Nathan’s story – A Psychology degree from Swinburne

Nathan is defying physical borders—enjoying a New York City career while gaining an Australian degree online.

To describe Nathan’s life as ordinary would be quite an understatement. He’s got a passion for music that he’s actively pursuing, and has enjoyed a decade-long career as a voice-over artist. “It’s a slightly left-of-centre career, but it’s a lot of fun,” says Nathan. “I’ve been employed as the promo voice of Channel Eleven for five years, Nickelodeon for seven years, and over the years have voiced the on-air IDs for 2Day, Nova and KIIS.”

Learning has always been important to Nathan, but after trying out the on-campus university experience for 6 months, he found that it was hard to dedicate himself. “I love music—I sing and play music, and write, so I just wanted to perform, and get inside people’s heads,” he explains.

After visiting a therapist, which Nathan describes with good humour as “long overdue”, he realised some similarities between music and the exploration of human emotion through psychology. “It really fascinates me how lyrics and music come together to help us find ourselves,” he says. “So I would love to merge both fields, and see if I can inject some psychology and deeper understanding into the music I create.”




Reluctant to study on-campus again, Nathan spoke to some friends who had studied online through Open Universities Australia (OUA), and quickly realised that he’d be getting a degree from a real university—the same degree delivered to on-campus students, only online.

This was perfect for Nathan, as life had whisked him away to New York City, and work had become his main priority. With this in mind, he enrolled in Swinburne University’s Bachelor of Behavioural Studies, with a major in psychology.

As Nathan progressed through his degree, his interest in psychology continued to burn. He developed a particular interest in social psychology, and how the concept of persuasion manifested in his career. “As a voice artist, I’m paid to read scripts, but this subject opened my eyes as to what I was doing when reading these carefully crafted words."

With the freedom that online study afforded him, Nathan was able to continue working and developing his music skills. “I have a lot of clients that need work done at the drop of a hat, so it’s really nice to press pause on a lecture, and head out to the other side of town without having to get out of a lecture on campus,” he explains.

Now, Nathan has completed his degree, and is due to graduate in Australia. “I did my final exam right here in New York City, and I love that the flexibility enabled me to actually finish my studies in a totally different country," he says with a smile. He’s excited to tell his friends and family that he has a degree in psychology, which he laughs off as something too grandiose to attribute to himself. But he has certainly earned it, and advises others to start studying what they love today.

“Today just might be the day that you look back on, and realise that you made a pretty good decision."

Study online from wherever you are

Through Open Universities Australia, you can:

  • Find the right course – Choose from hundreds of degrees and thousands of subjects, all delivered by top Australian universities.
  • Earn the same degree as an on-campus student – When you enrol through us, you study online with your chosen uni (and graduate with them too).
  • Study, regardless of your history – If you don’t have a strong academic background, we can help you access subjects without entry requirements.
  • Gain credit towards your degree – With the right work or study experience, you can finish faster.
  • Feel supported from start to finish – Get help from a student advisor right through to graduation.

Explore related courses 

Please note: Since this article was published, Swinburne University's Bachelor of Behavioural Studies is no longer available to study online through Open Universities Australia. However, we recommend browsing these similar courses.

Bachelor of Psychological Science
 – University of Tasmania

Bachelor of Psychology – University of South Australia 

Graduate Diploma in Psychology – RMIT University 

Diploma of Counselling – University of Tasmania 


Browse  thousands of courses from leading Australian universities.

Or complete the form on this page to chat to an advisor about study options.

Explore courses

Related blogs

From minimum wage to psychologist: Meet single mum Courtney

Courtney is a single mum living in Tasmania. She was earning minimum wage, didn’t finish Year 12, and didn't think she would ever go back to study again–until she spoke to a student advisor at Open Universities Australia.  

Student storyCareer change

How online learning can empower students with school refusal

If school refusal (or ‘school can’t’) is affecting your family, there is hope. Learn more about this growing issue, and how online learning might help.

Online study experienceStudy options

The power of a workout: can exercise boost your grades?

If you’re looking for ways to improve your focus, studying longer and harder might not actually be the answer. 

Exam and assessment prepStudy motivation

4 high-growth jobs in mental health

The stigma associated with mental health issues is quickly disappearing—what a relief! But with more people seeking help, we need more specialists (future you) in the sector.

Job tips