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Graduate Diploma of Psychology

About this course

The Graduate Diploma of Psychology is intended for graduates who have completed a Bachelor degree in a discipline other than psychology, and who have completed the equivalent of two introductory units in psychology. It provides the content that is required to be delivered during the first three years of a psychology degree.

Career opportunities

Completion of the Graduate Diploma of Psychology provides entry into the fourth year of study in psychology, through the Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours.

Completion of the Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours satisfies the current basic academic requirements for provisional registration as a psychologist in Australia. To become a fully registered psychologist, graduates must also complete either two years of supervised experience as a provisionally registered psychologist, or complete an accredited postgraduate degree at Masters or Doctoral level.

Professional recognition

The Graduate Diploma of Psychology is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

Major areas of study

Core topics include research methods, statistics, learning, developmental psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and psychological assessment.

Assessment methods

Assessment procedures may include written assignments, oral presentations, research papers, laboratory and field research projects, video or audio presentations, and written examinations.

Teaching methods

The method of teaching varies from unit to unit. Most units include lectures and tutorials totalling three hours per week. Some units include interactive workshops while some of the research-oriented units involve time away from class to collect and analyse data. Some teaching delivery is via SCU's online learning environment Blackboard Learn and the online MYSCU student portal is used to support in-class teaching in most units.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Discipline-specific resources available to Psychology students include research laboratories and a library of psychological tests.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents


Admission requirements

Applicants for admission to candidature shall have completed:

  1. a degree of at least Bachelors level awarded by an Australian University (or its equivalent from another county), and
  2. an introductory psychology program, consisting of at least two Psychology units, accredited by the Australian Psychological Society, or its equivalent.

Course requirements

To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma of Psychology a candidate shall successfully complete not less than eight (8) units comprising all units listed in the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules.

Duration of the Course

Normally, unless the Board of the School of Arts and Social Sciences otherwise determines, a candidate shall complete the award in not more than two (2) years.

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Please note: In practice, students who do not meet the second admission criterion may be offered the opportunity to enrol in two of the first year Psychology units offered by Southern Cross University: Introduction to Psychology I; Introduction to Psychology II.

Applicants must provide official transcripts of their academic history when applying for entry into this program. Graduates from universities outside Australia will be considered in terms of equivalence of qualifications.

Domestic students

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'