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There exist two exit options for students enrolled in a Bachelor of Psychology. After three years of full-time study, a student may graduate with a Bachelor of Psychological Science. After four years of full-time study, students graduate with an accredited Bachelor of Psychology – yet must undertake an additional two years of supervised employment before seeking accreditation as a practicing psychologist.
The Bachelor of Psychology equips students with a scientific knowledge of human behaviour and its causes. It is a diverse discipline that investigates the structure and function of brain cells, the behaviour of people in social groups, and the nature/nurture debate, amongst many other continuing and expanding issues.
Graduates can become in fields ranging from people-centred work in psychological assessment, counselling, community welfare, health promotion, business consulting and recruitment, through to research work in health, education, consumer behaviour, environmental behaviour, employment, criminology and sport. Psychology graduates also have the training to work in varying levels and departments of government and non-government organisations, in policy development, program management and administration. The types of jobs available to psychology graduates, however, will depend on the level and quality of qualifications they obtain (see below).
Graduates are eligible to apply for accreditation with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia, and associate membership with the Australian Psychological Society.
For information on the current areas of psychology research at the University of Newcastle, see the School of Psychology website.
Academic advice: view Study Pathways for this degree »
Fourth Year of Bachelor of Psychology Honours:
Honours is conferred for outstanding performance in the program overall. For more information, see Program Handbook. Entry into the Bachelor of Psychology Honours stream at 4th year requires a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.5 over all 1000, 2000 and 3000 level courses. Honours may assist entry into some postgraduate programs that are necessary for registration as a psychologist.
Further Study Options:
The following are postgraduate programs offered at the University of Newcastle that will lead to registration:
There are a very broad range of postgraduate course work programs that can provide specialist qualifications in other areas. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
Below is a sample of job titles and descriptions that includes positions suitable for graduates of the Bachelor of Psychology four year accredited program as well as positions that will require further study or experience, such as Clinicial Psychologists.
- Careers Counsellor
- Case Worker/Manager
- Clinical Psychologist
- Clinical Research Coordinator
- Community Development Worker
- Community Liaison Officer
- Coordinator of Social Services
- Juvenile Justice Officer
Graduates are also able to use the transferable skills gained in their studies to work outside the psychology fields. In some instances, further study and/or work experience may be required.
As well as the jobs listed above, there are many positions outside the general field of Psychology that graduates may pursue using the transferable skills gained in their studies. The list of job titles below shows examples of the type of jobs / careers graduates can diversify into; that might not necessarily be directly related to their degree.
- Access and Equity Advisor
- Art Therapist
- Business Analyst/Consultant
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- Disability Services Officer
- Genetic Counsellor
- Health Promotion Officer
- Human Resources Officer
- Instructional Designer
- Intelligence Officer
- International Aid/Development Worker
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Psychology graduates are employed across a variety of industries including health, business, education, administration and defense. Below is a sample of employers who recruit psychology graduates, including those organisations that have graduate programs.
Check employers’ websites for a section called Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs or similar titles. Some of these employers may offer vacation work opportunities.
- Accenture Australia Ltd (International)
- Anglicare (Australia)
- ANZ (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Customs Service (Australia)
- Australian Defence Force (International)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Centrecare (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- CRS Australia (Australia)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) (Australia)
- Deloitte (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Australia)
- Mars Australia (Australia)
- National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (Australia)
- NSW Department of Community Services (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
- Oxfam (International)
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Australia)
- Rehab Management (Australia)
- Salvation Army (Australia)
- The Samaritans (Australia)
- Telstra (Australia)
- UNICEF Australia (International)
- UnitingCare Ageing (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Australian and New Zealand Art Therapy Association (Australia)
- Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) (Australia)
- Australian Human Resources Institute (Australia)
- The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Welfare and Community Workers (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Psychology are the skills, abilities and knowledge that are required to practice in the psychology field. The attributes are highly sought after by an even broader range of employers. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
- Committed to utilisation of evidence-based practices in Psychology.
- Capable of locating and understanding relevant sections of the psychological literature in order to make informed decisions about best practices (good research consumers).
- Able to evaluate new practices and applications on the basis of evidence provided by others.
- Capable of directly contributing to the scientific evaluation of new practices and applications through the application of appropriate methodologies.
- Able to apply theoretical and empirical knowledge in a real-world context.
- Able to understand ethical principles involved in research and practice of psychology, and a commitment to act in an ethical manner.
- Able to use independent thinking in order to arrive at ethical solutions to a range of research and applied psychology problems.
- Able to understand the role of APS and registration boards in the training of psychologists.
- Able to understand the seven certificates required by the NSW Psychologist's registration board, and to be trained to a preliminary level in each of them.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.