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.

Meet a student

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

Read Nathan's story

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.

Talk to a student advisor

Student stories and study advice

Industry snapshot for Psychologists and Psychotherapists


WEEKLY PAY

$1,857


AVERAGE AGE

44 years


FUTURE GROWTH

Very strong


FULL-TIME

52%

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

Here to guide you there

Open Universities Australia is a not-for-profit organisation helping every Australian to access thousands of university courses.

Over 479,000 students have enrolled in university through us since 1993.

Why study through us? Students say it best.

We’re here to support your studies from enrolment to completion 7 days a week.
Logos-external-reviews-google
 

How we can help you

Studying through Open Universities Australia means we take care of the guesswork and administration of university study, so you can focus on learning.

You don't need an academic history to start with our open door policy

You don't need an ATAR or previous study to go to uni. We make it possible for anyone to enrol into single subjects which can be used to upskill or credited to a degree later (plus access to government loans.)

You're in control of your studies with multiple start dates throughout the year

Ultimate flexibility to start and stop your studies. Take only one subject, a short course or a full degree. You choose the pace and timings.

You're in good hands with 29 years experience in online study

As a not for profit, our priority is students success. We understand online study and our advisors are here 7 days a week to guide and support you.

provider-logos-may-2022

Courses from 26 of Australia's leading universities.

Our friendly student advisors are here to help

We're here to guide you every step of the way with expert advice on:

  • Choosing a course that suits you best
  • Enrolling, and planning your studies
  • Understanding your funding options

Call, message, or chat with an advisor today.

Contact us

Peter – OUA Student Advisor
Peter, a student advisor

Talk to a student advisor

We'll be in touch to answer your questions.

Usually replies in 30 mins