Why study Psychology?

Whatever career you pursue, a background in psychology will enhance your employability. Studying psychology can…

…help you understand yourself and other people by learning about aspects of human behaviour that will help you in daily life, including your interactions with others, your learning and memory performance, your ability to cope with pressure and your understanding of the causes of psychological disorders.

…complement other learning by combining Psychology with other courses. Many courses in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, as well as those in the Australian School of Business, benefit from an understanding of human behaviour, be it social interaction, language and communication, human motivation and emotion, or the process of decision-making. Knowledge about brain function and behaviour is of considerable benefit to students studying other science degrees.

…develop sound analytical skills through the application of scientific method. Psychology is a science. The defining feature of any science is the objective approach that is used to advance our knowledge. In psychology we use this scientific approach to learn about behaviour and mental life. Psychology provides an excellent training in analytic thinking and scientific research methods that are applicable to a broad range of careers.

…prepare you for a career as a professional Psychologist. Psychologists work in a wide variety of different contexts, including clinical, legal, organisational, educational and research settings in both the private and public sector. The initial training required to work as a psychologist is an accredited undergraduate degree in psychology. Specialist training in different professional areas is then provided in postgraduate degrees.

...provide excellent job prospects in a wide range of careers. Job Outlook, the careers and labour market research information site of the Australian Government, makes the following points about Psychologists: Psychologists are employed across several industries including Health Care and Social Assistance; Public Administration and Safety; Education and Training; and Administrative and Support Services. This mix of industries is highly favourable for employment growth prospects. In fact, employment growth over the next ten years is predicted to exceed 140%, with growth in the top 10% of all careers over the next 2-10 years. For Psychologists working full-time, average weekly hours are 37.8 (compared to 41.3 for all occupations) and earnings are above average – in the top 20% of all careers. Unemployment for Psychologists is low.

Why Study Psychology at UNSW?

You come to University to learn from the experts – researchers who are at the cutting edge in their fields, striving to create new knowledge. The School of Psychology at UNSW is quite simply the best in Australia. It is the only School of Psychology in Australia to have attracted the highest rating (5 – well above world standard) in its submissions to all four of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessments conducted by the Australian Government (2010, 2012, 2015, 2018). We earn more competitive research funding and publish more top-ranked journal articles per academic than any other School of Psychology in Australia and many of our staff have also won teaching awards.

Most of our staff have international reputations and all have active research programs, often carried out in collaboration with researchers throughout the rest of Australia and at prestigious Universities across the world. Psychology teaching facilities include several computer laboratories running specialist software which allows students to design and implement their own psychological research, and analyse and interpret the data they collect. At Honours level our students can access some of our superb specialist laboratory facilities, affording cutting edge techniques for the analysis of cognition and brain function, including electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and eye-tracking. With such expertise on hand combined with our state of the art research and teaching facilities, the School of Psychology provides students with an exciting, engaging environment in which to study.