BlogUniversityPros and Cons of a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Monash University

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Monash University

Now that you’re completely up to date with what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Psychology at Monash Uni, it would be totally understandable if you were scouring the internet for an opinion of the course!

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered!

Meet Aaron, a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student who had all the answers to all of our questions. He took us through the pros and cons, the ups and downs, the ins and outs and what it’s really like studying Psychology at Monash. 

Let’s dive in! 

Why should you study a Psychology degree at Monash?
Top 3 Pros of a Psychology Degree
Top 3 Cons of a Psychology Degree
Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make
Things to Know Before Starting Monash Psychology
What Makes this Degree Different
Motivations for Studying Monash Psychology
Potential Career Paths

Why should you study a Psychology degree at Monash?

Good question! From our conversation with Aaron, it’s clear that he has thoroughly enjoyed his degree so far. As a third year psychology student at Monash, Aaron has found the degree extremely supportive and a great fit with his future goals. 

Monash Psychology - Quote

The Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree at Monash Uni is one that provides an extensive and accredited insight into human behaviour, cognition, cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. Your core psychology units are accredited by the Australia Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) so you’ll be developing the professional knowledge and practical skills recognised by Australia’s main psychology body! 

Throughout your psychology course at Monash, you can expect to gain an in-depth understanding of the way people behave, think, feel, interact and respond to different situations, stages of life and traumatic events. You’ll be learning all about humans and their brains, so it’s an ever-relevant degree that is persistently in demand. 

It would be a great option for those wanting to help, support and counsel a wide range of people. So, if you’re empathetic, a good listener, a strong communicator and want the best for everyone — perhaps a Monash Psychology degree would be perfect for you! 

While you’ll be taking a broad range of subjects that cover all sorts of different areas of psychology, you’ll gain a specific insight into:

    • Addiction and mental health 
    • Brain injury and rehabilitation 
    • Ageing and neurodegeneration 
    • Neurodevelopment 
    • Psychopathology 
    • Sleep and circadian rhythms  

If these subjects are piquing your interest, you should take a broader look at the degree and Monash’s Psychology handbook

Top 3 Pros of a Psychology degree

#1: The various post-grad opportunities 

According to Aaron, Monash’s wide scope of postgraduate options is an aspect of the course that he really values. As someone hoping to transition into an ABA therapist for children with autism, Aaron has been pleased to find the various opportunities for his next step in the psychology world.

He explained, There are great post-grad options at Monash from this degree — both in psychology and other disciplines. Within psychology, there are plenty of clinical and research pathways for masters, but our degree also gives us access to several science, teaching, and even business related masters options.” 

The Master of Professional Psychology is Monash’s main pathway for psychology students wanting to gain a generalist fifth year of study to meet the requirements of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulations Agency (AHPRA).

To be eligible to apply for the Master of Professional Psychology at Monash, you’ll need to graduate with at least a high credit average during your fourth year of psychology. Of course this option isn’t compulsory, especially since this degree has an Honours year already. Even so, it’s a program that teaches advanced psychotherapeutic skills.

#2: Great internship options 

“There are plenty of research internship opportunities. Each Bachelor of Psychology student has the opportunity to participate in research internships during the semester. The opportunity to participate in real-life research is a massive pro to studying this degree,” Aaron told us. 

While there isn’t an in-built internship program as part of the Bachelor of Psychology course at Monash, there are still loads of opportunities to gain experience, enhance your network and add some great points to your resume. 

The main subject that you can elect to take to get involved in one of Monash’s placement programs is the Psychology Impact Placement class. This opt-in subject allows Psychology students to gain academic credit for working as interns in partner organisations.

There are 5 potential avenues that students can intern at:

    • Global settings like international and mental health placements 
    • Health and community settings like non-for-profit organisations 
    • Research settings like MICCN laboratories 
    • Clinical settings like psychology clinics 
    • Industry settings like biotechnology organisations 

To get a better idea of Monash’s placement opportunities, check them out here

#3: Dedicated and passionate staff

Another great feature of the Bachelor of Psychology degree at Monash Uni, according to Aaron, is the supportive, dedicated and welcoming staff who are always willing to provide a helping hand. 

“There are great tutors who are always ready to help. The unit coordinators are usually quite busy, but our tutors are always amazing at answering any and all questions we have to help keep us on the right track. Tutors make the tutorials quite interesting and engaging. Importantly, most of the tutors actually studied our degree, so they know what we want or don’t want in our tutorials,” Aaron explained. 

As a student in the Bachelor of Psychology degree at Monash, you’ll be served by a multitude of experienced staff and teachers positioned within the Monash School of Psychological Sciences.

The school is an arm of The Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences faculty, so not only will you have access to professional psychology researchers, but you’ll also get to know the staff involved in Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Biomedical Sciences and Primary and Allied Health Care at Monash. 

 

Top 3 Cons of a Psychology degree

#1: Sometimes the course isn’t organised 

At least in Aaron’s experience, he found that there were times when he thought Monash could have been a little more clear with the information that they were giving their students.

For example, Aaron told us, Units can be disorganised at times — some forum posts have taken up to a week to be answered. We have also seen, a number of times, inaccurate due dates on Moodle or missing assignment resources.” 

Of course, this won’t always be the case and will depend on the classes you take, your tutors and your personal experience. Just like all of the answers Aaron has provided us with, it’s good to remember that no one will have the exact same experience at uni. The aspects that Aaron loved may be the parts that you will like the least — you’ll never know! 

Speaking of assessments, Aaron explained, Assessments are quite research-heavy, such as lab-reports, essays and literature reviews. However we also have had exposure to more practical assessments, such as oral presentations and clinic reports.” 

#2: Harsh grading 

Assignment grades can be harsh. This comes as a result of the competitiveness of the degree and limited honours spots; compared to Arts units, for example, where the median mark is a lot lower,” Aaron said. 

And he’s right! Not only is Psychology quite a competitive degree in general but Monash is known for being a competitive and prestigious school. Monash is a member of the Group of Eight and is known for its often tricky entry requirements.

Don’t let that deter you though! There are plenty of alternative avenues into the Psychology degree and as long as you take the initiative to complete extra study, chat with your tutors and keep up with the uni material, you’ll be good to go! 

#3: Minimal contact hours 

Aaron also explained that another more negative feature of the Bachelor of Psychology at Monash is the minimal contact hours. These contact hours have also been particularly affected in the past year as a result of COVID-19 so now, universities are just trying to get back on their feet. 

“There aren’t as many contact hours as I would like. I really enjoy tutorials where I can interact with my tutors and other students, however most tutorials are only once every fortnight,” Aaron explained. 

While your Psychology degree will be typically broken up into lectures, tutorials and practical classes, your contact hours will vary depending on your class structure, the amount of online or independent learning and whether the risk of COVID is gone for good! 

Any regrets? 

Aaron told us that he didn’t have any specific regrets when it came to choosing to study a Bachelor of Psychology at Monash. Even so, there were a few aspects that he wished were a tad different. 

“While I can sometimes be frustrated by the lack of responsiveness from unit coordinators or the harsh marking, I have learned a lot during my degree and made some valuable connections. This degree has given me a lot of insight into what working as a psychologist might look like, and has taught me what I do and do not like within the field,” Aaron explained. 

So, despite the cons listed above, Aaron has no regrets when it comes to his uni choice. If you’re tossing up the possibility of studying psychology at Monash, this may be your sign! 

What do you wish you had known before starting the degree? 

#1: The marking system is different to high school 

Aaron told us that an aspect of uni that took him a little longer to get used to was the difference between ‘successful’ high school grades and university marks. It can feel a little discouraging if you’re someone that excelled academically in high school but has received some lower marks in uni. But Aaron is here to tell you that the system is totally different. 

I wish I knew that a 70% is not a bad score. Yes, in high school a 70% is barely a C-, but for this degree if you’re getting 70% or higher, you are doing a great job!” Aaron said. 

You can take a look at the best ways to figure out Monash’s grading system right here

#2: Always read the assessment criteria and ask questions 

Additionally, Aaron emphasised the importance of reading and understanding your subject outline and assessment criteria. Better yet, have conversations with your tutors to fully wrap your head around what they’re looking for. 

Read assignment instructions carefully and do not be afraid to ask your tutors questions. A few times throughout my degree I’ve been confused about the instructions for assignments and felt too embarrassed to ask my tutors questions. However, whenever I have had good communication with tutors about assignments, I seem to do well as they’re the one’s marking it. So, it’s important to know what they do and don’t want to see,” Aaron explained.

What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities? 

What made Monash stand out most to Aaron was the variety of postgraduate and research options that the uni offered. Aaron added, “Monash is also a very competitive university, so accepting a spot there was a no brainer.”

Psychology at Monash would be a great option for students looking for a prestigious and distinguished education from a widely respected institution. As a student at Monash, you’ll have access to over 30 exchange countries, flexible degree options, qualified staff and researchers, and specialist facilities with advanced neuroimaging technology, virtual reality studios and dedicated sleep labs. 

So, alongside the aspects that Aaron has mentioned above, Monash’s facilities, staff and resources make it a great option!

You can get to know psychology at Monash a little more right here

What inspired you to choose this degree?

“I’ve always had a passion for helping people, and psychology is of high interest to me. After taking psychology in high school, I was instantly drawn to the course due to how many career options there are within the field as well as the importance it has for mental health in today’s society. I felt as though this degree would give me several skills not only in the world of psychology but beyond,” Aaron explained. 

With the goal of becoming a practicing psychologist, Psychology at Monash has been the perfect fit for Aaron. Since he realised how much he enjoyed the discipline during high school, it was just a matter of finding the perfect university to support his endeavours. It sounds like Monash has been just that. 

What are the possible career paths?

Monash Psychology - Careers

The cool thing about a psychology degree is that it can take you to almost any industry. There are always going to be people who need some extra support or want someone to talk to, so once you become qualified, the world is kind of your oyster.

Your main option is to become a practicing psychologist. You could work for a company or create your own — but that’s not your only option! 

In fact, the other professions you could consider are almost limitless. You could specialise in child counselling, prison psychology, social work or you could even stick to academia or get some further study and become a teacher! 

To learn more about a career as a Psychologist, check out our article here!


Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!

 

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