Psychology courses

Get food for thought when you study psychology

Why study psychology online?

Unpack mental processes and human behaviour. Learn about abnormal and social psychology. Specialise in a variety of areas, including clinical, organisational and educational psychology. Work towards a rewarding career as a psychologist, or in areas like mental health, human resources, research and welfare.

Want to become a psychologist?

If you’re looking to become a psychologist, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got your groundwork covered. If you haven’t studied maths before, you might want to consider a preparatory course to make sure you’re ready for degree study.

Emma studied psychology with Swinburne University through Open Universities Australia

Psychology highlights

  • Explore your interactions with other people.
  • Understand brain function and behaviour.
  • Recognise the impact of mental health issues.

Psychology specialisations

  • Prepare for a career as a professional psychologist.
  • Develop research and analytical skills.
  • Become a better communicator.
A psychologist is an expert in human behaviour. There are different types of psychologist, including clinical, educational, development, organisation and forensic.

When we use the term psychologist, we generally mean a clinical psychologist. That means they generally work with patients, to help with a range of issues. These could include emotional difficulties, grief, learning issues, relationship problems, and stress.

A clinical psychologist will work with their patients in various ways. They might help to find underlying conditions which are contributing to their issues. They could work with them to develop management strategies. They may use techniques, like cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), to help patients understand how their thinking affects their mood.

One thing that a clinical psychologist can’t do is prescribe medication. If a patient needs medication, they may work with a GP or a psychiatrist to manage this part of the treatment.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are both mental health professionals, and will sometimes work together. But there are big differences in the way they work, and the path they take to become professionals. The key difference is that a psychiatrist is a medical doctor, which means that they can prescribe medication, and that their patients are referred to them by a GP. This means that they may work with patients who have more complex or serious conditions.

Like a psychologist, a counsellor will work with a patient to resolve issues they are facing. A counsellor will do this by applying a series of tools or strategies. However, a counsellor has a lot less professional training than a registered psychologist, and this tends to be reflected in the way they engage with patients.

Becoming a psychologist in Australia will take you at least six years. Make sure that each qualification you choose is certified by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

First, you’ll study a three-year undergraduate degree, full or part-time. You don't have to major in psychology. If you don't, you’ll need to add a Graduate Diploma in psychology to your undergraduate degree.

Next, opt for either an Honours Degree, or a Graduate Diploma in professional or advanced psychology.

Following this you have two options. You can complete two years of supervised practice with a registered psychologist. Or, do a masters (MPsych) or doctoral degree (PhD) in any area of psychology.

Almost there! The final step is professional registration. This means one more exam- the National Psychology Exam. Finally, apply for general registration as a psychologist from the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA).

Psychology is a hugely popular area to get into, that’s partly because it offers lots of opportunities. Work in fields like: human resources, marketing, teaching, behavioural science, or counselling. Possible jobs include: social work, school counselling, human resource management, or research.

Why study online through Open Universities Australia?

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Explore and choose from thousands of degrees, subjects and short courses from leading Australian unis.

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