BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at ANU

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at ANU

ANU Psychology - Fact Sheet

Have you been thinking about studying Psychology? Maybe you’re considering studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra?

If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered! Today we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about Psychology at ANU, including the types of subjects you take, assessments, cohort culture, and so much more!

Let’s jump straight into it!

What is a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at ANU?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at ANU
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at ANU?

Psychology (Honours) at ANU is a four-year degree as it includes an Honours year, which is the final year of the course. 

“There’s diversity and complexity in Psychology… Psychology is not just about mental health!” — Harshita Lawaina, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) IV at ANU

Studying Psychology allows you to learn about the different types of psychology and how you can apply this knowledge in different areas of health, such as neuroscience, counselling and much more. You delve into aspects of developmental, social, cognition psychology, and a number of others.


Psychology (Honours) is a single degree at ANU. However, if you are unable to meet the required ATAR of 90.00, you can alternatively complete a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) which is a three-year degree, meaning it does not include Honours.

If you really are determined to study Honours, there is an opportunity for you to apply to transfer in if you can maintain a high performance throughout your Bachelor of Science degree.

It’s important to note that in order to remain in a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at ANU you must maintain a weighted average mark (WAM) of 75% across your Psychology subjects each semester. If you are unable to meet this requirement, the university will transfer you to a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology.

Career Paths

Choosing to complete a Bachelor of Psychology as a single degree would most likely indicate that you’re focusing on becoming a Psychologist.

“With Psychology Honours, it’s a direct pathway to becoming a clinical or sport Psychologist, etc… If you don’t think you want to be a Psychologist, you might be better doing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology.” — Harshita Lawaina

Although this may make career options seem rather limited, there are actually a number of specialisations that you could choose to follow for a career as a graduate.

Some career paths you could venture into are:

    • Clinical psychologist
    • Welfare carer
    • Developmental psychologist 
    • Case manager
    • Child psychologist
    • Counsellor
    • Organisation psychologist

Core Units for this Degree

With Psychology, you need to take core subjects throughout first and second year. In third year you’re given a bit more choice and flexibility in the subjects you complete!

The core subjects you need to take are:

    • Psychology 1: Understanding Mind, Brain and Behaviour
    • Psychology 2: Understanding People in Context
    • Social Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Biological Basis of Behaviour
    • Cognition
    • Quantitative Methods in Psychology
    • Advanced Research Methods
    • Psychopathology Across the Lifespan
    • Personality Psychology

ANU Psychology - Quote

In first year, you’ll take Psychology 1 and 2. 

Psychology 1: Understanding Mind, Brain and Behaviour (PSYC1003) is all about introducing you to the main types of Psychology as you look into different theories and forms of research. It’ll also give you insight into the statistical side of Psychology and the importance of ethics.

In Psychology 2: Understanding People in Context (PSYC1004) you will extend on the main types of Psychology by applying your knowledge to research and the current world. It’ll get you asking questions about society and our interactions!

Quantitative Methods in Psychology (PSYC2009) will get you interacting with the field work and practical side of Psychology in collecting data and conducting different methods of research, specifically quantitative research.


Essentially, Psychology is your major, and you can also choose to minor in other subject areas. This could be almost anything — from French to Biology, Ecology, or even Management!

If you wish to complete a double major, you unfortunately cannot do that with Psychology (Honours) at ANU.

Are there built-in internships?

Psychology (Honours) at ANU doesn’t provide accredited internships as it is quite a research focused degree; meaning that if you choose to complete an internship on your own, it won’t count towards your degree — it would be something you complete at your own will. 

However, being very research orientated, Psychology at ANU does provide you with the opportunity to gain experience as a research assistant.

“So you’re doing a research course where you gather data and apply report writing, but you need good grades to get in.” — Harshita Lawaina


How to Get into Psychology (Honours) at ANU

The Psychology (Honours) degree at ANU requires an ATAR of 90 to get in.

However, it is also common for students to enter a Bachelor of Science and major in Psychology, which requires an ATAR of 80. You can then transfer to Honours later on in the degree!

Although there are no subject prerequisites for Psychology at ANU, Year 12 students applying for the degree need to have co-curricular or service experience. You can find out about these requirements in more detail here.

There are also adjustment factors, which are like bonus points, that are applicable to different students depending on their situation during high school. This could include elite athletes or someone who has experienced some sort of disadvantage during their studies.


Although there are no specific scholarships for Psychology at ANU, you can apply for a number of different university-wide scholarships that apply to your circumstances. You can also apply for scholarships within the Science faculty. 

What’s the Teaching Format?

ANU runs in a semester format, and Psychology has a combination of tutorials and lectures. 

Class Structure

ANU Psychology - Class Structure


Run for 3 hours, and you can have around 4 tutorials a semester, but this depends on the subject. Classes usually have 25 students. 

Tutorials are your main point of contact when interacting with other students. You get to engage in group discussions and prepare for assessments with guidance from your tutor.


Can run for 2 hours a week, or can be broken up into smaller sessions such as 3 lectures which are 45 minutes each.

Lectures have up to 250 students and are not compulsory to attend as they are recorded. Lecturers go through content and theory, so these classes are more of a one way learning space. 

How much time do you spend on campus?

Your timetable as a Psychology student at ANU will vary from week to week, so your contact hours differ depending on the week and also the other subjects you take. Generally speaking, you can expect 12 to 15 contact hours a week if you attend tutorials and lectures. 

What are the assessments like?

“The great thing about Psychology is that there’s a mixture of everything — quizzes, exams, essays… there’s a little bit of everything, so definitely play to your strengths!” — Harshita Lawaina

Depending on the subject, you could be given options with the type of assessment you do. So, instead of doing 5 quizzes, you could instead read and analyse an article.

You are also given opportunities to complete extra credit work which can help increase your marks, especially if you want to excel as an Honours student. 

Want to learn about the pros and cons of this degree? Check out our article here!

Skills That You Refine and Learn

ANU Psychology - Skills

As Psychology really is an amalgamation of science, a bit of maths, and humanities, you develop a diverse pool of skills!

    • Analytical skills: Psychology is all about analysis; analysing different behaviours or theories that you learn about. So it’s a skill you’ll definitely find yourself using often if you study Psychology.
    • Ability to take on different perspectives: Part of analysing is understanding different perspectives and being able to consider an opposing view.
    • Empathy: As a Psychologist you will need empathy to engage with your patients, which is why it’s a skill you’ll strengthen throughout the course. Being able to understand the feelings of a patient and understand their perspective is vital in providing relevant treatment.
    • Communication: It goes without saying that communication is essential in all fields of work, and Psychology is no exception! Having the ability to communicate clearly with patients is important to ensure that they understand your recommendations. 

“With Psychology, you always go a step deeper, you learn to see situations from such a diverse range of perspectives… like if someone is from a different socio-economic background.” — Harshita Lawaina

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

There’s a great faculty of academics and researchers in Psychology at ANU. 

At the end of the day, “It’s up to you, you have to be self-driven. I’ve found the class tutors to be incredibly helpful. The faculty is so approachable…” — Harshita Lawaina

Vibe/Culture of Psychology at ANU

The overall culture of the Psychology cohort at ANU is described as friendly in comparison to the holistically competitive nature of the university.

“ANU is quite competitive as a whole… but Psychology is quite collaborative because you can’t really cheat. In essays you have your own creative freedom and can interpret the question as you like… tutorials are also a great opportunity to meet people!” — Harshita Lawaina

As for societies, there is the ANU Psychology Society which provides you with a great platform for getting to know people in your cohort and networking. The Psychology Society also hosts a number of social events and career information. 

Accessibility and Support Programs

There is an Academic Skills Program run by Student Services which is a great place to receive help with editing essays! It’s led by PHD students which means that they are familiar with the content you’re learning and have experience in those subject areas. 

In terms of access and inclusion, there is the Education Access Plan (EAP) for students with disabilities. The EAP helps support students by providing special considerations or extensions. 

“ANU is incredibly supportive in catering to students with mental health needs.” — Harshita Lawaina

Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.   


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