If the idea of starting from scratch with undergraduate studies has turned you off a career change, you’re not alone. Sometimes starting over is not financially or logistically viable. But if your dream is a career in psychology, you’ll be pleased to learn that there is another option.
Thinking of becoming a psychologist later in life?
Associate Professor Linda Byrne, Head of the School of Psychology at Deakin explains: ‘The Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science is a 10 credit point, one year bridging course that allows a person who already has a degree in another discipline to fast-track a change of career.’ So, what are the benefits of this degree? And where will it lead you in your career?
The Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science provides the foundational studies that you need to start on the path to becoming a fully qualified psychologist. ‘The benefit of this degree is that it is an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited course,’ Assoc. Prof. Byrne explains.
‘It gives students the core sequence of units that they would find in a three-year psychology degree, but it can be undertaken in one year, across three trimesters. Once students have completed this qualification, they can apply for entry into a fourth year in psychology.’
Recognition of prior experience
Thinking of becoming a psychologist later in life? Maybe your first degree was in a completely unrelated field. Or maybe you’ve studied some psychology subjects but not enough. This course recognises the value of a person already having a degree. ‘By taking the core sequence of units in psychology necessary as a foundation before advanced studies, students can fast-track their change of career by cutting two whole years off of their university journey,’ Assoc. Prof. Bryne says.
It’s no surprise that the course is popular. ‘We have had such a huge interest in this course from a very wide range of people,’ Assoc. Prof. Byrne says. ‘The course appeals to basically anyone who has discovered a passion for psychology after their first degree. It might be people looking to change careers, or people looking to enhance their current skills.’
The flexibility to fit with your life
Another issue people encounter when returning to study is working out how to fit the course requirements around their other commitments. Whether you’re working full time, have a family or simply have a number of balls in the air, Deakin recognises that students have a life outside of university studies.
In addition to the benefit of fast tracking your study commitment, the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science has been designed with flexible study in mind. The course is available on-campus at Burwood and Waurn Ponds or you can choose to study online, with access to all classes, seminars and resources online.
With some courses, if you miss studying a unit at the particular time it is offered this will extend your course by a year. Assoc. Prof. Byrne says Deakin's course has been designed to avoid this happening. ‘All of the units in the course run at least twice a year allowing students to commence in any trimester.’
Once you’ve successfully completed the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science you are ready to apply for a fourth year of studies in psychology. This could be an honours year, or a Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced).
Fast-tracking with the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science brings you closer to becoming a fully qualified psychologist which, in turn, means opening yourself to an array of exciting career options.