Psychology Fourth Year Program

Honours in Psychology can be studied as the 4th year of study in the following degrees. The Honours Program is the same regardless of the course in which you are enrolled:

The Bachelor of Psychology with Honours degree — BPsych(Hons) — is an integrated four-year degree with progression requirements that students must satisfy to remain in the degree. Provided these progression requirements are met, entry into the 4th year is guaranteed. The content of the 4th year program for the BPsych(Hons) is the same as for BA(Hons), BSocSc(Hons) and BSc(Hons).

Other accredited Fourth Year program:

The 2016 GPA cut off for Honours was a GPA 6 and the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) GPA 5.3. Please be aware that this can change each year.

Honours in Psychology

Psychology Honours provides the opportunity to undertake advanced training in the conduct and evaluation of scientific research, and advanced study in preparation for further professional training in psychology. The program can be completed full-time (over one year) or part-time (over two years) as an on-campus or off‐campus student. Please note that full-time off-campus study requires special permission from the 4th Year Coordinator.

Entry Requirements

Students already enrolled in the Bachelor of Psychology with Honours degree at UNE will automatically progress into the Honours program, provided they have met the progression requirements of that degree.

Please note: Students already enrolled in our Bachelor of Psychology with Honours do not need to apply for Honours entry.

All other applicants who have completed a three year accredited sequence in psychology within the last 10 years MUST APPLY for entry to the Honours program. These students include 1) those who have completed our Graduate Diploma in Psychology; 2) those who have completed our Bachelor of Psychological Science or other accredited degree at UNE, and 3) those who have completed a 3 year accredited sequence elsewhere.

In these cases, Honours in Psychology is studied as a separate 4th year in the Bachelor of Arts [BA(Hons)], Bachelor of Social Science [BSocSc(Hons)], or Bachelor of Science [BSc(Hons)]. The program is the same regardless of the course in which you are enrolled. Please note: You should nominate the BA (Hons) course unless you have completed a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Social Science undergraduate degree.

Entry into Honours by application is based solely on academic merit, based on Grade Point Average (GPA) calculated according to the following formula:

  • PSYC200 Social Psychology
  • PSYC202 Research Methods and Statistics
  • PSYC213 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC206 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC371/471 Psychological Testing
  • PSYC372/472 Advanced Research Methods and Statistics
  • PSYC366/466 Biopsychology
  • One additional 300 level Psychology coded elective of your choice.

Students who are applying from outside UNE should compute their GPAs based on 200 and 300 level Psychology units completed at their institution that match most closely with the UNE core units listed above.

To compute your Psychology GPA, convert your grades to a numerical scale for the seven core units and one 300 level Psychology coded elective of your choice (i.e., 8 units in total) using the following conversion table. Sum the grade points and divide by 8.

Grade

Grade Point

HD

7

D

6

C

5

P

4

Note: If you have sat a unit twice, use only the most recent result for the unit. When applications are processed students will be ranked on the basis of their GPAs and the top applicants will be offered a place in the program (assuming all other previously stated entry requirements have been satisfied).

Meeting the minimum GPA does not guarantee an offer of a place in Honours. The number of Honours places are limited, which means that all applicants are ranked on their GPA and offers are made in the order of rank from the highest ranking applicant. Although the minimum entry standard is a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.25 across the eight designated units, the GPA required for Honours entry is currently expected to be approximately 6.00. Students who are not successful in obtaining a place in our Honours program will automatically be considered for a place in the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced).

Course Structure

The Honours program consists of 48-credit points consisting of the following units: PSYC421, PSYC422, PSYC423, PSYC424 and PSYC402H/403H.

Full-time students study all units concurrently in one year, whereas part-time students undertake PSYC421, PSYC422, PSYC423, and PSYC424 in the first year and PSYC402H or PSYC403H in the second year.

For part-time students, enrolment in PSYC402H/403H is dependent on successful completion of all components in the first year.

The course work consists of the following:

  1. PSYC421: Professional Practice 1 - Provides students with knowledge about the theoretical and empirical bases underpinning the construction, implementation and interpretation of the most widely used psychological tests and assessment approaches. The unit also provides students with knowledge about professional standards and ethics.
  2. PSYC422: Advanced Research Skills – Provides students with an advanced understanding of research design and research ethics, together with practical skills in advanced data analysis.
  3. PSYC423: Professional Practice 2 – Provides students with the opportunity to develop basic skills related to psychological interviewing and knowledge of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of evidence-based approaches to psychological interventions.
  4. PSYC424: Elective Reading Course – Students choose one topic from a range of applied or theoretical topics to develop an advanced understanding of a specific area within psychology. A list of elective reading units is provided later in this document.

All components require participation in seminars and activities at two mandatory Intensive Schools held at the UNE campus in Armidale in April and August. Students who fail to attend or are unable to attend the mandatory Intensive Schools will be unable to complete the program, and will be withdrawn from the program.

For 2017, the Intensive School dated are to be advised at a later date and can be found on the Courses and Units Catalogue, but will be 4 days in April and 4 days in August.

PSYC402H/403H comprises the second half of the 4th  Year Honours program in psychology and contains two components:

  1. Literature Review.  Students work with a research supervisor to complete a literature review and project proposal related to their research thesis topic.
  2. Research Project - Thesis. Requires students to pursue an independent research project in psychology under the supervision of an academic staff member. Students build their knowledge and understanding of the discipline through advanced empirical research and by communicating their findings in a professional, scientific format. Group data collection may be permitted when appropriate.

Full-­time students should contact potential supervisors towards the end of their undergraduate course. Part‐time students should do so during the August PSYC401H Intensive School. Please refer to the list of available academic supervisors and their areas of interest.

Please note that each academic staff member will be able to supervise only a small number of Honours students each year so it is possible that you will not be able to work with your preferred supervisor.

PSYC402H/403H students are required to attend an Intensive School in February to present their research proposals.  As noted earlier, students who fail to attend or are unable to attend the mandatory Intensive Schools will be unable to complete the program, and will be withdrawn from the program.

The PSYC402H/403H Intensive School will be held in February 2017.

PSYC402H and PSYC403H are equivalent in academic terms. Students who wish to conduct research projects involving biopsychology and/or neurophysiology should enrol in PSYC403H. PSYC403H enrolments attract additional government funding that helps offset the added expense associated with conducting research in these areas.

Structure of Honours Program

UnitComponents Contribution to Honours

PSYC421

1.Professional Practice 1

12.5%

PSYC422

2.Advanced Research Skills

12.5%

PSYC423

3. Professional Practice 2

12.5%

PSYC424

4. Elective Reading Unit

12.5%

PSYC402H

1. Literature Review

12.5%

2. Research Project

37.5%

Note: Students must achieve at least a pass grade in all components of the 4th year program to successfully complete the degree.

Elective Reading Units

The following reading course topics will be offered in 2016. Other topics will be added prior to the start of teaching in 2016. Students will be required to rank order their three  most preferred reading units when contacted in November. Every effort will be made to allocate students to one of their preferred units, but this may not always be possible.

Addictive Behaviour

Presenter: Dr Ian Price

Pre-requisites: None.

A wide range of behaviours that appear excessive or are associated with  negative consequences have been described as addictive behaviours, including drug use, gambling, internet use, eating, exercise, sex, and criminality. This unit will introduce you to diagnostic criteria, theoretical explanations, and treatment strategies associated with these behaviours.


Changing Behaviour for Personal and Public Benefit

Presenter: Professor Don Hine

Pre-requisite: None.

Many personal and societal problems can be framed in behavioural  terms.  To  effectively address issues like obesity, substance abuse and climate change, human behaviour must change. In this reading unit, we investigate what psychology knows about changing our own and others' behaviour  for  personal  and  public  benefit.  The  unit  will  review  relevant theoretical perspectives and empirical work, and  also  the  ethical  considerations  associated with implementing and evaluating behaviour change interventions. The role of emerging technologies as behaviour change agents will also be explored.


History and Theory of Psychology

Presenter: Dr Bruce Stevenson

Pre-requisite: None

This reading unit surveys developments in our understanding of the human condition, what we now refer to as psychology, over the last three millennia. It combines a study of what has happened and attempts to pick out the main themes that have persisted.  The aim is to provide a better understanding of current psychology, and the implications for where psychology might be heading in the future.


Neuroscience of Cognition and Behaviour

Presenter: Dr Andrew Talk

Pre-­‐requisite:  None

In this course we will examine the biochemical, morphological and electrophysiological mechanisms that underlie the storage and retrieval of information in neural systems. Our brains contain everything that we know about our lives and world, from how to ride a bike to our telephone numbers, and indeed, even our life stories. Neuroscientists over the past century have made great headway in identifying potential cellular mechanisms and critical brain areas for memory storage, and new discoveries are being reported every day.

Supervisors, supervisory areas and agreement form

Please reach an agreement with an academic staff member to supervise your research project.

A list of thesis supervisors and supervisory areas is available.

Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced)

The Graduate Diploma In Psychology (Advanced) provides the opportunity to undertake advanced training in the conduct and evaluation of scientific research (via a group research project) and advanced study in preparation for further professional training in psychology. The program can only be completed part‐time (over two years) as an on‐campus or off‐campus student.

Graduates from the program are eligible to: 1) apply for entry to our Master of Psychology (Clinical) program; 2) apply for entry to our Master of Professional Psychology program (the 5+ 1 route); or 3) seek supervision to become a registered psychologist. Enquiries about supervision and registration should be directed to the Psychology Board of Australia. The program is subject to HECS liability and UNE fees.

Entry Requirements

Students who have completed a three year accredited sequence in psychology within the last 10 years must APPLY for entry to the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced).

These students include 1) those who have completed our Graduate Diploma in Psychology; 2) those who have completed our Bachelor of Psychological Science, and 3) those who have completed a 3 year accredited sequence elsewhere.

Entry into the Graduate Diploma In Psychology (Advanced) is based solely on academic merit based on GPA calculated according to the following formula:

  • PSYC200 Social Psychology
  • PSYC202 Research Methods and Statistics
  • PSYC213 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC206 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC371/471 Psychological Assessment
  • PSYC372/472 Advanced Research Methods and Statistics
  • PSYC366/466 Biopsychology
  • One additional 300 level Psychology coded elective of your choice.

Students who are applying from outside UNE should compute their GPAs based on 200 and 300 level Psychology units completed at their institution that match most closely with the UNE core units listed earlier in this paragraph.

To compute your Psychology GPA, convert your grades to a numerical scale for the seven core units and one 300 level Psychology coded elective of your choice (i.e. 8 units in total) using the following conversion table. Sum the grade points and divide by 8.

Grade

Grade Point

HD

7

D

6

C

5

P

4

NOTE: If you have sat a unit twice, use only the most recent result for the unit. When applications are processed, students will be ranked on the basis of their GPAs and the top applicants will be offered a place in the program (assuming all other previously stated entry requirements have been satisfied).

The minimum entry standard is a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.00 across the eight designated units.

However, please note that meeting the minimum GPA does not guarantee an offer of a place in the program. The number of places are limited, which means that all applicants are ranked on their GPA and offers are made in the order of rank from the highest ranking applicant.

Course Structure

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) consists of 48-credit point including the following units: PSYC421, PSYC422, PSYC423, PSYC424, and PSYC412.

This Diploma is only available in part-time mode and students undertake PSYC421, PSYC422, PSYC423, PSYC424, and PSYC412 in the first year and PSYC412 in the second year. Enrolment in PSYC412 is dependent on successful completion of all components in the first year.

The course work consists of the following:

  1. PSYC421: Professional Practice 1 - Provides students with knowledge about the theoretical and empirical bases underpinning the contruction, implementation and interpretation of the most widely used psychological tests and assessment approaches. The unit also provides students with knowledge about professional standards and ethics.
  2. PSYC422: Advanced Research Skills – Provides students with an advanced understanding of research design and research ethics, together with practical skills in advanced data analysis.
  3. PSYC423: Professional Practice 2 – Provides students with the opportunity to develop basic skills related to psychological interviewing and knowledge of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of evidence-based approaches to psychological interventions.
  4. PSYC424: Elective Reading Course – Students choose one topic from a range of applied or theoretical topics to develop an advanced understanding of a specific area within psychology. A list of elective reading units is provided later in this document.

All components require participation in seminars and activities at two mandatory Intensive Schools held at the UNE campus in Armidale in April and August. Students who fail to attend or are unable to attend the mandatory Intensive Schools will be unable to complete the program, and will be withdrawn from the program.

For 2018, the Intensive School dated are to be advised at a later date and can be found on the Courses and Units Catalogue, but will be 4 days in April and 4 days in August.

PSYC412 comprises one half of the fourth - year Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) program and contains three components.

  1. Literature Review - Students work with a research supervisor on a core group project. Each student is required to contribute an additional variable to the core project. They then complete a literature review that covers literature relevant to both the core project and the additional variable.
  2. Research thesis - As a group, students collect data on the core project plus all of the additional variables identified by each student in the group, under the supervision an academic staff member. Students build their knowledge and understanding of the discipline through advanced empirical research and by communicating the findings of the core and their additional variable as a research report in journal article format.
  3. Reading Unit - Students choose from a range of applied or theoretical topics to develop an advanced understanding of a specific area within psychology.

The unit is completed concurrently after PSYC411 by part-time students. This unit in combination with PSYC411 provides a fourth year accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.

Structure of Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced)

UNIT

COMPONENTS

CONTRIBUTION  TO G. DIP. PSYCH. (ADVANCED)

PSYC421

1. Professional Practice 1

12.5%

PSYC422

2. Advanced Research Skills

12.5%

PSYC423

3. Professional Practice 2

12.5%

PSYC424

4. Elective reading course

12.5%

PSYC412

1. Literature Review

12.5%

2. Group research project

25.0%

3. Elective reading course

12.5%

Accredited undergraduate majors greater than 10 years old

If you have an accredited major in Psychology that is more than 10 years old, you are advised to upgrade your qualifications by completing a new accredited major in psychology in the  Graduate Diploma in Psychology or the Graduate entry pathway in the Bachelor of Psychological Science.

Please note that updating your psychology qualifications will not guarantee you entrance into a fourth year program. You must still meet the minimum requirements and compete with other applicants.

Elective Reading Units

The following reading course topics will be offered in 2016. Other topics will be added prior to the start of teaching in 2016. Students will be required to rank order their three most preferred reading units when contacted in November. Every effort will be made to allocate students to one of their preferred units, but this may not always be possible.


Addictive Behaviour

Presenter: Dr Ian Price, iprice@une.edu.au

Pre-requisites: None

A wide range of behaviours that appear excessive or are associated with negative consequences have been described as addictive behaviours, including drug use, gambling, internet use, eating, exercise, sex, and criminality. This unit will introduce you to diagnostic criteria, theoretical explanations, and treatment strategies associated with these behaviours.


Changing Behaviour for Personal and Public Benefit

Presenter: Professor Don Hine, dhine@une.edu.au

Pre-requisite: None

Many personal and societal problems can be framed in behavioural terms. To effectively address issues like obesity, substance abuse and climate change, human behaviour must change. In this reading unit, we investigate what psychology knows about changing our own and others' behaviour  for personal and public benefit. The  unit will review relevant theoretical perspectives and empirical work, and also the ethical considerations associated with implementing and evaluating behaviour change interventions. The role of emerging technologies as behaviour change agents will also be explored.


History and Theory of Psychology

Presenter: Dr Bruce Stevenson, bstevens@une.edu.au

Pre-requisite: None

This reading unit surveys developments in our understanding of the human condition, what we now refer to as psychology, over the last three millennia. It combines a study of what has happened and attempts to pick out the main themes that have persisted. The aim is to provide a better understanding of current psychology, and the implications for where psychology might be heading in the future.


Neuroscience of Cognition and Behaviour

Presenter: Dr Andrew Talk

Pre‐requisite: None

In this course we will examine the biochemical, morphological and electrophysiological mechanisms that underlie the storage and retrieval of information in neural systems. Our brains contain everything that we know about our lives and world, from how to ride a bike to our telephone numbers, and indeed, even our life stories. Neuroscientists over the past century have made great headway in identifying potential cellular mechanisms and critical brain areas for memory storage, and new discoveries are being reported every day.

Additional information

What is the difference between studying on campus and off campus?

There is no essential difference between off-campus and on-campus study of 4th Year Psychology. Students in both modes are required to attend the Intensive Schools, and there are no other lectures, seminars, or activities associated with on-campus study.

The main advantage of on-campus study is that it allows easy access to academic staff and UNE facilities such as laboratories (EEG, Biopsychology, and Eye-tracking facilities), the library, and computing facilities.

Can I study part-time or full-time?

Completing the 4th Year Psychology program requires a substantial investment of time and effort.

Off-campus (external) enrolment in Honours is normally part-time. Individual permission from the 4th Year Coordinator is required before an external full-time enrolment is possible. The Coordinator needs to be assured that a student's individual circumstances will allow for genuine full-time study.

Due to limitations related to student supervision capabilities, UNE reserves the right to limit the number of full-time 4th year places available in any given year.

Please note the Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) is only available to be studied part-time.

How do I apply?

For further information on the application process, please refer to the Honours Psychology Application page.

Contact details

If you require further information about the application process, please contact:

The Future Student Team,  University of New England

OR

Academic Manager

School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences,

Email: bcssacademicmanager@une.edu.au