Warning! This degree has changed. Read the transition arrangements.

Degree structure

Degree details

Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies, graduates will be able to:

  • Systematically review and critically evaluate research from a variety of sources to inform their knowledge and conceptual understandings in social and behavioural sciences;
  • Formulate arguments that are fit for purpose and demonstrate an understanding of the relevant theories and evidence in behavioural studies;
  • Critically analyse  information  to  generate  creative  solutions  to  solve complex problems  in  the  area  of  social  and behavioural sciences;
  • Define and integrate theoretical principles and apply these in their disciplinary areas of expertise;
  • Apply knowledge and skills with responsibility and accountability for their own learning and practice,individually and in collaboration with others;
  • Interpret and communicate ideas, problems and arguments in modes suitable to a range of audiences using a range of media;
  • Coherently articulate a line of reasoning demonstrating cultural sensitivity and apply a framework to analyse and offer solutions to ethical dilemmas in local and international contexts.

Graduates in Behavioural Studies majoring in Psychological Studies are highly sought after by a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sector, for careers in:

  • human services (as research officers)
  • human resource management
  • marketing and advertising
  • policy development
  • general research
  • welfare, community and youth work
  • health care settings
  • evaluation of community and human services

Higher education via OUA

Successful completion of 2 subjects from the Social Science Pathway; OR

Successful completion of 2 subjects from the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies Psychological Studies Major or Sociology Co-major.

Higher education

To view full Admission Criteria for the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies, please click here.

Students admitted to the degree with prior tertiary studies that satisfy part of the academic requirements of this degree may be eligible for academic credit.

The university may determine selection criteria and restrictions, in respect of degrees, to apply in addition to these entry requirements.

Secondary education

Successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification. VCE prerequisites: Units 3 and 4: a minimum study score of 25 in English (or equivalent) or 30 in English (EAL); Expected 2018 ATAR: 60

VET studies

Completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including a certificate IV, diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree or degree). Additional performance criteria and prerequisite requirements may also apply.

Please note, that the partial completion requirement does not apply to a certificate IV.

English Proficiency Requirements

English language requirements: (International students only)

IELTS (Academic Module): Overall 6.0 with no individual band below 6.0; or Swinburne English Language Centre: EAP 5 Advanced level with overall 65% and all skills 65% or above; or TOEFL iBT: minimum score 75 (Reading no less than 18, Writing no less than 20) or equivalent measures available at http://www.swinburne.edu.au/study/international/apply/entry-requirements/

Special requirements

For some subjects in the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies you are required to have access to the statistical package SPSS.

Students who are considering enrolling into a Swinburne undergraduate degree may apply for academic credit of up to sixteen [16] subjects based on prior credentialed or non-credentialed learning. Students wishing to apply for credit (referred to as ‘exemptions’) can do so on the basis of:

  • Credentialed Learning - previous formal post-secondary studies taken at another educational institution or in another sector or in another degree or
  • Non-credentialed Learning - Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience and/or formal training or a combination of both.

Broad Conditions

  • Prior study older than 10 years may need to be reviewed by an Academic Assessor.
  • To be eligible to graduate with a Swinburne undergraduate award, students must complete at least 100 credit points of  Swinburne undergraduate subjects (normally 8 subjects. PSY30011 is a double weighted subject so counts as two subjects).

For information on how to apply for credit please refer to Swinburne’s website at http://www.swinburne.edu.au/open-universities-australia/advanced-standing-rpl.html

The Bachelor of Behavioural Studies with a major in Psychological Studies provides students with the knowledge and skills to understand and explain human behaviour. The major commences with a broad introduction to basic psychological elements and concepts. Later in the degree, specialised studies in wellbeing, adolescence, trauma, counselling, and sports and health are undertaken.

Graduates in Behavioural Studies would be highly sought after by a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sector, for example, human services as research officers, human resource management and personnel, marketing and advertising personnel, in policy development, general research, welfare, community and youth work, and evaluation of community and human services.

This degree program does not have professional accreditation with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. Students who wish to become a professional psychologist should complete the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, a Swinburne University program also available through Open Universities Australia.

Recommended Study Pattern

This degree is an OUA Pathways degree, which means there is a recommended series of subjects that, once successfully completed, can be credited towards this degree. To commence the Pathway for this degree, simply select subjects from the Pathway stream on the selection screen.

Students who aren't taking part in OUA Pathways can instead follow the study pattern below: 

  • Complete Swinburne's 4 introductory core subjects in Behavioural Studies; and
  • 7 required subjects in the Psychological Studies major; and
  • 12 additional subjects of approved study which may comprise: a co-major (8 subjects), and/ or a minor (4 subjects) or minors and/ or elective subjects

Students are advised to study COM10006 early in their study program and students without previous mathematics should consider to study MTH10002 Dealing with Numbers as an elective before enrolling in STA10003 Foundations of Statistics.

It is strongly recommended that the following 3 subjects be completed in the order specified below:

  • STA10003 Foundations of Statistics
  • PSY10003 Psychology 100
  • PSY10004 Psychology 101

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne subjects that you have already passed.

Taking time off from study (Absent Without Leave and Leave of Absence): How to apply for an approved leave of absence and minimise the risk of having to reapply for degree admission: https://www.swinburne.edu.au/current-students/manage-course/enrolment-timetable/time-off/

Award Requirements

To qualify for the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies from Swinburne University of Technology, a student must complete 300 credit points as follows:

  • 4 Behavioural Studies Introductory subjects (50 credit points); and
  • 7 subjects in the Psychological Studies major (100 credit points); and
  • 12 additional subjects of approved study (150 credit points) which may comprise: a co-major (8 subjects), and/ or a minor (4 subjects) or minors and/ or elective subjects 
  • At least 8 subjects must be Swinburne University of Technology subjects.

Regardless of any credit awarded within this degree, students must complete a minimum of 8 subjects of study with Swinburne University as part of this degree. Students who have completed the double subject PSY30011 need to complete a minimum of seven Swinburne subjects.

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne subjects that you have already passed.

Choose your subjects


Students must complete 11 subjects in the Psychological Studies Major stream (4 of the required subjects in this stream are the 4 core introductory subjects for this course and they are also the 4 subjects in the Social Science Pathway).


Students can select their minor sequences from those listed below. Students can complete a co-major in Sociology by undertaking the two minors in Sociology as listed below (Sociology of Contemporary Societies Minor units plus Sociology Minor subjects).

Electives can be any undergraduate subject offered by Open Universities Australia. (Note: students choosing the Social Statistics Minor, the Sociology of Contemporary Societies Minor or the Sociology co-major will be required to select an additional elective unit in this discipline.)

If you were admitted before 2017 into the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies you can find out which subjects you still need to complete by downloading the Transition Plan applicable your course and admission year from Swinburne’s OUA course transition webpage.   

For students who are continuing with the pre-2015 Bachelor of Behavioural Studies or transitioning from the 2014 degree into the 2015 degree, please see below:

  • If you have successfully completed PSY20002 Psychology of Trauma as part of the Psychological Studies Major, do not enrol into PSY300012 Psychology of Trauma. If you are yet to complete PSY20002, you will be required to enrol into PSY300012, as PSY20002 will no longer be offered from 2015
  • If you have successfully completed PSY20004 Psychology of Wellbeing as part of the Psychological Studies Major, do not enrol into PSY30011. If you are yet to complete PSY20004, you will be required to enrol into PSY30011, as PSY20004 will no longer be offered from 2015. Please note that PSY30011 is a double unit.

Other Notes

  • As part of the Sociology Co-Major, SOCX225 Power, Difference and Recognition has been replaced with AIS204 Indigenous Australia and the Nation