Frequently Asked Questions

Psychology at UNSW

Q: What is the difference between all the psychology pathways?
A: You can study psychology at UNSW through several options: Bachelor of Psychology; Bachelor of Psychological Science; Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Science (International); Bachelor of Advanced Science; Bachelor of Life Sciences and Bachelor of Science and Business. Check the UNSW Handbook for the full list of combined programs.
Whilst the Bachelor of Psychology is designed for those who are determined to study psychology, students undertaking a Bachelor of Psychological Science are given the opportunity to complete certain majors (such as marketing or criminology) outside the Faculty of Science. Students interested in another major within the Faculty of Science should undertake a Science degree. An important point is that no program offers an advantage in terms of advancement to Honours level.
While B Psychology is a 4-year program, students must maintain a Distinction average in their psychology subjects for entry into the final year – the same WAM requirement that students in the other Science programs must achieve for entry into Honours.
Lastly, you can complete a psychology major through B Arts or minor through B Arts and Business but you cannot continue to Honours through these options.

Q: Do you need to be amazing at maths?
A: No! While there is a notable statistics component in psychology (one course each year) plenty of people who are not entirely confident with mathematics manage because the courses start from the ground up. There are also resources out there if you feel you need a little extra help. You can consult to spend some extra time with your class tutors, you can arrange a private tutor (using our tutor list - found below!), and PsychSoc will also be organising some help sessions throughout semester where you can drop in and have a chat with someone about any problems you might be having.

Q: Do I need to do Honours?
A: It depends on what you want to do once you finish your degree. Anyone interested in pursuing a career as a psychologist needs to do Honours. At UNSW the cutoff for entry into Honours is an average of 75 across your psychology subjects.

Psychology in Australia

Q: How do I become a psychologist?
A: It takes 6 years to become a psychologist. 4 years of Undergraduate study (including Honours) and then either a 2 year internship or 2 year Masters program. The APS website has more information about the various pathways here.

Q: What specialisations are there?
A: Clinical neuropsychology; clinical psychology; community psychology; counselling psychology; educational and developmental psychology; forensic psychology; health psychology; organisational psychology, and sport and exercise psychology.
The only way you can become a specialist is by doing the relevant Masters program (2 years) followed by an endorsement period of supervised practise (2 years). Note that the exact time frame may vary slightly depending on if you do a Masters, combined Masters/PhD, or a Doctorate of Psychology. Again, see the APS website for details.

Q: What other options do I have?
A: You could begin a PhD and pursue a career in research! Otherwise, many corporate graduate programs seek skills rather than specific degrees, and a background in psychology suits various fields such as human resources, marketing and management. Consider visiting UNSW Careers and Employment if you have queries about alternative career options.


Psychology Textbook Exchange

Need psychology textbooks but don't want to waste money buying a completely new textbook? The Psychology Textbook Exchange is the place for you! On this Facebook page, you can buy second-hand (or sometimes, completely new!) psychology textbooks from fellow psychology students at a discounted price. You can also ask older students about how useful or valuable they found certain texts and can also use this page to sell your own textbooks if you no longer have a use for them.

Peer Mentoring Program

The Peer Mentoring Program is a great way to get settled into university life, while meeting fellow first years and third year mentors who are always there to provide wise words for university survival.
  • For first year B Psych and Psych Sci students - here
  • For B Sci/Adv Sci students - here

Tutor List

If you are having trouble with any of your subjects in Psychology and want a helping hand, take a look at our 2017 Tutor List where you can get some extra help from past Psychology students. Please be advised that we don't endorse any individual tutor, we simply provide a forum for those willing to make their services available. If you have any concerns or issues regarding one of the advertised tutors, please let us know so that we can take appropriate steps.

Academic Guides

As part of Psychsoc's aim to provide the psychology student community of UNSW with academic help, our committee has created some academic guides to help you with the difficult decision of choosing your subjects. In these guides, information has been provided about the nature of the course, what you will learn in the course as well as the assessments that you will be given.
  • First Year Guide (new to 2017!) - here
  • Third Year Guide - here
  • Honours FAQ - here


Psychsoc runs a number of different academic workshops throughout the year to try and help students who feel like they might need some extra work on certain areas. From workshops on statistics to essay and report writing, there is certainly a workshop for every psychology student, no matter what year you are in! Keep an eye out for these workshops popping up on our Events and News page or make your way to our Facebook group to never miss out on anything PsychSoc-related!


Another initiative of the Psychology Society of UNSW is a monthly newsletter (Get Psyched!) which gives you a recap of what's been happening with PsychSoc in the past month, details on any events that may be coming up, as well as information on possible job or intern opportunities, advice for younger years and even the occassional lecturer or committee member spotlight. Check out previous editions of the 2017 Newsletter here!

If you haven't already, join us on Orgsync to make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and receive exclusive PsychSoc information unavailable anywhere else, or alternatively, subscribe directly to our Newsletter via this form: here!

Virtual Careers Fair

The Virtual Careers Fair (VCF) is an annual event organised by PsychSoc for our society members to learn all about hiring practices, salary levels, diversity practices at companies like Commbank and Headspace. We posed the questions commonly asked by psychology students about internships and graduate roles, and now you can find out all the answers.
Check out the 2017 website here: http://www.psychsoc.unsw.edu.au/virtual-careers-fair-2017/home.html

2017 UNSW PsychSoc.