Inherent requirements for the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

The statements below specify the course requirements of the Bachelor of Psychological Science and the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science for student admission and progression. Inherent requirements for this course are clustered under seven domains consisting of ethical behaviour, behavioural stability, communication, cognition, relational skills, reflective skills, and sustainable performance. They should be read in conjunction with other course information, the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Rules and Standards, and the Graduate Attributes of the Australia Undergraduate Psychology Program.

What is it like to do this course?

It may be helpful for you to understand what it is like to complete Bachelor of Psychological Science and the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science. Further information about the courses is available in course guides and we recommend you familiarise yourself with the information there. For those enrolled in the Bachelor of Psychological Science you will also be undertaking electives, some of which will be drawn from other disciplines, including criminology, social welfare, and counselling, as part of this course. Electives from other disciplines may have different inherent requirements, and so you may find it helpful to review those when selecting appropriate electives.

What about when I finish my course?

Successfully completing either the Bachelor of Psychological Science or the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science provides you with a three year sequence of study in psychology, following which you are eligible to apply for the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), which constitutes a fourth year sequence of study in psychology. It is following the undertaking of a fourth year of accredited psychological studies that you are eligible to embark on the pathways to registration as a psychologist. For further information you should visit the Australian Psychological Society Pathways to Being a Psychologist website. Successful completion of the three year sequence in psychology will also enable you to apply for further studies in related disciplines like Counselling, Criminology, and Social Work and as such you should always consider the inherent requirements for any programs you might consider following completion of either of these courses.

Inherent requirement domains

There are seven domains of inherent requirements in the Bachelor of Psychological Science and the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science.

  • Ethical behaviour 
  • Behavioural stability 
  • Communication 
  • Cognition 
  • Relational skills 
  • Reflective skills
  • Sustainable performance

 Ethical behaviour

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Students need a theoretical and practical awareness of the values of the scientific community and of the broader society, including responsible and ethical research practices, and to be able to behave in ways consistent with these values. 
  2. Students need to demonstrate ethical behaviour towards fellow students, College staff, and members of the wider community, as well as behaving with academic integrity.
  3. Why is ethical behaviour an inherent requirement?
    Compliance with recognised values of society, and the scientific discipline of psychology, facilitates safe and competent interactions and relationships for students and the people with whom they engage. This supports the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of all parties.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the ethical behaviour requirement must ensure that any policies or procedures are not compromised, or result in unethical behaviour.
  5. Examples of ways in which ethical behaviour applies to this course
    Appropriately acknowledging sources in the preparation of written assignments.
    Displaying sensitivity to others’ experiences and opinions in discussions as part of course work.
    Complying with codes and guidelines of ethical conduct with respect to research.
 Behavioural stability

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Behavioural stability is required for students to be able to function and adapt effectively in a program of study in psychology.
  2. Students need to demonstrate the ability to work constructively, both individually and with others, and to be accountable for their own actions, including a capacity to interact with sensitive materials relating to dimensions of human psychology.
  3. Why is behavioural stability an inherent requirement?
    Psychological training requires that students are able to apply psychological knowledge to personal development, including articulating ideas, regulating one’s emotions and behaviours, and solving everyday problems. 
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the behavioural stability requirement must support stable, effective and safe behaviour in academic settings.
  5. Examples of ways in which behavioural stability applies to this course
    Regulating emotional reactions to course related materials, which may be of a sensitive nature.
 Communication

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Effective written and verbal English language skills are essential to complete the academic requirements of this course.
  2. Students need to demonstrate capacity to develop coherent written and verbal communication in response to assessments.
  3. Why is communication an inherent requirement?
    Effective communication in a variety of formats and contexts, including presenting data and the results of statistical analyses, is an important psychology graduate attribute.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the communication requirement must not compromise the individual’s demonstration of their capacity to communicate ideas in an appropriate format.
  5. Examples of ways in which communication applies to this course
    Delivering oral presentations as part of assessments.
    Tailoring written communication style to a variety of different formats and data, such as essays, online discussion forums, and scientific reports.
 Cognition

This course requires knowledge of theory and the skills of cognition, literacy (language), and numeracy.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Effective cognitive skills are required to successfully navigate the academic requirements of the course.
  2. Students need to demonstrate the capacity to process, synthesise, and recall information.
  3. Why are knowledge and cognitive skills inherent requirements?
    Understanding, applying, and evaluating psychological knowledge requires the ability to locate and integrate information from a range of sources.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the knowledge or cognitive skills requirements must not compromise the student’s capacity to demonstrate their individual knowledge and cognitive skills.
  5. Examples of ways in which knowledge and cognitive skills apply to this course
    Selecting and evaluating relevant information in order to prepare a critical review of the literature.

Literacy (language)

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Competent literacy skills are essential to ensure the comprehension and communication of discipline knowledge.
  2. Students need to demonstrate:
    The ability to comprehend written information in English presented in a variety of styles.
    The capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner.
  3. Why is literacy (language) an inherent requirement?
    The demonstration of understanding of major concepts, theories, and scientific findings, and the ability to explain these, is an important psychology graduate attribute.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the literacy (language) requirement must not compromise the student's ability to demonstrate the minimum acceptable capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information.
  5. Examples of ways in which literacy (language) applies to this course
    Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic conventions, including avoidance of plagiarism.
    Reading and synthesising written instructions in order to understand and respond to assessment requirements.

Numeracy

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential to the comprehension and application of scientific method.
  2. Student demonstrates:
    Capacity to accurately interpret numerical measurements and analyses in computerised formats using statistical software.
  3. Why is numeracy an inherent requirement?
    The ability to read, decode, interpret, and communicate numerical information is essential to the scientific basis of psychology.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the numeracy requirement must not compromise the student's ability to demonstrate the capacity to competently and accurately manage numerical data.
  5. Examples of ways in which numeracy applies to this course
    Performing calculations and statistical analysis using statistical software packages and other tools, such as calculators and online resources.
 Relational skills

Inherent requirement statements

  1. The discipline and profession of psychology requires respectful academic, personal, and professional relationships with others.
  2. Students need to demonstrate:
    Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with academic staff and peers.
    Capacity to demonstrate high standards of personal integrity in relationships with others.
  3. Why are relational skills an inherent requirement?
    Working respectfully with others in groups and dyads is essential to successfully complete the course.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the relational skills requirement must permit students to demonstrate effective relational skills. 
  5. Examples of ways in which relational skills applies to this course
    Relating effectively, openly, and sensitively to academic staff and peers to facilitate an effective learning environment and manage one’s own academic progress.
    Demonstrating sensitivity to others personal and cultural values in class discussions.
 Reflective skills

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Students require the capacity to apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organisational issues.
  2. Students need to demonstrate:
    Capacity to reflect on personal experiences and learn from them.
    Insightful awareness of one’s feelings, motives, and attitudes based on psychological principles.
    Capacity for independent learning in a changing scientific and professional context.
  3. Why are reflective skills inherent requirements?
    The ability to understand and apply psychological principles to a wide range of situations and contexts is a key graduate attribute of psychology students, and the capacity for reflection is an important component of this process.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the reflective skills requirement must not compromise the student’s ability to demonstrate an acceptable minimum capacity in this area.
  5. Examples of ways in which reflective skills apply to this course
    Identifying how one's ability to relate to others may impede or enhance work with peers and academic teachers in classroom practice settings.
    Accurately assessing one’s own performance in assessments and integrating feedback effectively into subsequent tasks.
  Sustainable performance

Inherent requirement statements

  1. Successful completion of this course requires achievement of a minimum level of sustained mental and physical stamina.
  2. Students need to demonstrate:
    Capacity to meet minimum attendance requirements.
    Capacity to complete all compulsory assessments.
    Capacity to complete the course units within the maximum period of enrolment.
    Capacity to complete examinations.
  3. Why is sustainable performance an inherent requirement?
    Minimum attendance requirements and compulsory assessments are features of the course.
  4. Adjustments offered by ACAP to assist students to meet the sustainable performance requirement must facilitate the completion of compulsory components of the course within acceptable timeframes.
  5. Examples of ways in which sustainable performance applies to this course
    Attendance at scheduled tutorials in each unit of enrolment
    Maintaining an adequate completion rate of units to ensure course completed within the maximum allowable duration.
    Completion of examinations under appropriate conditions are a requirement of many units.