Graduate degree pathway

How to become a psychologist

4 years Bachelors degree + fourth year
2 years Master of Psychology

1. Choose an undergraduate degree

At Melbourne, you can focus on psychology from day one of your undergraduate degree with a professionally accredited major.

Accredited undergraduate sequence

By completing an accredited 125 point undergraduate sequence in psychology (usually 10 subjects as part of your major), you will develop a deep understanding of psychology that will set you up for future research or clinical postgraduate studies. You will learn research skills from your first year that will build in later years to give you the best foundation and depth of expertise needed to interpret and understand behaviour.

An Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited course in Psychology consists of 125 points of study comprising:

  • Two Level 1 Psychology subjects; and
  • Four compulsory Level 2 subjects (50 points); and
  • Two compulsory Level 3 subjects, and two elective Level 3 subjects (50 points)

In second year you will study the core units of psychology covering biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology. Third year contains a capstone unit consolidating your knowledge of psychology and electives that expose you to the intricacies of the field.

The psychology sequence is designed to build constantly on your knowledge through research-led teaching and by emphasising the impact of research in practice.

Choose an accredited undergraduate sequence through either a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Biomedicine or a Bachelor of Science.

In your undergraduate study you will learn about aspects of behaviour such as human motivation and emotion, decision-making processes and social interaction, through a strong basic knowledge of psychological concepts and theories in areas including cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, sensation and perception, and social psychology.

Note: It is possible to complete non-accredited study in Psychology also, however this does not meet the requirements to continue your pathway on to professional accreditation.

2. Complete an accredited fourth year program in Psychology

Graduates with a three-year undergraduate psychology APAC accredited sequence may be eligible to study one of the following fourth year courses:

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) requires completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) requires a Bachelor of Science degree (or an equivalent qualification recognised by the Faculty of Science)
  • Bachelor of Biomedicine (Honours) requires a Bachelor of Biomedicine degree (or an equivalent qualification recognised by the Faculty of MDHS).
  • Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) requires a Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) that does not qualify for entry to BA (Hons) in Arts or BSc (Hons) in Science, or a combined Honours program
  • The structure for all four Psychology fourth year courses is the same, and involves the completion of three compulsory subjects (which includes the research project), and two elective subjects.

The fourth year program is designed to provide students with the opportunities to learn the intellectual background, ethical principles, and content areas of psychology as a scientific discipline.

3. Enter a Master of Psychology

Following your undergraduate accredited sequence in psychology, plus accredited fourth year (honours or graduate diploma), you can complete postgraduate study and then register as a professional psychologist. A postgraduate qualification prepares you for a wide range of professions including clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychology, community and counselling psychology, educational, forensic, health, organisations, sports and academic psychology.

You can complete the necessary postgraduate requirements through either the Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) or Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology).