research plan (e.g. research design, methods of observation) to address one's research question.
  • Executing one's research plan adequately to obtain data.
  • Analysing the data to address the research question appropriately.
  • Discussing the implications of the results coherently within the context of the existing knowledge relevant to the research topic.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) program involves the completion of four advanced coursework subjects and a research project subject.

Each advanced coursework subject entails 400-level lectures and seminars, literature reviews, oral presentations, and other activities. The research project subject comprises two asignment components: Literature review and empirical thesis in the format of a journal article completed under the guidance of an academic who specialises in your area of interest.

Students' academic transcripts will record a separate result for each advanced coursework subject they undertake as part of the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced), and the research project subject.

This course is normally undertaken on a full-time basis, and is completed within a year. There is, however, provision for part-time enrolment over two years. In this case, students must complete the entire coursework component in the first year and the research project in the second year. Transfer from full-time enrolment to part-time enrolment will not be permitted after the commencement of the first semester.

Course Requirements

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) students must:

  • pass 100 points at the fourth-year level; and
  • achieve an overall weighted average of at least 50 percent for their honours studies.

Some subjects have hurdle requirements that must also be met.



Subject Options:

Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced)

Compulsory Subjects

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

Elective Subjects (Select Two)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree which includes an Australian Psychological Society accredited three-year sequence in psychology, or equivalent, with a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%) weighted average, or equivalent.
Meeting this requirement does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Faculty policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the Department's programs.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

The inherent academic requirements for study in Psychology are:

  • The ability to comprehend complex disciplinary and interdisciplinary information related to the courses taught in the Faculty.
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate a knowledge and application of behavioural and social sciences principles and practices during assessment tasks.
  • The ability to actively and safely contribute to laboratory-based learning activities.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Further Study:

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in psychology who achieve a grade average of 75% over the third-year of their undergraduate psychology studies and the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) are eligible to apply for entry to the University of Melbourne's Master of Psychology program.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates will have:

  • drawn together the theory and practical skills gained in previous undergraduate studies;
  • developed new research and professional skills to take into the workforce or further study; and
  • gained an in-depth knowledge in a particular discipline.
Professional Accreditation:

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) is accredited by the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council as the fourth-year of a professionally accredited six-year sequence.

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