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Bachelor of Psychological Science

Undergraduate degree

Explore what makes people think, feel and behave the way they do. Prepare yourself for a range of careers or further study towards becoming a psychologist.

Domestic International

International student information

Key facts

Duration

3 years full-time

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Curious about what makes people think, feel and behave the way they do? Deakin's Bachelor of Psychological Science covers many aspects of human behaviour and personality. Fast-track your degree with our trimester system over two years of full-time study, all while learning from the best as Deakin is ranked #1 in Victoria for psychology course satisfaction, teaching, facilities and undergraduate employment^

Specialise from year one with the only Victorian university to offer specialist psychology majors in an undergraduate psychology degree, so you can pursue your interests early on with a major in child and family, organisational studies or forensic studies. This course prepares you for a range of careers in the fast-growing health sector or sets you up to pursue further study towards provisional registration as a psychologist. You will also have the option of undertaking 140 hours of real-world experience with an industry placement strengthening your employment prospects.

Do you want to learn from psychology professionals and be exposed to real-world workplace experience?

Ranked in the top 1% in the world*, Deakin’s School of Psychology is one of the largest in Australia. Leverage our strong partnerships with industry, including collaborative activities with government agencies, public and private organisations, hospitals and other universities.   

These partnerships ensure your degree remains relevant to industry and workforce needs. Embedded practical experience and employability focused coursework ensures you graduate career-ready and ahead of the pack with transferrable skills. You will be in high demand by employers who want graduates that are ready to face real-world problems with confidence.  

This course recognises the importance of, and relationships between, a range of human factors you will encounter in your future career. You will explore diverse areas of psychology, including:  

  • behavioural and clinical neuroscience 
  • child and adolescent psychology 
  • human social behaviour 
  • cognitive psychology
  • psychopathology
  • personality and individual differences
  • forensic psychology 

You will also have the opportunity to develop your counselling and coaching skills through Applied Counselling Skills core units, and/or through one of our postgraduate counselling courses.

The Bachelor of Psychological Science is recognised for registration purposes by the Psychology Board of Australia and enables you to undertake additional study in pursuit of professional registration as a psychologist. The course is also accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). 

If you want to become a psychologist, this course is a pathway to a fourth year of study in the form of either our Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) or the Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced). After successfully completing a fourth year of study, you will be eligible to apply to register as a provisional psychologist. Students wishing to gain general registration can then apply to continue their studies by undertaking one of Deakin’s psychology masters courses. Once you have completed a masters degree you can apply for general registration. 

A psychology qualification can prepare you for many diverse, exciting career paths. While some psychology graduates go on to become registered psychologists, many others will pursue roles in complementary professions or entirely different fields. Careers in psychology-related fields are always evolving, visit deakin.edu.au/psychology-careers to discover the exciting broad range of careers that you could pursue. 

*2023 QS World University Rankings by Subject and 2022 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects 

^Student Experience Survey 2020-2021 and Graduate Outcomes Survey 2022, Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT). 

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Course information

Award granted
Bachelor of Psychological Science
Year

2024 course information

VTAC code

1400314233 - Waurn Ponds (Geelong), International full-fee paying place
1400514233 - Burwood (Melbourne), International full-fee paying place

Deakin code
H344
CRICOS code?
079316E Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Level
Undergraduate
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7.

Course structure

To complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Psychological Science, students must attain 24 credit points including:

  • 4 credit points of Foundations of Psychology
  • 8 credit points of Psychology Essentials
  • 4 credit points of Psychology in Practice
  • 2 credit points of Psychology course electives

Plus, either:

  • 6 credit points of electives (psychology course electives or University open electives) OR
  • 6 credit point psychology major

Students must also ensure that they have met the following course rules to be eligible to graduate with a Bachelor of Psychological Science:

  • a maximum of 10 credit points at level 1
  • a minimum of 6 credit points at level 3
  • Academic Integrity Module DAI001
  • Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit).

Following completion of the Bachelor of Psychological Science students intending to become psychologists must successfully apply for and complete a level-4 Honours year or the level-4 Graduate Diploma of Psychology.

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete

  • Academic Integrity Module DAI001
  • Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit) in their first trimester of study.

    Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.

    16

    Compulsory units

    2

    Psychology electives

    6

    Elective units

    24

    Total

    Core units

    Course structure applies for students who commenced in 2023 onwards. Students who commenced prior to 2023 can refer to previous online Handbooks.

    Course Structure

    ^ Foundations of Psychology unit

    * Psychology in Practice unit

    # Psychology Essentials unit

    Level 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Foundations of Psychological Science ^
  • Foundations of Psychological Practice ^
  • Introduction to Psychology: Human Behaviour ^
  • plus one psychology course elective, elective or psychology major unit

    Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Introduction to Psychology: Individual and Social Development ^
  • Health Psychology (Behaviour Change) *
  • Psychology At Work (Preparation) *
  • plus one psychology course elective, elective or psychology major unit

    Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Cognitive Psychology #
  • Social Psychology #
  • Applied Counselling Skills (Introductory) *
  • plus one psychology course elective, elective or psychology major unit

    Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Psychology Research Methods (Introductory) #
  • Developmental Psychology (Child and Adolescent) #
  • plus two psychology course electives, electives or psychology major units

    Level 3 - Trimester 1

  • Psychology Research Methods (Intermediate) #
  • Biological Psychology (Brain and Behaviour) #
  • plus two psychology course electives, electives or psychology major units

    Level 3 - Trimester 2

  • Applied Counselling Skills (Intermediate) *
  • Personality Psychology #
  • Psychopathology #
  • plus one psychology course elective, elective or psychology major unit

    Note: for Psychology 4th year admission (Honours or equivalent), students are assessed on the WAM of Psychology Essentials

    Course electives

    Psychology Course Electives

    Two credit points from:

    Trimester 1

  • Cross Cultural and Indigenous Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology (Adult)
  • Health Psychology (Addiction)
  • Psychology At Work (Internship)
  • Trimester 2

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology (Chronic Illness)
  • Social Psychology (Human Relationships)
  • Biological Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Major sequences

    The following majors are available within the Bachelor of Psychological Science

    Warrnambool students wishing to undertake these majors must enrol in the online offerings of the units.

    Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
      • Online

    Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).

    Additional course information

    The current requirements for registration as a provisional psychologist include the completion of four years of academic study of psychology that is recognised by the Psychology Board of Australia. The academic program usually consists of an approved undergraduate psychology sequence – such as Deakin’s Bachelor of Psychological Science – followed by an approved fourth year of study (such as Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Psychology or honours in psychology).

    Following successful completion of an approved fourth-year of psychology study, you may apply for provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia.

    In order to gain full registration, provisional psychologists must then complete either two years of supervised practice, or a minimum two years of further study, which may include: Master of Psychology, Doctor of Psychology or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (with supervised practice completed outside the degree).

    Note: This course is currently accredited as at the date of publishing.

    In addition to the Bachelor of Psychological Science, psychology may be studied as a three-year major sequence in the following degrees: Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Bachelor of Marketing (Psychology) or Bachelor of Human Resource Management (Psychology). These sequences are designed as terminal studies in psychology to complement other studies within an award.

    The 10 credit point undergraduate psychology sequence prepares students for postgraduate training towards becoming a practicing registered psychologist. To practice as a psychologist students must complete an undergraduate degree with a major sequence in psychology followed by a fourth year of study in psychology (an Honours in Psychology or a Graduate Diploma of Psychology) that are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a Police Record Check, Working With Children Check or other check. Refer to the relevant unit guide.

    Workload

    As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include lectures, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Work experience

    As part of this course you will have the option of undertaking 140 hours of industry placement through elective units, and our core employability-orientated units ensure you graduate work-ready. Applied Counselling Skills core units also allow you to develop your counselling and coaching skills. 

    Entry requirements

    Senior certificate of education

    Academic requirements

    If you're currently studying Year 12, or completed Year 12 in the last two years, you will need to meet all the following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree: 

    Year 12 prerequisite subjects

    • Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an Additional Language) or at least 25 in English other than EAL

    ATAR

    • Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with an unadjusted ATAR of at least 50 or equivalent

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 25 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    Admission criteria

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Higher education study

    Academic requirements

    If you have undertaken higher education studies after secondary schooling, you will need to meet all the following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    • successful completion of at least two bachelor level or above units (AQF Level 7 or equivalent)

    Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) - Multiple Choice

    All Faculty of Health undergraduate courses require a STAT MC where the applicant has not completed senior secondary education (or equivalent) in the last ten years (from commencement date of the course applied for). The STAT is not required if the applicant has undertaken any tertiary study (minimum Certificate IV).

    Learn more about the STAT Multiple Choice test results for entry into Deakin University.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 25 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    Admission criteria

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Polytechnic study

    Academic requirements

    If you have undertaken any Vocational Education and Training (VET) study after secondary school, you will need to meet at least one of following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    • completion of a certificate IV or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a diploma or higher in any discipline
    • at least 50% completion of a diploma or higher in a related discipline

    Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) - Multiple Choice

    All Faculty of Health undergraduate courses require a STAT MC where the applicant has not completed senior secondary education (or equivalent) in the last ten years (from commencement date of the course applied for). The STAT is not required if the applicant has undertaken any tertiary study (minimum Certificate IV).

    Learn more about the STAT Multiple Choice test results for entry into Deakin University.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 25 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    Admission criteria

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Work and life experience

    Academic requirements

    If you finished Year 12 more than three years ago, or did not finish Year 12, and haven’t undertaken any further study, you may be considered for admission to this degree based on your work, volunteer and/or life experience. 

    Submit a personal statement outlining your motivation to study, previous education and employment history, and how this course can assist your career aspirations or progression. Think of it as a job application cover letter – it should be relevant and demonstrate your commitment and interest in this course or study area.

    Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) - Multiple Choice

    All Faculty of Health undergraduate courses require a STAT MC where the applicant has not completed senior secondary education (or equivalent) in the last ten years (from commencement date of the course applied for). The STAT is not required if the applicant has undertaken any tertiary study (minimum Certificate IV).

    Learn more about the STAT Multiple Choice test results for entry into Deakin University.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 25 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    Admission criteria

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Selection adjustments

    Subject adjustment

    A study score of 35 in Biology, Health And Human Development, any Mathematics or Psychology equals 3 aggregate points per study. A study score of 30 in Biology, Health And Human Development, any Mathematics or Psychology equals 2 aggregate points per study. Overall maximum of 12 points.

    Access and equity

    Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enable Deakin to consider disadvantaged circumstances you may have experienced and the impact upon your studies. SEAS also allows us to identify if you’re from under-represented groups when making selection decisions for some courses. SEAS does not exempt you from meeting any of the course entry requirements. Learn more about Deakin’s special entry access schemes.

    Online studies

    Deakin offers many courses which can be studied by distance education overseas.

    However, international students living in Australia on a student visa, in each compulsory trimester (that is, Trimesters 1 and 2), must enrol in at least one unit that is offered as a Campus located unit and can, in addition enrol in units offered online. International students may undertake a maximum of up to one third (or equivalent) of their study as online study. Please note enrolment in one face to face unit in compulsory study periods is only allowed if the student is completing their final unit of study and will not exceed maximum one third (or equivalent) online requirement.

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of prior learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of prior learning.

    Your Recognition of prior learning is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    Please note that a maximum of five credit points can be granted for Psychology core units.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are determined by the course you are enrolled in.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about international student fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Apply now

    Apply through VTAC and Deakin

    International students who are currently completing an Australian Year 12 in Australia or overseas should apply through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), as well as directly to Deakin through StudyLink Connect – Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Apply through Deakin

    All other international students apply directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    The Bachelor of Psychological Science can be used as a pathway to general registration as a psychologist by undertaking a fourth year of study in psychology (an honours year or Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced) followed by a masters degree such as Deakin's Master of Psychology (Clinical), Master of Psychology (Organisational) (the only course of its kind in Victoria), or Master of Professional Psychology. 

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    Following the completion of your bachelor’s degree, taking the next step towards becoming a psychologist involves applying for an honours year, e.g. Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)) or Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced). Once completed, you will be able to register as a provisional psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia.

    You will then need to undertake further study to pursue general registration as a registered psychologist. If your passion isn’t to complete further study to become a registered psychologist, there are still many diverse career options available, including: 

    • careers counselling
    • child protection
    • counselling
    • developmental psychology
    • family support
    • human resources management
    • human services
    • life counselling
    • marketing and communications
    • mental health rehabilitation
    • not-for-profit aid
    • public health
    • social work.

    Additional qualifications may be required for some of the careers listed here, you can find out more about roles and responsibilities, skills, qualifications and experience at deakin.edu.au/psychology/psychology-careers

    If you choose to pursue general registration as a psychologist, you may find employment in a variety of roles, including:

    • clinical psychologist
    • cognitive neuroscientist
    • counsellor
    • criminal psychologist
    • educational and developmental psychologist
    • family therapist
    • forensic psychologist
    • health and community psychologist
    • organisational psychologist
    • rehabilitation counsellor
    • sport and exercise psychologist
    • youth psychologist.

    These positions can be found in:

    • private clinics and practices
    • public and private hospitals
    • corporate organisations
    • schools and universities
    • government departments and agencies
    • sporting clubs and institutes.

    Professional recognition

    All of the psychology courses offered at Deakin meet the requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) translating into excellent job and career opportunities for our graduates. Upon graduation from this degree, you will have gained a three-year undergraduate psychology sequence that is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and recognised for registration purposes by the PsyBA, enabling you to undertake additional study in pursuit of provisional registration.  

    If you are seeking to become a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) as a graduate from this course you must next apply for a fourth year of study in psychology, such as Deakin's Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) or Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced) to gain provisional registration, then go on to postgraduate study in psychology if you would like to pursue general registration as a psychologist. 

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Integrate theoretical knowledge of the discipline of psychology in relation to: health, social, cognitive, methodology, neuroscience, development, and personality. Demonstrate appropriate communication, counselling, and research methods skills.

    Communication

    Communicate psychological knowledge and arguments effectively using the most appropriate means utilising clear, discipline appropriate, coherent and well-developed communication skills. Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal communication and interview skills in situations appropriate to psychological practice. This includes active listening, clarifying and reflecting, effective questioning, summarising and paraphrasing, developing rapport, appropriate cultural responsiveness and empathic responding.

    Digital literacy

    Utilise online technologies to interact with others, access research and evaluate empirical evidence; and create and disseminate psychology-relevant content.

    Critical thinking

    Identify and critique the factors that contribute to the development of unhealthy mental processes and behaviours, develop arguments, reports, or commentaries based on empirical research and apply the results to affect healthy behaviour change in oneself or others, and; apply the skills required to affect healthy behaviour change in oneself and in others in diverse contexts.

    Problem solving

    Apply knowledge of the scientific method when addressing problems related to behaviour and mental processes; design, plan, and conduct research that addresses these problems; and apply analytic and statistical skills to interpret the results and validity of research.

    Self-management

    Engage in independent learning as a reflective practitioner to sustain personal and professional development in the changing world of the science and practice of psychology; and manage resources, timelines and other constraints to achieve quality and timely outcomes.

    Teamwork

    Collaborate and communicate psychological principles and practices effectively in interdisciplinary teams to work and learn in a range of environments including communities of practice, research and professional practice.

    Global citizenship

    Embody the values and attitudes of the scientist-practitioner; apply ethical and professional responsibilities to local and global communities, apply knowledge and skills in culturally appropriate and inclusive ways.