Bachelor of Psychological Science

Course information for - 2022 entry

Offered at 2 locations

Study mode
Attendance
Duration
3 years full-time or equivalent part-time
VTAC code
1200211301
ATAR
58.50 for Melbourne
Fees (first year)*

$9668 CSP

Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Not available
Midyear (Semester 2) intake: Beginning July 2022
Applications open April 2022

Overview

In today’s fast-paced and challenging world, understanding human behaviour is a vital skill. The Bachelor of Psychological Science will help you understand human functioning in a broad range of professional settings.

You will graduate from the degree having completed a sequence in psychology accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) as a Level 1 Program. This sequence will ensure you acquire an advanced understanding of human behaviour, as well as highly regarded employability skills.

The degree also helps you prepare for optional further postgraduate study which may lead to registration as a professional psychologist.

You will be equipped to make meaningful contributions toward improving the outcomes of clients, customers, colleagues and collaborators in a diverse range of settings including, but not limited to: government departments, private sector, schools, business, and not-for-profit organisations.

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Professional experience

Students will complete 50-100 hours of community engagement when they undertake the unit PSYC310 Psychological Services Experience during the third year of their degree.

Community engagement

With an emphasis on work-integrated learning, there are opportunities throughout the third year of the program to undergo 50 – 100 hours of community engagement to develop knowledge and skills related to psychology practice.

Community engagement organisations and opportunities range from Challenges Abroad Australia (Nepal trip); Asylum Seeker Resource Centre; Islamic College of Melbourne (Wellbeing team); Switchboard Peer Counselling; and Casey Youth Support.

These experiences are focused on psychoeducation such as developing a curriculum for teachers to implement, identify and manage academic stress and associated anger and frustrations; providing recently arrived asylum seekers and refugees with a ‘crash course’ in Australian culture; teaching at-risk students at the school how to manage their emotions through training in mindfulness exercises; providing peer-based counselling and referrals for face-to-face counselling for individuals calling the anonymous counselling hotline; or developing an anti-bullying campaign in consultation with victims of bullying to encourage bystander intervention.

Visit the faculty’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) webpage to view opportunities in psychology.

Professional recognition

This course is currently accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC)

Please note that a minimum six-year sequence of education and training in psychology is required for an individual to become eligible for general registration as a psychologist in Australia.

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Careers

Our graduates have pursued careers in:

  • counselling
  • child welfare and development
  • community work
  • education
  • health
  • human resources
  • marketing and market research
  • fourth year study in psychology to pursue a career in psychology

Course details

Course structure

To complete the Bachelor of Psychological Science, a student must complete 240 credit points (cp).

View course rules

Sample program map

Year - Study periodUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5
Year 1 - Semester 1

PHIL100 Philosophy: the Big Questions

PSYC100 Foundations of Psychology

PSYC108 Psychological Practice: Theory and Techniques

Minor 1
Year 1 - Semester 2

PSYC101 Applications of Psychology

PSYC104 Research Design and Statistics I

Core Curriculum

100 level unit: 

Either:

UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society

or

PHCC102 Being Human

or

PHCC104 Ethics and the Good Life

Minor 2
Year 2 - Semester 1

PSYC200 Life Span Development


PSYC206 Research Design and Statistics II


PSYC213 Individual Differences


Minor 3
Year 2 - Semester 2

PSYC214 Learning and Behaviour


PSYC212 Abnormal Psychology


General elective*
or
Psychology elective 1*
Minor 4
Year 3 - Semester 1

PSYC314 Psychological Assessment


PSYC311 Research Design and Statistics III


PSYC310 Psychological Services Experience


PSYC315 Brain and Behaviour


Year 3 - Semester 2

PSYC307 Cognitive Psychology


Core Curriculum

300 level unit:

Either:

UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World

or

PHCC320 The Just Society


PSYC313 Social Psychology


General elective*
or
Psychology elective 2*

This is a sample program only and units will vary depending on your campus and mode of study. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

*Students must take at least one psychology elective.

AQF framework

Bachelor - AQF Level 7

Additional course information

Classes

Class sizes: Your class size will depend on the unit you are studying and if that unit is taught across different degrees. The tutorial, lab and workshop class sizes are normally capped at a maximum of 30 students. In instances where content delivered needs to be monitored more closely, a teaching assistant will be present in the classroom.

Contact hours: Most units will require you to attend three hours of classes in the form of a lecture, tutorial, lab or workshop on campus.

Some of these may be online and you will be required to watch, read and listen to materials provided as an alternative to attending face-to-face classes.

Therefore, if you are a full-time student taking four units in a semester that will add up to 4 x units by 3 hours (maximum) = 12 hours required on campus or engaging in content. As a guide, full-time students should be undertaking approximately 24 hours of study per week during semester in addition to contact hours.

 

Sample assessments

There are a range of different assessment tasks for different units. Each unit will have three assessments per semester. Below is an example of three assessment tasks:

Assessment 1 (20 per cent): Quiz

Assessment 2 (40 per cent): Laboratory report

Assessment 3 (40 per cent): Exam

If the unit has a final exam it is counted as part of the three assessments. Assessments have different weighting percentages towards your overall mark. A single assessment cannot be worth more than 50 per cent of your assessment total. The format of assessments is different for every unit and will be explained by your lecturer prior to the due date. 

Overseas study available

There are several international experiences for psychology students at ACU, however, these are subject to international border restrictions.

Type: Intensive unit – generally in your second year

Unit: PSYC200 Lifespan Development

Location: Rome

Travel Dates: During winter break June – July

Type: Community engagement – generally in your third year

Unit: PYSC310

Location: Nepal

Travel Dates: During summer break January – February.

Or you may like to view other short-term international study experiences (STISE) that the faculty has on offer.   

Entry requirements

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must have completed the following prerequisites at year 12, or equivalent:

StatePrerequisites
NSW

English (Standard) (Band 2) or English (Advanced) (Band 2) or EAL (Band 3)

VIC

Units 3 and 4 – a study score of at least 30 in English (EAL) or 25 in any other English.

International applicants need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2022 Admission. Refer to your relevant Tertiary Admission Centre website for future years' entry requirements.

View transparency admission information

Applicants with recent secondary education

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.  

If your school result was affected by circumstances outside of your control, such as financial hardship, illness, disability or a challenging home environment, you may qualify for an access scheme. You can apply through your TAC as part of your application process.  

Learn more about access schemes 

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.  

For current year 12 students  

If you’re a current Year 12 applicant you can be given a selection rank separate from, and in addition to, your ATAR if you’ve completed a competency-based and graded AQF Certificate III or above.  

For non-school leavers 

If you’ve completed, or are completing a competency-based AQF Certificate IV or AQF diploma you will be assigned a selection rank by your local Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC). This is an entry score based on your individual qualifications and achievements. 

ACU has partnerships with ACU College, TAFE, and many private education providers. If you have completed a qualification with one of these partners, you may be eligible for guaranteed entry and/or credit into a related ACU degree. Please apply through your local TAC and then submit a credit application for your previous study.  

Applicants with higher education study

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course. 

If you have completed at least two units of AQF-recognised study at bachelor level or above, you’ll be assigned a selection rank based on your study level, duration and grade point average that will be applied during the admission process. 

If your previous study has equipped you with knowledge, skills or experiences that align with the learning outcomes of units in your new course you may be able to apply for recognition of prior learning and you may be able to complete your course sooner. 

Learn more about recognition of prior learning 

Applicants with work and life experience

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

If you have no formal education qualifications you may be eligible for a selection rank based on your work, life or service experience.

  • If you’ve been in paid employment, relevant to the course you’re applying for, for a minimum of six months full-time (or equivalent), this work may be assessed for your selection rank.
  • If you’re 21 years or older you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) through your local TAC.
  • You can apply for an ACU bridging course. Our bridging courses allow you to transition back into studying and can give you a head start on the relevant undergraduate degree.
  • If you have served in the defence force, your rank and time in service may contribute to your selection rank.

Find your path into study

English language requirements

Applicants  require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of  7.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy  (Schedule 3).

Adjustment factors

If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.

Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.

Learn more about adjustment factors

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you

Pathways

Pathways into course for current or recent Year 12 students

If you can’t meet the ATAR requirement for your choice of course and you’re currently completing Year 12 or finished Year 12 in the two years previously, we have entry programs to get you where you want to be.  

Understand your pathway options 

Pathways into course for applicants with previous study and/or life experience

Are you applying to ACU as a non-school leaver? 

By that we mean, you’re not currently completing Year 12 and haven’t completed it in the two years previously. If the answer is yes and your selection rank isn’t enough to meet the requirements for your desired course you still have a number of options to help you achieve your study goals. 

If you’re over 21, you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) , or you can complete a diploma or bridging course relevant to your desired course. 

Explore the pathways to your future 

Further study

High-achieving graduates from this program may be eligible to apply for a level 2 APAC accredited course in psychology (honours degree in psychological science or Graduate Diploma in Psychology). Upon completion of a level 2 program of study in psychology, students will be eligible to apply for entry into a PhD in psychology. Students aiming to become a registered psychologist can apply for entry into an APAC accredited Level 3/4 postgraduate program in psychology.

Learn more about postgraduate study options at ACU or see the course information below


Fees

Course costs

Average first year fee*

$9668 CSP

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support.

Explore your options 

Scholarships

You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.  

Search our scholarships 

How to apply

Domestic applicants

Melbourne

Apply through VTAC

VTAC code 1200211301

Deferment

Deferment is available for one year. Find out more about deferment: Deferment Information.

Staff Profile

Dr Joel Anderson

Lecturer (Psychology) – School of Behavioural and Health Sciences

Dr Joel Anderson completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at ACU, and after a brief stint of working abroad has returned to ACU where he is a senior lecturer in psychology. He teaches units that focus on personality, cross-cultural and social psychology. He also coordinates a unit that gives students the opportunity to undertake a 100-hour placement in the community. In this unit, students can undertake a local placement, or work on a partnership-project based in Nepal. His research interests in social psychology focus on prejudices towards sexual and gender minority groups and individuals with refugee or asylum-seeking backgrounds. He is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Dr Joanne Bennett

Lecturer (Psychology) – School of Behavioural and Health Sciences

Dr Joanne Bennett is an early career researcher who finished her PhD in 2017. Her primary research interests are in cognitive neuropsychology across the lifespan, applied driving psychology and road safety. Dr Bennett’s research has focused on understanding the relationships between cognitive function and driving behaviour across the lifespan. Her research aims to use this information to determine fitness to drive, in particular for older adults and individuals with neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. She specialises in teaching research design and statistics while enjoying the challenge of helping students understand not just the numbers, but what the numbers tell us about people.

Testimonial

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"ACU makes studying psychology a rewarding and amazing experience. There is a true sense of community ensuring you feel like an individual that matters, not just a number. The teaching staff are caring and accommodating, ensuring the work is accessible and engaging for all students.” 

James Carnuccio
Psychological science student
 

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