Major/Minor/Specialisation !R01-AA-MAJ+1029 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016


Dr Meredith McKague



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 Science.

Learning Outcomes:

Psychology Major Graduates should:

Knowledge Base in Psychology

  • demonstrate a broad knowledge of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in the core topics of psychology, as outlined by the National Accreditation Body (currently the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council);

Scientific Enquiry and Critical Thinking

  • demonstrate a capacity for scientific reasoning, problem solving and research skills to enable investigation and interpretation of the key factors underpinning behaviour and mental processes;

Communication of Psychological Knowledge

  • communicate psychological concepts and theories effectively to professional and lay audiences in both written and oral formats;

Professional Development and the application of Psychology

  • describe applications of psychology and articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues, address pressing societal needs, and inform public policy.

Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

  • demonstrate and apply knowledge of the principles of ethical research practice as outlined in the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, and display professional values to work effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;

Professional Development and the application of Psychology

  • apply psychological principles to develop work and study habits that sharpen readiness for employment and/or further study, including enhancing skills for reflective thinking, the giving and receiving feedback, and for effective collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
Structure & Available Subjects:

Completion of 50 points of study at Level 3 (Non-APAC accredited BSc Psychology Major)

Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited Psychology Major

An APAC accredited Psychology Major sequence is a prerequisite for any student wishing to undertake further study to become a practising psychologist.

A three-year accredited psychology sequence requires the completion of a minimum of 125 credit points worth of undergraduate Psychology subjects, which includes the completion requirements of a BSc Psychology major.

The APAC accredited major requires the completion of eight compulsory subjects (two at Level 1; four at Level 2; two at Level 3) and at least two elective Psychology subjects at Level 3. All subjects are worth 12.5 points.

Further information on the structure of the APAC accredited Psychology Major sequence is available on the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences website.


Psychology Major Sequence

Subject Options:

First-year subjects

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Second-year subjects

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Third-year subjects

Two of:

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Plus two electives selected from

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Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science

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