Psychological Science Major

Psychological Science is the scientific study of human behaviour, psychology, and mental processes. It is concerned with the way we behave as individuals as well as in groups; it is concerned with the way we act as well as the way we think; and with our interaction with the physical world as well as our interaction with others.

When you study Psychological Science, you will cover a range of areas including behavioural neuroscience, personality theory, social influences on the behaviour of individuals and groups, forensic psychology, health psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, memory, attention, intelligence, sensory processes and perception, research methods, and theories of learning and motivation.

The School of Psychology is part of the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard level, except for PSYC2015 Brain and Behavioural Psychology (available at advanced level in PSYC2915), and PSYC3011 Learning and Behaviour (available at advanced level in PSYC3911), PSYC3013 Perceptual Systems (available at advanced level in PSYC3913), PSYC3014 Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (available at advanced level in PSYC3914) and PSYC3016 Developmental Psychology (available at advanced level in PSYC3916).

About the major

The Psychological Science Major is designed for students who do not wish to train to become accredited psychologists. Rather, this is designed for students who wish to engage in higher degree research in one or more of the areas of psychological science and/or to complement their studies in another major where expertise in one or more of the areas of psychological science would be beneficial.

Please note:

The Psychological Science major is not a pathway to professional accreditation as a Psychologist.

Students who wish to undertake professional training at the postgraduate level to become registered psychologists must complete the full Psychology Program, which requires the completion of two additional Psychology units.

Requirements for completion

A major in Psychological Science requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units

A minor in Psychological Science requires 36 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units

First year

Core: PSYC1001 Psychology 1001 and PSYC1002 Psychology 1002.

In the first year, you will be introduced to all the disciplines in Psychology, including behavioural neuroscience, personality theory, social influences on the behaviour of individuals and groups, forensic psychology, health psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, memory, attention, intelligence, sensory processes and perception, research methods, and theories of learning and motivation.

Second year

PSYC2012 Statistics and Research Methods for Psych
and 12 credit points from: PSYC2X15 Brain and Behavioural Psychology or PSYC2016 Perception, Cognition, and Intelligence or PSYC2017 Personality and Social Psychology.

All students will be trained in the core research and statistical methods used in Psychological Science, and must select to specialise in two other core research disciplines in Psychological Science: PSYC2015 Brain and Behaviour Psychology (Learning and Motivation; Clinical Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Neuroscience); PSYC2016 Cognition, Perception and Intelligence, or PSYC2017 Personality and Social Psychology.

PSYC2012 Statistics and Research Methods for Psych provides the essential training in statistical methods and the disciplinary knowledge required to undertake research projects in Psychological Science in the Third year.

Third year

18 credit points from:
PSYC3010 Advanced Statistics for Psychology
PSYC3X11 Learning and Behaviour
PSYC3012 Cognition, Language and Thought
PSYC3013 Perceptual Systems
PSYC3X14 Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC3015 Personality and Psychology Assessment 2
PSYC3X16 Developmental Psychology
PSYC3017 Social Psychology
PSYC3018 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC3020 Applied Psychology
HPSC3023 Psychology and Psychiatry: History and Phil
PSYC3888 Psychology Interdisciplinary Project

The third year courses allow students to specialise in a few of the major research disciplines in Psychology.

Students must choose to take three specialist courses selected from the areas of Learning and Behaviour, Perceptual Systems, Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Differential Psychology, Applied Psychology (Forensic, Health, Organisational), Clinical Psychology, Advanced Statistics, or Theoretical Psychology.

In your third year you must also take at least one designated project unit.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, with a minimum of 24 credit points at 4000-level or above. Of these 24 credit points, you must complete a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Advanced coursework will be included in the table for 2021.

Honours
The Psychological Science Major does not meet the prerequisite requirements for entry to the Psychology Honours program. To be eligible to apply for Psychology Honours students must complete the full Psychology Program.

Contact and further information

W sydney.edu.au/science/study/study-areas/psychology
E
T +61 2 9351 7327

Address:
School of Psychology
Brennan MacCallum (A18)
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

Dr Ian Johnston
E
T +61 2 9351 4353

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Psychological Science will be able to:

  1. Critique the major theories of core disciplines within the psychological sciences.
  2. Describe, apply and evaluate basic research methods in psychology including research design, data analysis and interpretation, and the appropriate use of technologies.
  3. Select, critically evaluate and synthesise information from appropriate research and literature and communicate findings in scientific research reports, essays, presentations and other media.
  4. Apply psychological concepts to personal, social, and professional issues, and across cultural and social boundaries.
  5. Plan, design, carry out and interpret experimental research in psychology.
  6. Address authentic problems in psychology and behavioural sciences, working professionally and ethically and with consideration of cross-cultural perspectives, within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
  7. Recognise and apply the ethical standards of the discipline and profession, demonstrating an understanding of the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity, and the value of empirical evidence.