Bachelor of Psychology

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Bachelor of Psychology is ideal for the student who knows they want to work in the industry. By the end of the four-year degree, you will have the basis for provisional registration as a psychologist in Australia and enough training and experience to start working right away.

Upon enrolling in the Bachelor of Psychology, you will choose either the science stream or the arts and social sciences stream, depending on your interests. While the psychology units you study are identical for both streams, you might choose to pair them with subjects like Statistics and Neuroscience in the science stream, or Linguistics and Cultural Studies in the arts and social sciences stream, for example.

In the first three years of the course, you will build your specialisation in psychology, studying topics like behavioural neuroscience, social psychology, personality theory, perception, intelligence, abnormal psychology, and developmental psychology. In the fourth year, you will complete an Honours program that includes a research project in a specialised area of psychology that interests you.

Upon graduating, you will have enough training and experience to start working right away. As well as achieving the basis for provisional registration, you can take up positions in areas such as schools, hospitals, prisons, human resources, developmental disabilities and various social policy areas in the private and public sectors. If you would like to have full registration as a professional psychologist, the degree will allow you to continue into professional psychology programs, such as the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, which will qualify you to become a clinical psychologist.

For more information on how to become a registered psychologist, see the section below on Further Study.

Bachelor of Psychology (Science) stream

Major in Psychology

Other Science areas of study:
Agricultural Chemistry, Anatomy and Histology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biology, Cell Pathology, Chemistry, Computational Science, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Financial Mathematics and Statistics, Geography, Geology and Geophysics, History and Philosophy of Science, Immunobiology, Information Systems, Marine Biology, Marine Geoscience, Marine Science, Mathematics, Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Nanoscience and Technology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physics, Physiology, Plant Science, Soil Science, Statistics


Bachelor of Psychology (Arts and Social Sciences) stream

Major in Psychology

Major in one of the Arts and Social Sciences areas:
American Studies, Ancient History, Anthropology, Arab World, Islam and the Middle East, Arabic Language and Literature, Archaeology, Art History, Asian Studies, Biblical Studies, Celtic Studies, Chinese Studies, Cultural Studies, Digital Cultures, Economics, English, European Studies, Film Studies, French Studies, Gender Studies, Germanic Studies, Government and International Relations, Greek (Ancient), Hebrew (Classical), Hebrew (Modern), History, Indigenous Australian Studies, Indonesian Studies, International and Comparative Literary Studies, Italian Studies, Japanese Studies, Jewish Civilisation, Thought and Culture, Korean Studies, Latin, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Modern Greek Studies, Music, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Economy, Sanskrit (Indian Sub-Continental Studies), Social Policy, Socio-Legal Studies, Sociology, Spanish and Latin American Studies, Studies in Religion

Please note that places in this course are limited and subject to strict enrolment quotas.

Watch Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) graduate, Amanda Green, talk about her career as a clinical psychologist and how she got there.

Course outline

Study plan

The Bachelor of Psychology may be undertaken full-time over four years or part-time over eight years. Full-time students enrol in units of study to the value of 48 credit points (cp) in each year.

All students complete core studies in psychology from a defined pool of units each year comprising a minimum 12cp of junior units, a minimum 24cp of intermediate units, and a minimum 30cp of senior units in psychology. You must achieve a minimum 65 percent in first year and maintain a minimum average mark of 75 percent in second and third years to proceed to the honours year in psychology, which comprises a research project of 48cp for the award of the degree.

In addition to your psychology studies, the course offers a choice of two streams. The arts and social sciences stream caters for students whose interests lie in the humanities and social sciences, while the science stream caters for those who are more interested in sciences. Rounding out your studies, you will have the opportunity to complete additional electives in arts or science in both streams.

SAMPLE STUDY PLAN

(Science stream example)

Year 1

Semester 1 Semester 2
Mathematics* Mathematics*
Psychology Psychology
Science Elective Science Elective
Elective Elective
24 credit points 24 credit points

* Mathematics units not required for students completing the Arts and Social Sciences stream.

Year 2

Semester 1 Semester 2
Intermediate Psychology Intermediate Psychology
Intermediate Psychology Intermediate Psychology
Science Elective Science Elective
Elective Elective
24 credit points 24 credit points

Year 3

Semester 1 Semester 2
Senior Psychology Senior Psychology
Senior Psychology Senior Psychology
Senior Psychology Senior Psychology or Elective
Senior Psychology or Elective Senior Psychology or Elective
24 credit points 24 credit points

Year 4

Semester 1 Semester 2
Psychology Honours Psychology Honours
24 credit points 24 credit points

Majors

Further course information

Progression rules

(1) Students must achieve a minimum average mark of 65 in junior psychology units of study and a minimum average mark of 75 in both intermediate and senior psychology units of study in order to progress to the final honours year.

(2) Students who fail to maintain the required average in psychology units of study specified above will be transferred to either the Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Arts in their next year of enrolment with full credit for the units of study completed.

(3) Students who complete all course requirements to the end of the third year, but fail to achieve the required average in psychology units in order to progress to the honours year will be awarded the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts.

(4) Completion of the honours year in psychology is a requirement for the award of the Bachelor of Psychology.

(5) To qualify for admission to the honours year a candidate must have completed 144 credit points including the remaining common requirements and the relevant units from arts or science.

(6) To qualify for the award of the Bachelor of Psychology a candidate must complete 48 credit points of units of study from the honours units of study table, with an honours mark of at least 65.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study (subject) which you are allowed to enrol in as part of your course and which will count towards the completion of your course. It differs to a core unit in that you have a choice about which electives, amongst a given set of electives, you want to study.

Depending on how you structure your Bachelor of Psychology course, you could be doing up to a quarter of your units as non-science electives. Elective units are available from any other faculty at the University, provided that you receive permission from the relevant department and the Faculty of Science to add that elective to your course plan.

See the Bachelor of Psychology study plan table to get an idea of how electives fit in amongst your other units of study.

Course opportunities

The course includes opportunities to participate in the University's Study Abroad and Exchange Program, the Science Link-Up and Mentoring (SLAM) Program and the Science Talented Student Program (entry by invitation from the Dean of Science), and opportunities specific to majors or subject areas, such as the Year in Industry program offered by the School of Chemistry.

Study Abroad and Exchange Program

Science Link-Up and Mentoring (SLAM) Program

Science Talented Student Program

Year in Industry Program

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

After four years of study (including an honours year), you will have achieved the minimum tertiary requirements for provisional registration as a psychologist. Graduates of the Bachelor of Psychology have the necessary training to obtain work in areas such as schools, hospitals, prisons, human resources, and various social policy areas in the private and public sectors. To qualify as a registered psychologist requires further study.

The four-year qualification you receive after completing the Bachelor of Psychology is the pre-requisite for entry into higher research courses (e.g. PhD) and all professional psychology programs, such as our Master of Clinical Psychology, which will qualify you to become a clinical psychologist.

Watch graduate Amanda Green talk about her work as a clinical psychologist and how she got there.

Course accreditation

The Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Sydney is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.

Completion of one of our other accredited degrees with a psychology major and completion of a psychology honours year holds equivalent accreditation. The other accredited degrees include: B Science, B Arts, B Science (Advanced), B Liberal Arts and Science, B Health Science, B Medical Science and B Commerce (Liberal Studies).

Further study

Full registration as a professional psychologist in Australia is overseen by the Psychology Board of Australia and also requires:
- a fifth and sixth year of graduate study in professional psychology; or
- one year of graduate study in professional psychology plus one year of a Board approved internship; or
- two years of a Board approved internship.

About honours

The Bachelor of Psychology includes a fourth year honours course that involves specialised individual research. This fourth year of honours is essential if you intend to apply for postgraduate study that will lead to registration as a professional psychologist.

In order to progress successfully into the honours year of the Bachelor of Psychology, you must satisfy the minimum progression requirements expected of students in this course.

The honours year in the Bachelor of Psychology will allow you to explore your research potential and allow you to put the theory from your previous studies into practice. During honours, you will design a project in a specialised area of psychology, and undertake your project under the supervision of an academic staff member. The specialised areas offered in the psychology honours program include clinical, cognition, developmental, health, learning, method, neuroscience, perception, personality and intelligence, and social psychology. Please note that the areas available may differ from year to year.

Other study options

It is possible for non-degree students to enrol in a unit of study (subject) offered in the Faculty of Science without being enrolled in an award course (degree). This provides a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. Non-degree students pay full tuition fees, take the unit of study with award course students, and are assessed at the same level. Non-degree applicants meet the same prerequisites as students enrolled in an award course at the University of Sydney (or have completed equivalent units of study at another institution) to be able to enrol in any particular unit of study.

More information about non-degree study.

Units of study may also be undertaken cross-institutionally by students, subject to the approval of the Dean. Cross-institutional candidates are enrolled in an award course at another university and have approval from their home institution to complete a unit or units of study at Sydney, to be credited toward their degree.

More information about cross-institutional study.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to this course is on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open for domestic mature aged applicants who do not possess a school leaving qualification, educationally disadvantaged applicants and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth Supported Place. Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

Current students applying to transfer from one bachelor degree to another, apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the transferring courses page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor degree must apply through UAC.

For other useful information, visit our How to Apply page.

Assumed knowledge

Science stream: Mathematics.
Both streams: Other assumed knowledge depends on subjects chosen.

International students

How to apply

Visit the How to Apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

Further admission requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for candidates wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Psychology. However for students enrolling in the science stream, the degree is taught on the assumption that candidates will have successfully completed HSC mathematics. You may attend one of the bridging courses in mathematics offered by the Mathematics Learning Centre if you feel you need to.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the 2017 amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study in the course, and the specific units of study in which you enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Students

The tuition fee for international undergraduate students is an indication of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

Student profiles