Graduate Diploma in Psychology (GDP)

Admission requirements

Pathway to Honours

Study details

Further study and Professional recognition

How to apply

I already have a Bachelor degree, but it’s not in psychology. What can I do if I want to pursue psychology? What is the Graduate Diploma in Psychology?

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology (GDP) enables graduates who have already completed an undergraduate bachelor degree to complete a major in psychology without having to complete another undergraduate degree.

Am I eligible to apply for the GDP?

For admission into GDP, you must:

  • have a completed Bachelor degree from any discipline;
  • not have previously completed a major in psychology; and
  • have successfully completed Psychology 1001 (PSYC1001) and Psychology 1002 (PSYC1002) or equivalent introductory psychology units within the last 10 years.

Please refer to Sydney Courses for further information about GDP entry requirements.

International students are ineligible for GDP. This is because some components of the GDP can only be undertaken on a part-time basis. International Student visa requirements state that a full-time enrolment must be maintained. Refer to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection for further information.

How do I complete the pre-requisite subjects (PSYC1001 & PSYC1002) at the University of Sydney?

You can complete PSYC1001 and 1002 at The University of Sydney as a non-degree student.

PSYC1001 and PSYC1002 are not sequential, so you can complete them in any order. PSYC1001 is offered in first semester, while PSYC1002 is offered in second semester. Both units are also offered during Summer School. However, please be aware that Summer School results are generally not released until March (i.e. after the last day to enrol into first semester). As such, it may not always be possible to commence GDP in first semester immediately following Summer School.

What if I have completed introductory psychology units at another institution?

In order to be accepted for entry into the GDP, the units of study needs to constitute a whole first year sequence of APAC accredited study. Information about which universities offers APAC accredited courses can be found here: Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

Can I get credit for previous study in psychology?

You can apply for exemptions for up to 24 credit points if you have already completed studies which the Faculty deems equivalent to those in the GDP. You must have completed these units of study within the previous ten years and within an APAC accredited degree program. Equivalent study at an overseas university may be acceptable.

If you completed these studies in Psychology somewhere other than at the School of Psychology, University of Sydney, full details of each unit of study will be required, including the syllabus, number of class hours and an original transcript of results.


Am I eligible for entry into Psychology Honours if I complete the GDP?

On successful completion of the GDP, graduates may be eligible to apply for entry to a fourth year of honours study in psychology. However, please note the following important advice.
Psychology Honours is currently offered through:

By way of example, to qualify for admission to the Bachelor of Science (Honours), you must:

  1. have completed a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification from another tertiary institution;
  2. have completed a relevant major relating to the intended Honours discipline;
  3. have achieved a Science Weighted Average Mark (SCIWAM) of at least 65.00 or have a credit average (65.00) in 48 credit points of relevant 2000-level and 3000-level units of study; and
  4. satisfy any additional criteria set by the School of Psychology.

Completion of the GDP alone cannot be taken to satisfy the first requirement on the above list, i.e. the requirement of a completed Bachelor of Science degree. The GDP is not equivalent to a Bachelor of Science. You will still need a completed Bachelor of Science (or equivalent) degree.

In order to gain admission to Bachelor of Science (Honours), you would need to rely upon (i) a completed Bachelor of Science (or equivalent) to satisfy the degree requirement and (ii) a completed GDP to satisfy the major requirement.

Note: Applicants who originally completed a Bachelor of Arts followed by GDP are suggested to apply for Bachelor of Arts (Honours) instead of Bachelor of Science (Honours).Similarly, applicants who originally completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences followed by GDP are suggested to apply for Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) instead.

What if my original Bachelor degree is over 10 years old?

The University's Coursework Rule requires Bachelor of Science (Honours) students to complete their Honours program within 10 years of the commencement of their original qualifying Bachelor of Science degree (or equivalent). The same would apply such that Bachelor of Arts (Honours) students must complete their Honours program within 10 years of the commencement of their original qualifying Bachelor of Arts degree (or equivalent).

As such, if your original Bachelor of Science degree (or equivalent) was completed more than 10 years ago or close to 10 years ago, you may be ineligible for admission to the Bachelor of Science (Honours). This includes applicants who have recently completed the GDP.

Applicants whose original Bachelor of Science degree (or equivalent) was completed more than 10 years ago or close to 10 years ago are strongly recommended to seek advice from the Admissions Office prior to submitting an application for Bachelor of Science (Honours). The Admissions Office will consult and confer with the relevant contacts in the Faculty of Science and the School of Psychology as appropriate.

Please be assured that applicants whose original Bachelor of Science degree (or equivalent) was completed more than 10 years ago or close to 10 years ago may be allowed admission to Bachelor of Science (Honours) on the basis of eligibility for reduced volume of learning. This will depend onthe applicant maintaining relevant discipline expertisethrough prior qualifications (e.g. recent completion of GDP) or professional experience deemed to provide comparable preparation for Honours study.This is an individual case-by-case assessment by both the School of Psychology and the Faculty of Science.

If you have any queries regarding your Psychology Honours application in the future, please contact the Admissions Team: admissions.blueteam@sydney.edu.au


What will I study in the GDP?

The GDP consists of Year 2 (Intermediate) and Year 3 (Senior) units of study identical to those completed by undergraduate students studying for a major in Psychology. Award of the GDP requires the successful completion of a minimum of 48 credit points.

You can find the unit of study outlines, giving detailed descriptions of the content at the Current Students Syllabus Archive webpage.

What are the study plan options for the GDP?

There are 4 possible study plans for the GDP:

  1. GDP Study Plan for completing in 3 semesters, starting in Semester 1
  2. GDP Study Plan for completing in 3 semesters, starting in Semester 2
  3. GDP Study Plan for completing in 4 semesters, starting in Semester 1
  4. GDP Study Plan for completing in 4 semesters, starting in Semester 2

Please note:

While classes for some units of study are available in the early evening, classes for most units of study are offered only during the day. Therefore, it is not possible to complete the GDP if you cannot attend a substantial number of classes during the day.

For more information on the content of the various units of study, please consult the Faculty of Science handbook at:
http://www.usyd.edu.au/handbooks/science/00_introduction.shtml

What if I need more time to complete the GDP?

If opting to study part-time, the GDP must be completed within 4 years. If you require longer, you would need to start the program again.

What time committment is required during semester?

You will generally need to attend 4 hours of lectures and tutorials, per week, per Unit of Study. These may be spread across the week, taking place at different times on different days. It is expected that further study will be undertaken outside of these hours.

Are any units available by distance education? Are there evening and weekend classes?

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is a completely on-campus course. There are no weekend or block mode options and only limited tutorial classes in some units of study that are offered after 4pm.Therefore, it is not possible to complete the GDP if you cannot attend a substantial number of classes during the day.

What will my timetable look like?

While the timetable can change from semester to semester, the current timetable is available here on the Current Students Timetable page. This will give you an indication of what your timetable may look like.

As this is an on-campus course, it is not possible to complete the GDP if you cannot attend a substantial number of classes during the day.


Can I pursue higher degree studies after the GDP?

After successful completion of the GDP and Psychology 4 (Honours), you are eligible to apply for entry into the following higher degree studies at the University of Sydney:
Master of Clinical Psychology; or Master of Clinical Psychology & PhD
Masters of Science (MSc) by research or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by research

What recognition will I receive from the University when I graduate?

You will receive an official transcript from the University confirming that you have completed the Graduate Diploma in Psychology and detailing your results for each unit of study.

What professional recognition can I obtain with the GDP?

Registration as a professional psychologist in Australia is overseen by the Psychology Board of Australia. Provisional registration as a professional psychologist requires the completion of an APAC approved 4 year psychology program (such as the GDP plus honours). Full registration as a professional psychologist also requires an APAC approved fifth and sixth year of graduate study in professional psychology; or one year of APAC approved graduate study in professional psychology plus one year of a Board approved internship; or two years of a Board approved internship. At Sydney, you can gain full registration by completing the Master of Clinical Psychology; or Master of Clinical Psychology & PhD

Full membership of the Australian Psychological Society requires an Honours or Honours equivalent fourth year, followed by a fifth and sixth year of postgraduate study.

Further information about membership of the Australian Psychological Society may be obtained from their web site: http://www.psychology.org.au/


How do I apply for the GDP?

Applications must be submitted online. Follow the link below, read the information under "How to apply", then click the red "Apply" button:

Apply for the Graduate Diploma in Psychology

Application deadlines are detailed on the link above.

For general and administrative matters concerning the GDP, contact the School of Psychology: +61 2 9351 7327.

When should I apply for the GDP?

Applications are accepted for commencement in either Semester 1 or 2. If you are in the process of completing the pre-requisite units of study the closing date may be before you receive your results for the final unit of study.

In such cases, you should apply for the GDP by the advertised deadline (see How do I apply for the GDP?) for the semester you intend to commence the GDP, assuming that you will successfully complete the unit of study. This includes students completing either PSYC1001 or PSYC1002 in the Summer School.

    Application Timeline for entry into the Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Option Semester Unit of Study  When to apply
 A  Semester 1  PSYC1001  
 Semester 2  PSYC1002  Lodge application by due date in the application link (see above).
 B  Semester 2  PSYC1002  Lodge application by due date in the application link (see above).
 Summer School  PSYC1001  
 C  Summer School  PSYC1002  
 Semester 1  PSYC1001 Lodge application before Jun 30th deadline

If you are made an offer before receiving the results of a pre-requisite unit of study, it will be a conditional offer. The offer will become final upon successful completion of the pre-requisite unit, allowing you to enroll in the GDP. In some instances the timing can be quite close to the beginning of classes.

What are the fees? Is Commonwealth support available?

Up-front fees apply. Further information is available on the GDP course page