So, you have your sights set on a career in psychology, but you’re unsure of how to get there and what you need to do in order to be fully qualified.
While becoming a qualified psychologist will take a few extra years of study beyond a normal bachelor degree, being equipped to help people achieve health and positive well-being is extremely rewarding and worth the extra effort.
As a psychologist, you will assist individuals and society through one-to-one counselling, as well as designing and implementing policies and campaigns.
Here is some program information to help set you on the right path and meet the requirements determined by the Psychology Board of Australia. You’ll need to do at least six years of study and training before you can register.
Step 1: Bachelor degree
Luckily, there are a handful of bachelor degrees that focus on different aspects of psychology, which can give you a head start in your career as a psychologist.
- The Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) is a three-year degree that will teach you how to analyse data, provide you with research skills and give you a scientific understanding of how the mind works.
- The Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) is a three-year degree incorporating elements of sociology, which provides you with an understanding of how individuals respond to their environments.
- The Bachelor of Criminology and Psychology is a three-year program that combines criminology and psychology.
- The Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) / Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) is a five-year program that prepares you for employment in the social work field, but gives you an added understanding of psychology.
Step 2: Honours degree
During your honours year, you will work on a research project that will develop your statistical and analytical skills. You’ll also contribute to the field of psychology by undertaking research that can make an impact in people’s lives.
RMIT offers the Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) (Honours) an accredited fourth year to build on your bachelor degree.
Step 3: Professional masters
RMIT’s Master of Clinical Psychology is the final step in your six-year study sequence.
Once completing your studies, you can apply for the registrar program.
Step 4: Registrar program
Next, in order to be eligible for endorsement in one of the nine areas of practice, you’ll need to complete a registrar program that involves supervised practice.
The registrar program includes 160 hours of supervised practice and professional development.
A psychologist who has completed the registrar program and is qualified in the area of clinical psychology may refer to themselves as a clinical psychologist.
Once this program is complete, congratulations! You can start working with people towards better health and well-being.
For more information visit the Australian Psychological Society.
Story: Jordan Di Stefano