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

Warning! With the exception of first year units, this is a restricted course. Continuing enrolment is only available to students who have been accepted into this course.

Degree structure

Degree details

Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, graduates will be able to:

  1. Systematically review and critically evaluate research from a variety of sources to inform their knowledge and conceptual understandings in social and behavioural sciences, and psychology
  2. Formulate arguments that are fit for purpose and demonstrate an understanding of the relevant theories and evidence in behavioural studies and psychology
  3. Critically analyse information to generate creative solutions to solve complex problems in the area of social and behavioural sciences and psychology
  4. Define and integrate theoretical principles and apply these in their disciplinary areas of expertise
  5. Apply knowledge and skills with responsibility and accountability for their own learning and practice, individually and in collaboration with others
  6. Interpret and communicate ideas, problems and arguments in modes suitable to a range of audiences using a range of media
  7. 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 context.

Psychology graduates are highly sought after in a range of human services positions. These include employment in community and mental health, human resource management, policy development, research, welfare, journalism, marketing and advertising.

Professional recognition

Swinburne’s Psychology major incorporates the Psychology sequence accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

Open enrolment subjects

There are five open enrolment subjects in this degree. Students do not have to apply to enrol in COM10006, STA10003, PSY10003, PSY10004 and PSY10005 (provided all subject pre-requisites are met).

Higher education

To view full Admission Criteria for the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, 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, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Associate Degrees and Degrees). 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 6.5 with no individual band below 6.0; or Swinburne English Language Centre: EAP 5 Advanced level with overall 70% and all skills 65% or above; or TOEFL iBT: minimum score 79 (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 the majority of units in the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences you are required to have access to the statistical package SPSS.

Advanced Standing

Students who are considering enrolling into a Swinburne undergraduate degree may apply for academic credit of up to twelve [12] 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

  • Only study undertaken within the last 10 years can  be considered for exemption.
  • Students must complete  eight [8] Swinburne undergraduate subjects to be eligible to graduate with a Swinburne undergraduate award.

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 Psychology sequence within the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). This degree provides a first step to becoming a professional psychologist. After completing a degree with an APAC accredited major in psychology, students may apply to undertake a fourth year in psychology and then further study in specialist areas of professional psychology such as counselling, health, clinical, organisational, and sports psychology.

Psychology graduates are highly sought after in a range of human services positions in: community and mental health, human resource management, policy development, research, welfare, journalism, marketing and advertising. In addition to the major in Psychology, students may complete an optional four unit minor known as ‘Advanced Psychology Minor’ and choose 4 from the 6 units offered: PSY20001, PSY20003, PSY20005, PSY30001, PSY30011 or PSY30012. The Advanced Psychology minor includes units that offer students an additional breadth of study in the psychology of human behaviour.

Recommended Study Pattern

Students starting their studies in the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences are recommended to follow these steps:

  • Students are advised to study the level 1 introductory core subject COM10006 early in their study program
  • Students without previous university level mathematics or statistics should consider including 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 and may then apply to Swinburne University of Technology for admittance into the degree:
    • STA10003 Foundations of Statistics
    • PSY10003 Psychology 100
    • PSY10004 Psychology 101

Students must be admitted to the Bachelor Psychological Sciences prior to enrolling in the eight Level 2 and 3 subjects of the Psychology major (8 subjects).

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 award of Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, students must complete 300 credit points comprising of:

  • Five (5) core subjects of study (62.5 credit points)
  • Eight (8) core Psychology discipline major subjects of study (100 credit points)
  • Eleven (11) subjects of study (137.5 credit points) comprising a second major, co-major, advanced minor, minor/s and/or electives.

Please note that the degree structure picture shown above includes 13 core subjects (this combines the 5 core subjects plus the 8 core Psychology discipline major subjects) and the 8 major subjects shown in the picture is  the second major students can do, which mean students are left with 3 elective subjects. Of course alternatively students can complete the 13 core subjects and if they do not want to do a second major they can use the remaining 11 subjects in an advanced minor, minor/s and/or electives. 

Students may not complete more than 150 cps (normally 12 subjects) at Introductory Level within the degree.

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.

A subject of study can only be counted once, where subjects are shared between majors and/or minors, students must choose an approved alternate.

Choose your subjects



The recommended sequence for completing the 9 Psychology major units is listed below. However, it is possible to undertake the Level 2 and Level 3 Psychology major units in a different sequence as long as the pre-requisite or co-requisite requirements are completed.

PSY10005 Introduction to Research Methods
PSY20007 Developmental Psychology
STA20006 Analysis of Variance
PSY20006 Cognition and Human Performance
PSY20016 Social Psychology
PSY30003 Psychology Project
PSY30008  Psychology of Personality
PSY30010 Abnormal Psychology
PSY30013 History and Philosophy of Psychology

Students can choose to complete a Co-Major in Sociology of 8 units.


The Advanced Psychology Minor is an optional advanced minor in Psychology, available only to students who have registered into the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences with Swinburne.

Students can choose from the following minors: Sociology of Contemporary Societies, Sociology, Criminology, Human Resource Management, Public Relations, Indigenous Studies, Marketing.


Electives can be selected from any undergraduate unit offered by Open Universities Australia including MTH10002 Dealing with Numbers.

If you were admitted before 2017 into the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies (Psychology) 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

Please note: this program was previously known as the Bachelor of Behavioural Studies (Psychology).