Psychology in Australia: The Australian Psychological Society
Psychology is one of the most popular fields of study in Australia and is taught at universities in every state and territory. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest body representing psychology and psychologists in Australia and promotes, represents and advances psychology and psychologists in the context of improving community wellbeing and scientific knowledge.
Through a system of accreditation, the Australian Psychological Society works with Australian universities to monitor tertiary psychology courses. This ensures that the courses provide suitable preparation for students to enter the profession.
About the APS
The APS has a membership of around 13,000, and is recognised nationally and internationally. It started as the overseas branch of the British Psychological Society in 1944, but by 1966 had established itself as a separate Society. The APS encourages learning and growth by setting high standards of entry to membership, through professional development and education, and through adherence of members to the APS Code of Ethics. Visit the APS website at www.psychology.org.au for information and resources on ethics, study and careers, professional development and support, events, interest groups and more.
Course entry requirements
Entry to undergraduate courses is generally via acceptance into a BA or BSc degree, and requirements in Australia vary from state to state, and university to university. Some offer direct entry into a psychology degree (BPsych) and competition is inevitably greater, and entry requirements higher, for these places. The basic three-year major in psychology should be followed by a fourth year of study, either an Honours year, as an integral part of a BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), or BPsych (Hons) degree, or an equivalent postgraduate diploma in psychology. Overseas applicants should contact the relevant International Students Office in the university for assistance with entry requirements and course choice.
Psychology education and training programs offered by universities are included in the accreditation system developed and administered by the APS. All tertiary psychology courses are monitored to ensure they are providing suitable preparation for students wishing to gain membership of the Society, and to the profession generally. Students completing an accredited four-year Honours sequence in psychology (for a three-year plus an accredited fourth year) are eligible for associate membership of the APS. Full membership requires six years of university training. The latter two years can be a coursework masters degree, a coursework doctoral degree (DPsych or equivalent), or a postgraduate research degree, such as a PhD.
Associate membership of the APS recognises qualifications from accredited programs. Overseas students wishing to gain entry to postgraduate programs in Australia often have to demonstrate their eligibility for associate membership so that equivalence of their qualifications can be determined. To obtain full membership of the APS they need to demonstrate equivalence of university training. For full details on how to apply, visit www.psychology.org.au/join/assess_psych_qual/
Registration as a psychologist
To work as a psychologist in Australia you are legally required to be registered with a Psychologists Registration Board. A Board in each state and territory determines the requirements for registration. These differ slightly in each state or territory, but all require the completion of four full-time years of academic study in psychology and two additional full-time years of post-graduate training or supervised workplace experience. The APS is not involved in the registration process and APS membership is separate from registration. Entry to the APS generally requires more university training than the amount necessary for registration, and offers a range of benefits. View Registration Board contact details for each State and Territory: www.psychology.org.au/study/working/11.2_1.asp or see the Services and Benefits page: www.psychology.org.au/join/services_benefits.
Psychologists work in a variety of careers, some of which may require further specialised training and recognition. These include public health, community and mental health and hospitals, schools and other educational institutions, organisations, sport, forensic, research and academic settings. Traditionally, psychologists have worked for State or Federal Government agencies, such as health, education, welfare and justice. Increasingly, however, they are working in the private sector, either providing services directly to clients or being contracted by larger agencies to provide specific services.
For further information contact the Australian Psychological Society Ltd:
PO Box 38, Flinders Lane Post Office, MELBOURNE VIC 8009, Australia
Tel: +61 3 8662 3300
Fax: +61 3 9663 6177
For further information: The Australian Psychological Society Ltd. PO Box 126 Carlton South, Victoria 3053 Australia
Tel: +613 9663 6166
Fax: +613 9663 6177
The Australian Psychological Society Ltd.
(03) 8662 3300
(03) 9663 6177