Psychology Studies» open the printable major» search for more Areas of Study
PLEASE NOTE: This is a major within the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Science, and Bachelor of Science and is a completely separate degree to the Bachelor of Psychology.
This particular major is for students with a general interest in Psychology, and for those who see Psychology as complementary to their other majors within their degree. Psychology can be broadly defined as the scientific study of behaviour and its causes. It is a diverse discipline that investigates everything from the structure and function of brain cells through to the behaviour of people in social groups.
Graduates with a psychology major are valued by employers for their strong communication and analytical skills. Psychology is useful in any occupation that involves understanding and working with people. Students are encouraged to consider their choice of complementary electives/second major carefully, as these often play a role in determining the types of careers available to them. Generally, opportunities exist in a diverse range of areas including human resources, marketing and population research, community welfare, planning and administration.
A placement elective is available to Bachelor of Social Science students, which involves completing a social science research project with a relevant organisation.
Academic advice: view Study Pathways for this major »
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD). Postgraduate Coursework and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a degree with a major in Psychology Studies include:
These options provide great contribution to both your career and to the field of Psychology Studies. Click here to view research current research areas undertaken in psychology.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs for the Psychology Studies/Psychology major. Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained from a major in Psychology Studies / Psychology.
- Business Analyst/Consultant
- Data Analyst
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Grants Officer
- Health Promotion Officer
- Human Resources Officer
- Instructional Designer
- Intelligence Officer
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 find employment opportunities in a wide variety of industries in small, medium or large organisations. Below is an example of some of the large organisations that recruit this major. 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)
- Anglo Coal (International)
- ANZ (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Customs Service (Australia)
- Brotherhood of St Laurence (Australia)
- Centrecare (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Commonweatlh Rehabilitation Service (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Families and Community Services (Australia)
- Department of Health and Ageing (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Macquarie Bank (Australia)
- Mission Australia (Australia)
- National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (Australia)
- NSW Department of Community Services (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
- NSW Department of Juvenile Justice (Australia)
- NSW Police Recruitment (Australia)
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Australia)
- Salvation Army (Australia)
- The Samaritans (Australia)
- St Vincent de Paul (Australia)
- Sydney South West Area Health Service (Australia)
- Unilever (International)
- Westpac (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 Council of Social Services (ACOSS) (Australia)
- Australian Human Resources Institute (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Welfare and Community Workers (Australia)
- Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (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
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in Psychology Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:
- Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
- Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
- Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
- Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
- Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
- Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
- Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts graduates majoring in Psychology Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- An in-depth understanding of at least one specialist area in the Bachelor of Arts
- The capacity for analytical thinking and for creative problem solving
- Information literacy: skills in locating, evaluating and using relevant information
- Effective and appropriate communication skills, written and oral, across a range of forms
- Ethical sensitivity, including an awareness of ethical issues and standards within disciplines
- Intercultural awareness: a respect for and understanding of cultures other than one's own
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science graduates majoring in Psychology Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, a graduate will be able to demonstrate:
- In-depth knowledge and skills in a field of science with well-founded knowledge and skills in at least one field of science and a basic knowledge of at least one other field of science.
- Ability to effectively collect, analyse and organise scientific information.
- Ability to identify, define and analyse problems using scientific method to form and test hypotheses; the ability to apply statistical principles and logic; and use appropriate problem solving tools.
- Ability to report scientific findings in written, visual and verbal forms and to communicate a convincing and reasoned scientific argument at a level and style.
- Ability to work on a scientific activity both autonomously and collaboratively in a multidisciplinary environment with an ability to adapt to change, including new technologies and methods.
- Awareness of professional practice in relevant disciplines, including an understanding, appreciation and respect for appropriate conduct and practice.
Bachelor of Social Science
Bachelor of Social Science graduates majoring in Psychology Studies dies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- Advanced social research skills:
- In-depth knowledge and skills in the design and conduct of social research.
- The capacity to collect, organise, critically assess, and present information in written and oral forms.
- Specialist Social Science knowledge:
- Comprehensive knowledge of one or more specialist areas in the Social Sciences.
- Critical though and informed decision-making:
- The ability to structure and present logical arguments, critically analyse material and opinions, and make informed decisions.
- Effective management and teamwork skills:
- The ability to work autonomously and collaboratively, including effective leadership skills, teamwork, organisational and program management capabilities.
- High-level communication, interpersonal and presentation skills:
- Advanced level of written, oral, and interpersonal skills, including the effective use of information and communication technologies.
- Ethical and socio-cultural sensitivity:
- An understanding of ethical issues, standards, and public responsibility in relation to professional practice, including an appreciation of cultural diversity and sensitivity towards vulnerable and Indigenous groups.
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.