Honours in Psychology for current UNSW students

For more information, see the Current Students Honours Frequently Asked Questions

The School of Psychology offers an accredited one-year Honours program in Psychology, taken either as a fourth year of the Bachelor of Psychology (3632) or Advanced Science (3962) degrees, or as a stand-alone one-year degree, the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program (4518).  Students undertaking the Honours program in Psychology conduct a major independent research project under the supervision of a member of the School’s academic staff, and write a thesis based on the project.  In addition, students undertake coursework each semester.

Minimum Entry Requirements

The Honours program in Psychology is available to students enrolled in a UNSW degree program that allows for completion of an accredited psychology major.  For students enrolled in program 3632 [Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)] the psychology major is 96 UoC of psychology courses across Levels 1, 2 and 3.  For students enrolled in other degree programs that allow for an accredited psychology major, the minimum requirement for Honours is 78 UoC of psychology courses.

To be eligible for Honours in Psychology in 2017, current students must have completed all Stage 1-3 requirements of their degree program (or the Science part of a dual degree) at the end of Semester 1 or Semester 2, 2016. In exceptional cases, students may complete the final 6 UoC (non-PSYC) over Summer Term 2017.

The School of Psychology does not offer mid-year entry to the Honours program.

Entry to the Honours program for current students is obtained by achieving a Psychology Average mark of at least 75%. The Psychology Average is calculated from:

  • Marks for psychology core courses common to all psychology programs / plans (see below); and
  • The three highest of marks for all Level 3 psychology elective courses ever attempted.

The psychology core courses are as follows:

Level 1

  • PSYC1001 Psychology 1A
  • PSYC1011 Psychology 1B
  • PSYC1111 Measuring Mind and Behaviour

Level 2

  • PSYC2001 Research Methods 2
  • PSYC2061 Social and Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC2071 Perception and Cognition
  • PSYC2081 Learning and Physiological Psychology
  • PSYC2101 Assessment, Personality and Psychopathology

Level 3

  • PSYC3001 Research Methods 3
  • PSYC3011 Research and Applications of Psychology

Note that:

(i)      Only PSYC courses taken at UNSW count towards the Psychology Average. Psychology courses taken at another university (including those taken while on exchange) do not count towards the Psychology Average.

(ii)    Level 1 PSYC electives do not count towards the Psychology Average.

(iii)   The Psychology Average is based on a student’s first attempt at a course, unless there were special circumstances which justify including the mark from the second attempt. In such cases, students should set out these circumstances in a letter to the Honours Coordinator at the time of application.

How to Apply

In Semester 2 each year, a meeting is organised by the School for all current students who wish to undertake Honours in Psychology. The meeting time and location will be advertised via Level 3 psychology Moodle sites. If you are a third year student and wish to apply to commence Honours in Psychology the very next year, it is important that you attend this meeting. Information about Honours in Psychology will be provided at this meeting, including a list of available supervisors and their research interests, and a supervisor/research area nomination form.

If you intend to enrol in the stand-alone, one-year Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program (4518) you must submit an application to UNSW Admissions via the UNSW Apply Online service (https://apply.unsw.edu.au/).

Students will be notified in December of the outcome of their application.

When does the Honours program begin?

The Honours program officially begins with an Honours Orientation Meeting in the last week of January 2017. Details of the meeting are provided in the offer letter sent by the School to student email accounts in mid-December 2016.

Attendance at the Honours Orientation Meeting is mandatory and should be taken seriously. Students will be enrolled in the Honours program by the School following this meeting. Students not attending the meeting will not be enrolled. At this meeting, students are given important information about the Honours program. Students are expected to begin meeting with their supervisor at this time.

Program Description

The Honours program in Psychology involves both coursework and completion of a research thesis.  The research thesis may be undertaken in most areas of psychology including: psychopathology; behavioural neuroscience; cognitive science; cognition and perception; forensic psychology; and social, personality and developmental psychology.  Applicants can indicate their preferred research areas but cannot be guaranteed the supervisor of their choice.

The Honours coursework component includes:

  • two compulsory courses (one each semester), covering topics such as history and systems of psychology, professional ethics, and evidence-based practice; and
  • two elective seminar streams (one each semester), covering advanced topics in psychology, and offered in a variety of areas that reflect the expertise and research specialisations of School staff.


Current UNSW students seeking more information about entry into Honours in Psychology should contact the School Office (psychology@unsw.edu.au).

Postgraduate Study

An Honours degree is required for entry to most Australian postgraduate psychology programs.

Registration as a Psychologist and APS membership

The Honours program in Psychology at UNSW meets the requirements of an accredited Fourth Year in psychology towards provisional registration as a psychologist (http://www.psychologyboard.gov.au/) and associate membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) (http://www.psychology.org.au).

Information current at: May 2016

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