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

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

Psychology Monash - Fact Sheet

Ever wondered how our brains work? Interested in human behaviour and why we act and react in certain ways? Well, a Psychology Monash degree may be the perfect next step for you! 

You can study all there is to know about the psyche and be set on a path to becoming a practicing psychologist! 

Now, if you keep scrolling, you’ll find out everything there is to know about the units, culture, assessments and what it’s really like studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Monash Uni.

Let’s go! 

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

What is a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Monash Uni?

A Bachelor of Psychology at Monash is the perfect option for students hoping to develop an in-depth understanding of human cognition, behaviour, cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology. 

Essentially, you’ll be learning to understand how people behave, think and feel in different circumstances, stages of life and in the face of trauma. It’s a super interesting and relevant discipline that is persistently in demand — especially now when going to a psychologist is becoming less and less stigmatised. 

At Monash, you’ll be taking a broad range of subjects that teach an extensive understanding of psychology as a discipline and as a vehicle of support. Specifically, you’ll gain an in-depth insight into:

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

Plus, your core psychology units are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) — if that doesn’t speak to the professional nature of the course, I’m not sure what will! 

If these features of the Bachelor of Psychology at Monash appeal to you, maybe you should apply! You can take a better look at Psychology at Monash right here

Honours

It’s probably pretty clear to see that the Bachelor of Psychology at Monash does in fact include an Honours year. 

Honours is basically an additional year of study that aims to get you entirely confident and prepared for working in the real world. Like your core units, the Honours year is accredited by the Australian Psychological Accreditation which will provide you with that extra security to begin work as a provisional psychologist straight out of uni!

The Honours year teaches advanced theoretical and practical psychology that will come in handy as you work towards writing your research thesis. 

However, it’s good to remember that you don’t automatically qualify for the Honours program even if you’re accepted into this particular degree. Honours for Psychology can be a little tricky to get your head around. Essentially, you’re required to achieve a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 70 to be considered for the Honours part of the course. 

You can find out more about the Honours requirements here

If you don’t quite get the right uni marks for a fourth year of study, you have the option to exit your degree after 3 years with a Bachelor of Psychological Science. Once you graduate from the Bachelor of Psychological Science, you could also consider the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program or the Bachelor of Science (Honours) program. So, you’ve got quite a few options if you get to your third year of psychology and decide against the Honours component. 

Career Paths

As a graduate from the Bachelor of Psychology at Monash Uni, you’ll be prepared and qualified for a number of positions that go far beyond a practicing psychologist.

Of course, if you graduate and want to work as a psychologist, then all power to you — that’s great! But sometimes it is good to be reminded that you don’t have to become a psychologist.

There are loads of other options! Here are a few:

    • Counsellor 
    • Educational and development psychologist 
    • Child psychologist 
    • Human resources specialist 
    • Marketing specialist 
    • Probation and parole officer
    • Research psychologist 
    • Social worker 
    • Welfare support workers 
    • Personal care consultants 
    • Prison psychologist

Or you could commit to some further study and become a teacher, go into neuroscience or stick to academia! Whatever you pursue, having a background in psychology will be valued in any position and field. 

Learn more about what a Psychologist does here!

Core Units for this Degree

To graduate from the Bachelor of Psychology at Monash Uni, you’ll need to complete a total of 192 credit points. Credit points are pretty much the university’s way to measure the workload of a particular subject.

At Monash, most of your subjects will be 6 credit points each so that means you’ll be taking 4 subjects each semester and 8 each year if you’re wanting to graduate in 4 years. 

At Monash the kinds of subjects you’ll be doing are broken up into 4 distinct categories. These include:

    • Psychology fundamentals and foundational skills
    • Research methods and critical thinking
    • Psychology in practice and society
    • Free electives

Each of these will teach slightly different topics but altogether, they’ll give you the perfect balance of theory, practice, and elective learning so you can broaden your knowledge and test out new classes! 

What are the Core Units?

The core units that you’ll be required to take during your degree include:

Core UnitsDescription
Mental Health in the CommunityThis subject will teach the challenges that come with mental health difficulties. You’ll be learning all about the biological, psychological facts which can impact both the individual and the wider community. You’ll also get to know how the mental health system works in Australia. 
Psychological Testing, Theories of Ability and EthicsIn this core unit, you’ll be introduced to the standard psychological tests and theories that are widely used in clinical practice, educational settings and corporate organisation. You’ll also get to know the ethical, legal and professional responsibilities of psychologists.  
Public Health and Preventative MedicineThis subject will cover the epidemiological and statistical concepts that are applied to population health and biomedical literature. You’ll consider the fundamental issues and complications involved in biomedical research and population health.  
Addiction StudiesIn this unit, you’ll be introduced to the issues pertaining to addictive behaviours. You’ll be developing a general insight into behavioural addictions such as substance use and gambling — while considering theories and treatment to explain and prevent addictive behaviours.
Neuroimaging for Neuroscience ResearchThis subject will introduce you to brain structure imagery! Cool! In this class, you’ll get to test the different techniques, methods and evidence on the brain — especially its function in health and disease.
Ethics, Legal and Professional Issues in PsychologyHence the title, in this unit you’ll be learning all about the ethics, laws and professional issues involved in psychology. You’ll learn about the practical issues, conceptual issues, the codes of professional conduct, children as clients, psychological tests and managing depressed clients. It’ll be pretty heavy, but it’s so important. 
Psychological Assessment and InterventionYour last core unit will be all about the theoretical and practical background of individual differences, how these are evaluated and treated.

And those are your core units! It’s always nice to have a somewhat structured degree because it means that you’ll be with the same cohort and you’ll likely have classes with people that you know.

There are a few other prescriptive parts of your degree so you can always take a look for yourself here!   

Some of your classes will be pretty intense but it just means that you’re gaining the knowledge to treat and support people in those heavy situations. 

Is there a built-in internship program?

Monash Uni offers plenty of internship opportunities for psychological science students but it’s not a requirement of the program. 

The main subject that you can opt-in to take is the Psychology Impact Placement class. This elective unit provides psychology students with the opportunity to be placed as interns with partner organisations.

This is a great option for anyone wanting help to get some extra experience or want to sprinkle some pizazz on their resumes. This class has 5 potential avenues to explore:

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

So, no, there is not a required built-in internship program but there is one that’s easy to enrol in and you’ll be supported along the way! 

You can take a broader look at Monash’s placement opportunities right here

 

How to Get into a Bachelor of Psychology at Monash Uni

To be eligible for a spot in the Bachelor of Psychology program at Monash, you’ll need to achieve an ATAR of at least 78. But there is absolutely no need to stress if you haven’t quite gotten the mark.

There are some other ways to get in because Monash knows that a single mark does not indicate your abilities, goals or aspirations. 

Alternate Pathways

Since the degree is quite competitive, there aren’t a huge amount of opportunities to gain extra credit unless you’ve undergone prior university studies. If you have, then definitely find some more information here

Another option is to apply for a Bachelor of Arts at Monash and major in subjects that will provide foundations for further psychological studies. You could major in disciplines like sociology, anthropology, criminology or human rights. With this, you could apply to transfer into the Bachelor of Psychology! 

In the same way, you could study a Bachelor of Science at Monash and major in something like genetics, developmental biology, human pathology or even psychology!

So, while there aren’t too many alternative avenues directly into the Bachelor of Psychology, you have plenty of opportunities to take the scenic route! You can study a different degree with a focus in psychological sciences and apply to transfer later on. 

Any assumed knowledge?

Nope! As long as you graduated from Year 12 with some kind of English under your belt, you’re good to go! 

Otherwise, Monash offers alternative information for potential students who have TAFE qualifications, higher education or work and life experience. 

You can check these all out here!  

Scholarships

Monash offers a wide scope of scholarships for potential students on account of a variety of reasons. Monash knows that not everyone who wants to go to uni has the means of doing so — that’s why Monash is committed to providing a number of scholarships. 

These can be awarded on the basis of financial hardship, difficult personal experiences, if you have a disability or medical condition, if you’re from a low socio-economic area, if you’re an Indigenous Australian or you’re a mature aged student. 

You can find the scholarship that’s right for you right here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

As a student in the Bachelor of Psychology course at Monash Uni, your annual studies will be divided into two main sessions. So, you’ll be studying through the semester system with some pretty generous breaks in between.

If you’re someone that values your long breaks as a chance to replenish, Monash may be perfect for that. 

Class Structure

Psychology Monash - Class Structure

The majority of your units will be taught through a 1 hour lecture and a 2 hour tutorial each week. You’ll also take a couple subjects that will require a practical class alongside your tutorials and lectures. So, all up, you can expect to be required to attend 4 lectures and 4 tutorials each week. 

This means that you’ll be on campus for at least 15 hours a week to account for all your classes and some individual study where you may want to focus on study, assessments or other projects! It sounds a little daunting but you can be confident that the time will fly by. 

Lectures 

There’s a pretty standard procedure that most lectures will typically follow. You’ll be situated in a lecture theatre with around 100 other students (although this depends heavily on the kind of class) and you’ll spend the next hour or so listening to what the lecturer has to say. Usually they’ll be explaining the content on a Powerpoint. 

While a lecture is quite a passive experience, they still require you to be pretty on the ball so that you’re taking notes and considering some questions you may want to ask your tutor later in the week. Lectures typically inform future tutorials so it’s always a good idea to get your head around the content beforehand.  

Tutorials 

Similar to lectures, you’ll have a tutorial for each of your subjects. These will run for about 2 hours and there’ll be around 25 other students in the classroom with you. 

Tutorials are similar to what your classes look like in high school. There’ll be a tutor up the front and the class will usually involve you asking questions, facilitating discussions and working on group projects. Tutorials are also the perfect place to get to know the other students in your cohort and solidify some long term friendships. 

Practicals 

Like we mentioned, you won’t be having a practical class for all of your subjects. Instead, practicals are generally used for your more science-related units like biology, radiology and physiology. 

Practical classes will be pretty similar to your tutorials whereby there’ll be up to 30 people in a class at a time and they’ll usually go on for about an hour. These classes will give you a chance to apply your theory into practice. 

What are the assessments like?

“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.” Aaron Tomaselli, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) III at Monash University 

Like all other degrees, the kinds of assessments that you’ll be expected to do will vary a lot. This is especially relevant to psychology because alongside understanding how different people react, you’ll also be learning all about statistics, neurology and a bit of physiology.

Psychology covers incredibly broad content which is great because you’re never going to get bored! 

You’ll do some weekly online quizzes, essays, presentations, exams and group projects! 

Skills You Refine and Learn 

Psychology Monash - Skills

At Monash, you’ll be developing plenty of valuable and transferable skills from statistical comprehension to oral speaking. You’re going to be doing a bit of everything to be able to effectively understand the psyche and then consider strategies and ideas to alleviate any issues.

Some of the skills that you’ll refine and learn in the Bachelor of Psychology course include:

    • Communication 
    • Interpersonal skills 
    • Collaboration 
    • Critical thinking 
    • Empathy 
    • Listening skills 
    • Time management 
    • Problem solving skills 
    • Conceptual reasoning 
    • Numeracy and computer literacy 

Especially if you’re considering becoming a practicing psychologist, your communication, empathy, listening and interpersonal skills are going to be on point. Alongside these you’re going to be needing some tough skin too.

Listening and helping people through their problems may become pretty draining if you’re not able to distance yourself from the matter. So, it’s all about maintaining a balance between the two. 

Psychology Monash - Quote

Most importantly, no one starts off with these skills. If they did, there would be no point for university! So, do not stress if you think that your collaborative or communication skills could be better — these are things that you’ll learn along the way. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

The Monash School of Psychological Sciences (the one you’re a part of) is an arm of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences faculty consists of 10 different schools and institutes! These include the Central Clinical School, Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Primary and Allied Health Care, Rural Health, Biomedical Sciences and Psychological Sciences.

So, you’ll be served by a wide range of staff with unlimited experience and wisdom to pass on. If you’re ever in need of support or academic assistance, just know that the School of Psychological Sciences is there to help you. 

As a student in the Bachelor of Psychology program, you can expect your cohort to be a group of caring, intelligent and committed students who are ready to put the work in!

A psychologist is someone you can trust, talk to and get along with. So, you can expect to make plenty of long term friendships with all of these budding psychologists! 

Clubs and Societies 

If you’re someone that values social groups and events, Monash would be the perfect place for you. With over 100 student-led clubs and societies, you’re bound to find a club that you enjoy. Whether you want to stick to your roots with the Monash Neuroscience and Psychology Society or you want to broaden your horizons and learn a new skill at the Creative Writers Club, Monash has got the one for you. 

Clubs and societies are a great way to find people with similar interests, socialise and experiment with new things! It’s a great idea to join a few as a first year. 

Resources 

As a student at Monash Uni, you can feel confident that you’ll be supported and cared for every step of the way. University can be a tricky time for some, especially when it comes to academic or social stress but luckily, Monash offers plenty of services to help out. 

You can access support services for mental health difficulties, disability services, course advice, academic assistance, language support or IT help. Whatever it is, Monash is there to help.

You can take a look at Monash’s Health and Wellbeing page here and you can check out Monash’s study support page 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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