Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

This is course information for enrolled students. For prospective students please visit Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science.


The Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science provides a pathway into the study of psychology for students who have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than psychology. Candidates must possess a conferred three-year undergraduate or higher level degree. The course provides a comprehensive foundation for understanding the theoretical basis of the scientific discipline of psychology, for the development of skills in critical and analytical thinking, for understanding the underpinnings of the professional applications of psychology and for developing capabilities to design, conduct and evaluate psychological research.

Professional Accreditation

The Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science is accredited with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). 


Degree Name:

Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

Degree Code:


Level of Qualification:



One year of study, full time or part time equivalent study^

Number  of Units:

9 units of study (54 credits)

Course Sequence:

see Course Guide

Study Load:

3 units per trimester (total of 9 units)


Online and On campus - Sydney and Melbourne

For Unit Planning Assistance, see here.

Student Placement:


Award Title: 

Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

Cricos Code:


^Maximum permitted duration 3 years, subject to regulatory or professional association requirements

Graduate Attributes

Graduate Attribute 1: Knowledge and understanding of core topics in psychology. These topics include abnormal psychology, biological bases of behaviour, cognition, information processing and language, learning, lifespan developmental psychology, perception, social psychology and intercultural diversity and indigenous psychology.

Graduate Attribute 2: Research methods in psychology. This attribute covers an understanding of the characteristics of the science of psychology and the different and varied research methods used by psychologists. It also includes the acquisition of practical skills in laboratory-based research and other methods, the design of studies to address psychological questions, critical analysis, the formulation of testable hypotheses, the choice of an appropriate methodology, the question of reliability and validity and their meanings and operations, the analysis of data, and the writing of reports.

Graduate Attribute 3: Critical thinking skills. This attribute includes the application of scientific method to the study of mental and behavioural problems, the examination of other modes of understanding the world and the development of other world views, and a recognition of the fallacies and the biases that can affect human thinking and analysis.

Graduate Attribute 4: Values, research and professional ethics. This attribute includes the evaluation of the behaviour of psychologists in psychological research and other professional contexts and is in the context of the Australian Psychological Society “Code of Ethics” and the Australian “National Practice Standards for the Mental Health workforce”. Values and professional ethics must also be understood and evaluated in the context of social ethical principles and ethical conduct in legal, medical and institutional behaviour.

Graduate Attribute 5: Communication skills. Students need to learn how to communicate effectively orally in various settings (group discussion, presentations, both formal and informal) for various purposes. Written communication, in the form of written reports, should be according to professionally accepted formats. In psychology we follow the American Psychological Association structure and formatting conventions.

Graduate Attribute 6: Learning and the application of psychology. This attribute includes the application of knowledge of legislative frameworks and the application of knowledge about laws and conventions in work settings, consumer and carer participation and in the general matter of the conduct of application of psychology. It also considers how there may be variation of legislation across different areas of application.

Pathways for Future Study

Completion of the one year Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science provides the necessary qualification for further study at fourth year level in psychology. At ACAP the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) provides a 4th year of accredited study. Entry to fourth year is competitive and also requires at least a credit average in 2nd and 3rd year units as well as a credit or higher in the majority of psychology units. Completion of a four year sequence enables a student to be provisionally registered as a Psychologist in Australia and New Zealand for the purpose of working towards general registration.

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