Psychology courses | Open Universities Australia

Psychology courses

Unpack mental processes and human behaviour

Get food for thought when you study psychology. Help people understand their thinking, navigate their feelings and choices in a way that changes lives for the better.

Specialise in a variety of areas including clinical, organisational or educational psychology or upskill in human resources, research, user experience or social welfare.

Explore psychology single subjects and short courses

Over 250 ways to study psychology with a leading Australian university.

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Through a psychology degree Nathan realised the similarities between music and the exploration of human emotion.

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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.

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Student stories and study advice

Industry snapshot for Psychologists and Psychotherapists




44 years


Very strong



Source: Job Outlook. Average figures across the industry. As at April 2022.

Interested in a career in Psychology & mental Health? Become a Psychologist, Become a counsellor

I will be a psychologist... it'll happen, I just know, because I believe I'm here for a purpose.

— Emma

Doing a single subject (first) allowed me to see if that's where I wanted to go. It's less pressure without the commitment of the whole degree.

— Kimberley

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