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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleBPsych(Hons)
CRICOS code055711C
Total credit points required192
Standard duration of study (years)4 years FT, 8 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9905 3965, email: or visit


This degree is designed for students who wish to study psychology intensively with a view to pursuing a career as a research or professional psychologist. In the first three years of the course, students study the core areas of the scientific discipline of psychology, as well as being able to pursue their individual interests in a range of areas relating to the application of psychology. Students are also introduced to other disciplines which complement the study of psychology. In the fourth year, students undertake the honours program in psychology.


On successful completion of the course the student will be expected to able to:

  • describe and discuss theories and research, and investigate and critically evaluate issues in the core discipline areas of psychology - perception, cognition, learning, motivation, emotion, language, social and biological bases of behaviour, abnormal psychology, lifespan development, individual differences, history and philosophy of psychology, testing, assessment, intercultural and indigenous psychology
  • contribute to discipline knowledge through research, including critical review of scientific literature, identification of research problems, design and conduct of research, application of statistical analyses to evaluate research outcomes, and clear communication of findings according to the professional requirements of the discipline
  • describe and discuss the ethical standards and legislative frameworks governing research and practice in psychology, and demonstrate an appreciation of the role of ethics in maintaining the integrity of the profession
  • recognise the importance of the relationship between knowledge of the scientific discipline of psychology and the application of this knowledge in the practice of psychology, and to demonstrate this understanding across a number of applications of the discipline
  • demonstrate the skills required to maintain professional competence by keeping up with recent developments and contemporary issues in the field and appreciate the importance of ongoing professional development and training and demonstrate a foundation knowledge in a selected range of related discipline areas that complement the theoretical and practical application of psychology.

Professional recognition

The Bachelor of Psychology (with Honours) is conditionally accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council pending completion by its first graduates.


Students study 24 6-point units in the first three years of the course:

  • nine core psychology units which form part of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council accredited sequence in psychology
  • seven psychology elective units, one of which must be PSY3260 Advances in psychology, mental health and neuroscience
  • eight units from a range of recommended non-psychology elective units.

In the fourth year of the course, students undertake the requirements of the current honours program in psychology (48 points).


First year

First semester

  • PSY1011 Psychology 1A
  • three non-psychology electives

Second semester

  • PSY1022 Psychology 1B
  • three non-psychology electives

Second year

First semester

  • PSY2031 Developmental and biological psychology
  • PSY2051 Research design and analysis
  • one psychology elective
  • one non-psychology elective

Second semester

  • PSY2042 Cognitive and social psychology
  • two psychology electives
  • one non-psychology elective

Third year

First semester

  • PSY3041 Psychological testing, theories of ability and ethics
  • PSY3051 Perception and personality
  • PSY3260 Advances in psychology, mental health and neuroscience
  • one psychology elective

Second semester

  • PSY3032 Abnormal psychology
  • PSY3062 Research methods and theory
  • two psychology electives

Fourth year

Full year

  • PSY4100 Psychology honours research project

First semester

  • PSY4210 Statistics and research design for professional psychology

Second semester

  • PSY4220 Ethical and professional issues in psychology
  • PSY4270 Psychological assessment

Plus one of:

  • PSY4230 Contemporary issues in psychobiology
  • PSY4240 Contemporary issues in cross-cultural and indigenous psychology
  • PSY4250 Contemporary issues in psycholinguistics
  • PSY4260 Contemporary issues in developmental psychology
  • PSY4280 Contemporary issues in theoretical psychology

Elective units

Psychology electives

Some of these units can be taken in the second year of study, depending on the prerequisites or corequisites. Not all units are offered each year.

  • BME1130 The human being in health and illness*
  • BNS1072 Foundations of behavioural neuroscience*
  • PSY2112 Organisational psychology
  • PSY3100 Advanced psychobiology
  • PSY3120 Introduction to counselling
  • PSY3130 Health psychology
  • PSY3150 Contemporary social psychology
  • PSY3160 Psychology of language
  • PSY3170 Decision making in professional settings
  • PSY3180 Human neuropsychology
  • PSY3190 Addiction studies
  • PSY3210 Advanced leadership
  • PSY3230 Psychological foundations of the law

* Subject to Australian Psychological Society (APS) approval to be included as psychology units.

Non-psychology electives

The 48 points of non-psychology electives must be chosen from a list of recommended electives, or students can apply to the course coordinator for approval of an elective unit not on this list. Some electives may only be offered at one location or by off-campus learning. The non-psychology electives can include units from biology, philosophy, sociology, criminal justice and health sciences. Students undertake six non-psychology units in their first year and two non-psychology units in their second year. A list of recommended first and second year non-psychology elective units are listed below.

Recommended first year elective units
  • BIO1011 Biology I
  • BIO1022 Biology II
  • CJC1001 Understanding crime
  • CJC1002 Criminal justice in action: police, courts and corrections
  • HSC1011 Legal and ethical frameworks
  • HSC1031 Foundations of health
  • HSC1042 Health issues for diverse populations
  • HSC1052 Health and social care systems
  • MGW1010 Managing people and organisations*
  • MGW1100 Managerial communication*
  • MKW1120 Marketing theory and practice*
  • PHL1010 Introduction to philosophy A
  • PHL1020 Introduction to philosophy B
  • SCY1010 Introduction to sociology A
  • SCY1020 Introduction to sociology B

* Some units offered by the Faculty of Business and Economics may be available to take as electives, however enrolments in these units may depend on students satisfying the Business and Economics requirements (mathematics prerequisites).

Recommended second year elective units

Non-psychology electives undertaken in second year may be a continuation of the above first-year-level elective units.

Minimum grade for course completion

To be eligible for progression into the fourth year of the course students must achieve at least the minimum entry requirement that is standard for all honours programs in psychology based on the average grade across all core third-year units.

Progression to further studies

To be eligible for progression into the fourth year of the course, students must achieve at least the minimum entry requirement that is standard for all honours programs in psychology based on the average grade across all core third-year units.

These students will be eligible to apply for entry to other fourth-year psychology programs at Monash (eg the Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology) or at other universities.

Alternative exit(s)

Students who do not meet the entry requirements for the fourth-year honours program in this course will exit with the award of Bachelor of Psychological Science, provided they have successfully completed the first three years of the program as outlined above. These students will be eligible to apply for entry to other fourth-year psychology programs at Monash (eg the Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology) or at other universities.


Bachelor of Psychology (with Honours)