Graduate Diploma of Psychology

In the Graduate Diploma of Psychology, students complete a number of core coursework units including training in counselling. You will also undertake a research project which develops your ability to critically evaluate theory and empirical studies, develop your skills in research design, implementation, analysis and reporting, as well as your understanding of professional responsibilities, standards of performance and ethical issues.

Why choose the Graduate Diploma of Psychology?

Stand out from the crowd

A "fourth year" qualification such as the Graduate Diploma of Psychology can complement your earlier studies and expand your knowledge base, giving you the edge in the employment market. A fourth year in psychology will also empower you to pursue new opportunities that were previously out of reach.

Industry Accreditation

Our fourth year courses are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). Graduates are eligible to apply for provisional registration as a psychologist and for entry to APAC accredited Master or Doctoral level training programs that lead to registration as a psychologist.

Career Outcomes

At the end of your 'fourth year' of study in psychology you will have an in-depth understanding of a number of fields in which psychology is applied, so you will be better placed to make decisions about your professional future.


Detailed Course information

Course code: H650

Course length: 1 year full-time or part-time equivalent

Campuses offered: Burwood (Melbourne), Waterfront (Geelong)

Indicative annual fee 2015: $22,830 - Full-fee paying place

Full course details

Related Courses

The honours and graduate diploma courses both offer students a combination of coursework and research units. In the honours program, the research component is normally completed as part of an individual research project; whereas in the graduate diploma, research normally takes the form of a group project, where each group member submits a different report. 


Frequently asked questions

Is the Graduate Diploma of Psychology HECS-based or full-fee paying?

The Graduate Diploma is a full-fee paying course. Visit the Fees website for further information about fees and FEE-HELP.

What are the entry requirements and how do I apply?

Entry requires an APS-accredited undergraduate degree with the equivalent of at least 10 Deakin credit points in psychology. To apply go to the online applicant portal and follow the prompts.

This extended major should include 2 introductory units of psychology, 5 foundation units of psychology typically taken at level 2 (this must include introductory research methods and social, developmental, cognitive, and biological psychology) and 3 advanced units of psychology typically taken at level 3 (this must include advanced research methods, personality and psychopathology).

For students who commenced their undergraduate studies in psychology prior to 2012, their application for may alternatively be based on an extended 10 credit-point major in psychology that consists of 2 introductory units of psychology, 4 foundation units of psychology typically taken at level 2 (this must include introductory research methods) and 4 advanced units of psychology typically taken at level 3 (this must include advanced research methods).

What marks are needed to get into the program?

In past years, successful applicants have obtained at least a mid-credit level (65%) in the Level 3 research methods unit, and at least a 65% average across the Level 2 and Level 3 core psychology units. The cut-off is determined each year, depending in the cohort of applicants. The course summary page relating to Graduate Diploma of Psychology has more detailed information.

Applicants who commenced their major prior to 2012, please refer to the University Handbook for your entry requirements.

How many places are offered?

Approximately 100 each year.

On which campus/es is the course offered?

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology coursework units and supervision can be studied on both the Melbourne Burwood Campus and the Geelong Waterfront Campus. It is not offered in Cloud (online) mode.

When will I hear about my application into the Graduate Diploma of Psychology?

First-round offers are generally made in mid to late January. Second-round offers may extend into February until places are filled.

Can the course be studied part-time?

Yes, it can be completed on both a part-time and full-time basis.

Are the classes at night?

No, all classes are offered during business working hours (although some may extend into the early evening).

How is the Graduate Diploma different from Honours?

Apart from the fee-basis (Honours is HECS/HELP-based, Graduate Diploma is full-fee-paying), the Honours is a little more research-based in orientation. Both Honours and the Graduate Diploma include Ethics and Conceptual Issues, Counselling and Interpersonal Skills, Psychological Assessment, and Research Methods. Both are APS-accredited, and both allow graduates to seek registration with the Psychology Board of Australia as a probationary psychologist. The major difference is in the research component. For the research component, Honours students complete an individual thesis under one-to-one supervision, whereas Graduate Diploma students complete their theses in small groups under a supervisor. Graduate Diploma students are allocated to thesis projects on the basis of their stated preferences from a range of project areas that vary from year to year, whereas Honours students work on an individual project, selected in agreement with their supervisor.

Do you need to have previous work experience?

No, but you are required to submit a personal statement in your application in which you may outline your interest in the course, and any other relevant information such as work experience or voluntary work. This may be considered in the selection process.

Is the course recognised by the Australian Psychological Society and the Psychology Board of Australia?

Yes, both bodies recognise the Graduate Diploma. At present, upon completion of the course, students may apply for provisional registration as a psychologist with the Registration Board. After the completion of two years of approved supervised practice or postgraduate studies, the provisional registration may be changed to full registration. Information about any updates to these requirements is available on the Psychology Board of Australia website.

Can I go on to further studies in psychology?

The Graduate Diploma is acceptable as a fourth year for the purposes of applying for the professional programs offered by Deakin (Master of Psychology [Industrial & Organisational], Master of Psychology [Clinical], Doctorate of Forensic, Health or Clinical Psychology). We understand that it is also acceptable for the purposes of applying for similar programs at other universities, but prospective students should confirm this with each university to which they are likely to apply after completing the Graduate Diploma. A student completing the Graduate Diploma in Psychology with at least Distinctions in Research Methods and their thesis, could also apply for entry into a Higher Degree by Research. However, a more usual route to these programs is via Honours.



Staff in the School of Psychology are involved in a range of research activities which both reflect and inform the teaching program and their involvement with community organisations. Fields of research range from autism, child development, body image and obesity, addiction, cognitive neuroscience and relationship studies. In the psychology 4th year, students work on a year-long project with a research supervisor. 

Learn more about Deakin Psychology research

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