• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Psychology
  • Specialisation code PSYC-SPEC

Corequisite major: Psychology


Psychology is the scientific study of how people behave, think and feel. It is a broad ranging discipline that spans topics including perceiving and thinking, the biological basis of behaviour, research methodology, child development, social psychology and personality. Students taking the Psychology specialisation with the Psychology major, will gain an understanding of how to apply the scientific perspective to psychological phenomena in the laboratory and in the real world, and be eligible for entry into Psychology Honours.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Differentiate theoretical and empirical frameworks that have defined and shaped the field.
  3. Define key concepts that characterise psychology as a field of scientific inquiry as well as things that differentiate it from other related disciplines.
  4. Relate how social (e.g. environmental/cultural), and biological (genes, hormones) factors jointly shape human behavior.
  5. Apply basic research methods in psychology to investigate psychological questions and to research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  6. Use critical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  7. Identify relevant psychological mechanisms/issues and apply to real world or other contexts.
  8. Apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organisational issues.
  9. Critically analyse data and research, including methodology, results and conclusions.
  10. Articulate some of the central questions and issues in contemporary psychology.
  11. Critically evaluate the presentation of scientific ideas and research in the popular media.
  12. Identify and critically evaluate appropriate disciplinary research sources
  13. Evaluate information from a statistical perspective drawing on basic statistical concepts.
  14. Develop competence in interpreting graphical data to understand what is being compared/manipulated (independent variables) and what is being measured (dependent variables).
  15. Clearly communicate psychological processes and principles to both science literate and non-science literate audiences.
  16. Adapt the collaborative and independent experiences of psychology laboratory, project and course work to other contexts.
  17. Identify and reflect on the values that underpin the discipline of psychology and its practice.

Other Information

A specialisation in Psychology must be taken in conjunction with a Psychology major.

Honours entry requires both the Psychology major and the specialisation. Students are also required to take: PSYC3018 , PSYC3025 and PSYC3026 .

Information for Honours in Psychology:

Students should note that in order to be eligible for admission to Honours, they must be in an APAC accredited program. At ANU, APAC accredited programs are:

  •    Bachelor of Science
  •    Bachelor of Arts
  •    Bachelor of Philosophy - Science
  •    Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
  •    Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

Students in an ANU BSc, BA or PhB who wish to be eligible for Honours in psychology must complete a specific set of courses that satisfy the APAC accreditation requirements. At ANU this includes minimum required learning achieved by successful completion of PSYC1003, PSYC1004, PSYC2001, PSYC2002, PSYC2007, PSYC2008, PSYC2009, PSYC3018, PSYC3025, PSYC3026 and an additional 2 x 3000 level PSYC courses (or, for PhB students, 3000 level SCNC courses with a psychology supervisor).

Students in a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) who wish to apply for Honours in Psychology are encouraged to seek academic advice from the College of Science Student Administration Office before completion of 72-96 units of study (science.enquiries@anu.edu.au).

Fee information:

Students in a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in Science program can apply for Honours in Psychology in these programs, but should note that due to changes in Australian government funding from 2021 as a result of the Job Ready Graduates Package, fees for Behavioural Science courses will be invoiced at different rates. For more information on the 2021 fee changes to Student Contributions Amounts, please visit https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/fees-payments/student-contributions; and for more information on the Job Ready Graduates Package please visit  https://www.studyassist.gov.au/

Students should seek further course advice from one of the academic conveners of the Psychology specialisation.

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This specialisation may only be taken in conjunction with the Psychology major.


This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, of which:


12 units must come from the completion of 2000- level PSYC courses from the following list:

PSYC2001 Social Psychology (6 units)

PSYC2002 Developmental Psychology (6 units)

PSYC2007 Biological Basis of Behaviour (6 units)

PSYC2008 Cognition (6 units)


12 units must come from the completion of 3000- level PSYC courses from the following list:

PSYC3002 The Social Psychology of Group Processes and Social Change (6 units)

PSYC3015 Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience (6 units)

PSYC3016 Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience (6 units)

PSYC3018 Advanced Research Methods (6 units)

PSYC3020 Health Psychology (6 units)

PSYC3023 Special Topics in Psychology (6 units)

PSYC3025 Psychopathology Across the Lifespan (6 units)

PSYC3026 Personality Psychology (6 units)

PSYC3028 Industrial and Organisational Psychology (6 units)

PSYC3030 Psychology Undergraduate Research Experience (6 units)

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