Frequently Asked Questions
Psychology at UNSW
What is the difference between all the psychology pathways?
You can study psychology at UNSW through several options: Bachelor of Psychology; Bachelor of Psychological Science; Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Science (International); Bachelor of Advanced Science; Bachelor of Life Sciences and Bachelor of Science and Business. Check the UNSW Handbook for the full list of combined programs.
Whilst the Bachelor of Psychology is designed for those who are determined to study psychology, students undertaking a Bachelor of Psychological Science are given the opportunity to complete certain majors (such as marketing or criminology) outside the Faculty of Science. Students interested in another major within the Faculty of Science should undertake a Science degree. An important point is that no program offers an advantage in terms of advancement to Honours level.
While B Psychology is a 4-year program, students must maintain a Distinction average in their psychology subjects for entry into the final year – the same WAM requirement that students in the other Science programs must achieve for entry into Honours. Lastly, you can also complete a psychology major through B Arts or minor through B Arts and Business but you cannot continue to Honours through these options.
If you would like to know more about these degree pathways, check out our Simplified Academic Handbook to know more, or contact the School of Psychology.
Do I need to be amazing at maths?
No! While there is a notable statistics component in psychology (one course each year) plenty of people who are not entirely confident with mathematics manage because the courses start from the ground up.
There are also resources out there if you feel you need a little extra help. You can consult to spend some extra time with your class tutors, you can arrange a private tutor (using our tutor list), or attend one of our statistics workshops, which we offer for both PSYC2001 and PSYC3001 in the first semester.
Do I need to do Honours?
It depends on what you want to do once you finish your degree. Anyone interested in pursuing a career as a psychologist needs to do Honours. At UNSW the cutoff for entry into Honours is an average of 75 across all compulsory psychology subjects, as well as your three best third year psychology electives. This excludes first year psychology electives and free electives or general education courses from other schools and faculties.
Psychology in Australia
How do I become a psychologist?
It takes 6 years to become a psychologist. 4 years of Undergraduate study (including Honours) and then either a 2 year internship or 2 year Masters program. The APS website has more information about the various pathways here.
What specialisations are there?
Clinical neuropsychology; clinical psychology; community psychology; counselling psychology; educational and developmental psychology; forensic psychology; health psychology; organisational psychology, and sport and exercise psychology.
The only way you can become a specialist is by doing the relevant Masters program (2 years) followed by an endorsement period of supervised practise (2 years). Note that the exact time frame may vary slightly depending on if you do a Masters, combined Masters/PhD, or a Doctorate of Psychology. Again, see the APS website for details.
What other options do I have?
You could begin a PhD and pursue a career in research! Otherwise, many corporate graduate programs seek skills rather than specific degrees, and a background in psychology suits various fields such as human resources, marketing and management. Consider visiting UNSW Careers and Employment if you have queries about alternative career options.