Why study psychology online? Studying online is the most convenient way to complete a psychology course and get a degree.
- Studying psychology teaches you about people in a disciplined way.
- Students learn about human thinking, behaviour and interaction.
- You gain skills that can be applied in professional and personal capacities.
Fully online psychology programs are available, including bachelor degrees and postgraduate qualifications. For students preparing for clinical practice, you can complete a masters degree that combines online study with in-person training.
Psychology is essentially a foundation, reading-and-research-based degree, and as such, it gives you solid research, writing and analytical skills – along with a great understanding of human thought processes and behaviour.
Study Psychology Online
You can study psychology 100% online for most of the popular degrees and qualifications.
- If you haven't studied at university before, fully online courses are available for 3-year bachelor degrees and honours (4th-year extension) programs.
- For university graduates, you can study online for a graduate diploma (equivalent to a 3-year bachelor degree) or an advanced graduate diploma (equivalent to doing honours).
Psychology examines mental processes and how they affect human behaviour. In an undergraduate course, you may study cognitive science (the science of how people think), behavioural science (the science of how people act), and social science (the study of how people interact with one another).
By studying psychology online, you develop research, analytical and writing skills. You also gain insight into human thought and strategies to manage behaviour.
Becoming a Registered Psychologist
Studying psychology at university is a path to working as a registered psychologist or even a clinical psychologist.
- Note that few undergraduate psychology students end up working as registered psychologists. At least 6 years of university study and workplace training is required for you to become eligible for registration.
- The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has detailed information for students who want to formally practise psychology.
Professional psychology courses (i.e. courses that include clinical training) require you to attend residential schools on campus. The interactive map below shows Australian campus locations.
A minimum 6 years of education and training is required to become eligible for general registration as a psychologist in Australia. This can be broken down into steps: STEP 1 – 3-year accredited undergraduate psychology sequence; STEP 2 – 4th year accredited psychology studies; STEP 3 – Internship pathway or postgraduate study to general registration.
Psychology graduates have specialist knowledge and a demonstrated interest in human behaviour, personality, interpersonal relationships, learning and motivation.
As a psychology major, you have an advantage in competing for jobs such as welfare officer, youth worker, support worker and employment officer.
Generally, to maximise your value in the job market, it is advisable to combine psychology studies with complementary subjects. These might include business, communication and media studies, or social work.
Online Bachelor Degrees with a Psychology Major
Campus Bases for Distance Courses
Distance education programs may require you to attend residential sessions on campus occasionally. For this reason, it can help to study at a university with facilities in your region.
Universities with campuses to support online psychology courses include
Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Advanced Postgraduate Study
Advanced postgraduate study is ideal for psychology graduates who want to do psychology research, gain professional accreditation, or become a clinical psychologist.
Studying externally is especially convenient if you have work or family commitments. Without the burden of having to show up to classes on campus, you can prepare yourself for roles such as the following.
Psychology researchers look at areas such as: addiction, ageing, anxiety, autism, body image, childhood and adolescence, chronic illness, criminology, depression, disability, eating disorders, obesity, offender reintegration, policing, substance abuse, workplace well-being, and quality of life. There is no prescribed level of study but advanced courses, such as a Masters, are highly advantageous.
Registered psychologists can legitimately call themselves psychologists and are able to work across many fields. On the academic side, you can qualify by completing a 4-year psychology degree (honours degree), or a bachelor degree plus an advanced diploma. This gives provisional qualification. To be registered, you also need to complete 2 years of supervised experience (internship program) or a 2-year professional masters degree (study and work placements combined).
To practise clinical psychology, you generally need to a complete a Masters degree or PhD in the subject. This involves significant clinical training, which cannot be done online. Clinical psychologists often work in public or private hospitals, mental health clinics, private practice or academic settings. Speciality areas include child mental health, adult mental health, learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, substance abuse, geriatrics and health psychology.