Now that you’ve read what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) at QUT, are you still wondering whether it’s the right degree for you? Are you looking for the best pathway to become a psychologist?
Whatever the reason is, knowing about the pros and cons of the course can shed light on your decision. In this article, we’ve asked Erin to reflect on her study experience studying Behavioural Science (Psychology) at QUT.
Let’s dive right in!
Why should you study a Psychology degree at QUT?
If you’re interested in taking on postgraduate study for psychology, a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) at QUT is a great undergraduate program which can lead as a pathway for further study. The course program offers many electives for single-degree students as well as a unique range of double degree options.
“The units in this Bachelor really give a good overview of all of the fields of Psychology and prepare you for postgraduate study as you’ll have a better idea of what you’re interested in,” Erin first tells us.
The course predominantly focuses on the study of psychology and graduates are awarded (partial) accreditation by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council for training in psychology. However, the course structure also compliments students who wish to try out a range of study areas and gain experience before deciding the direction of their career.
Top 3 Pros of a Psychology degree
#1: Great teaching staff
The QUT Psychology and Counselling School has a great set of teaching staff who are “mostly very engaging”. Student support is always encouraged, and staff are always happy to answer students’ questions or have a general chat about any concerns.
In addition, teaching staff are well-versed in the field of psychology with Doctors in Psychology. In addition, most lecturers also work as researchers and, thus, can provide up-to-date perspectives on current psychological research.
Having access to experienced and supportive staff is especially essential for students who wish to become an accredited psychologist.
At QUT, the pathway to becoming a psychologist requires completing a Honours and Masters program, where building a good supervisor-student relationship is fundamental to doing well in the thesis and dissertation component.
#2: Wide range of choice in the degree
Because a Bachelor of Behavioural Science is a broad degree, “There are options to choose electives in topics you are more interested in,” Erins says.
This caters to the various pathways of the Behavioural Science cohort. For single-degree students wishing to become a psychologist or counsellor, taking electives such as Advanced Social and Organisational Psychology or Counselling Theory and Practice 2 can deepen their level of knowledge and aid in deciding their thesis topics in their Honours program.
#3: Interdisciplinary course
One of the best things about the course is that it provides a competitive edge for double-degree students because of its interdisciplinary links to the Business and Humanities school.
While a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) focuses on the scientific theory of human behaviour, it provides highly transferable skills and knowledge as it is a human science — it can even be helpful to your daily life in relation to how you handle your personal or work relationships!
Top 3 Cons of a Psychology degree
#1: The 0% late assessment policy
“QUT has a 0% late policy meaning that any assessment submitted late receives a 0%,” says Erin. In fact, QUT is the only university in Australia that implements this policy.
While students can get extensions in advance, there is no consideration for last-minute reasons when it comes to submitting late assignments, even if a student’s laptop has crashed or any other reason. This is a severe punishment and can make assignment submissions near deadlines particularly anxiety-ridden for students.
#2: Harsh marking standards
While all students wish to get their highest GPA or WAM, Erin comments that, at times, “marking can be harsh”.
This affects students who take the postgraduate psychologist route. The Honours program requires Behavioural Science students to have at least a 5.0 GPA, and at least a 4.0 GPA on certain second and third year psychology units (requirements can be found here).
#3: Assessment deadlines often overlap
The course structure can feel unforgiving to many students: Erin tells us, “Oftentimes assignments will be due at the same time.”
Even when implementing good time management, juggling between 2-3 assessments is nonetheless difficult. Since the Behavioural Science assessments are heavily weighted from 20-50%, it can cause crucial shifts to a student’s unit grade if other personal commitments get in the way.
Erin says, “[I have] no regrets as I enjoy the degree but I do wish for some things at the university level to be changed.”
Generally speaking, a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) at QUT can create some unnecessarily stressful experiences for students as there isn’t much lenience in assessment timetables, assessment policies and marking approach.
What do you wish you had known before starting the degree?
“I wish I had known about the university policies with submitting assignments,” Erin iterates, “and maybe known about which electives are best to do.”
Since electives give the students some freedom to specialise their knowledge, reading up on what each elective encompasses and what semester the units are offered is highly recommended.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
The unique range of electives and double-degree options at QUT is what sets it apart from other universities. “I’m doing it as a double degree with Social Work which isn’t offered in many unis,” Erin says.
There are also 6 university-wide electives wherein students can study electives from different faculties such as Business and Law, Creative Industries, Engineering and Science — this helps diversify the student’s knowledge into different contexts!
What inspired you to choose this degree?
For Erin, “the offer of the double degree and the reputation that QUT has in their teaching and placement options” was what inspired her to choose this degree.
What are the possible career paths?
There are various paths that a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) at QUT provides, which can further be diversified by pursuing a double-degree or postgraduate study. Career options include:
- Family services officer
- Disability services worker
- Human resources manager (with a Bachelor of Business)
- Market researcher (with a Bachelor of Business)
- Psychologist (requires postgraduate study)
- Social worker (with a Bachelor of Social Work)
- Youth worker
Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.