Psychological Science (Hons) - 4518

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science


Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 1 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 48

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The purpose of Honours in Psychology is to enable students who have performed well at undergraduate level to deepen their knowledge of approaches, perspectives and traditions in psychology and undertake a significant research project. Honours is a means for connecting undergraduate study with supervised independent research by consolidating and extending work completed in the undergraduate program and providing an academic foundation for students continuing on to a Masters by coursework, a Masters by research, or a PhD.

Students undertaking the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program conduct a major independent research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff, and write a thesis based on the project. In addition, students undertake coursework each semester. For further details, students should refer to the relevant plan page in this Handbook.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Upon completion of Honours in Psychology at UNSW graduates will have the following attributes:
  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in research methods in psychology.
  2. Demonstrate a broad understanding of a body of knowledge and theoretical concepts in psychology with advanced understanding in some area and capable to adapt knowledge and skills in diverse contexts.
  3. Demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills in psychology and capable to identify and formulate solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of values and ethics in psychology and the ability to apply ethical principles to psychological practice.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge in the foundations of psychological testing, including the theoretical and empirical bases underpinning the construction, implementation, and interpretation of some of the more widely used cognitive and personality assessments, and foundational skills in the ethical use of psychological tests.
  6. Demonstrate communication skills to present a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences.
  7. Demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in interviewing.
  8. Demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in counselling.

Program Structure

The Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) is comprised of 48 units of credit. It includes higher-level coursework and an independent research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor culminating in a written thesis. The Honours year commences in late January/early February and is undertaken full-time over one year. Mid-year entry and part-time enrolment are not available. The independent research project will be worth 30 units of credit undertaken across the entire year.

For further details of Program Structure see Psychological Science - PSYCAH4518

Academic Rules

  1. Students are expected to complete all the requirements for the Honours program as listed in the relevant plan page of this Handbook. Where a student does not complete a particular requirement of the program, their grade and hence graduation will be withheld until the item is completed.
  2. Students must abide by UNSW policies and procedures with regards to Occupational Health & Safety, Ethics, and Research. Details of these will be provided to students in an Honours Handbook and information session by the School.
  3. Students will complete a research project totalling in 30 UOC. Each student will have a supervisor for their project who is expected to have at least a Masters (AQF level 9) qualification. Students may be supervised by a person external to UNSW, especially where a research project is industry-based. However, where a student has an external supervisor a joint-supervisor must be nominated who is an employed academic of the School.
  4. As part of their research project students will be required to complete, at a minimum, a literature review and / or research proposal, present a seminar on their findings and complete a written thesis. Details of all assessable components of the Honours program is described in the relevant plan page of this Handbook. Details of thesis requirements such as word limit, format, and submission deadline will be provided by the School.
  5. At the end of a student’s first semester, an EC grade will be awarded provided that all requirements for the semester have been satisfactorily completed, and the supervisor is satisfied with a student’s progress on their project. Where requirements have not been completed or the supervisor feels progress is unsatisfactory, the grade will be withheld and the student given an opportunity to complete the requirement and / or progress their project. If the outstanding requirement(s) has not been completed prior to the commencement of the following semester, the supervisor will discuss this with the Honours Coordinator in the School and the student may be required to withdraw from the program. Once withdrawn from the program a student will need to reapply for admission to the Honours program.
  6. It is not possible to take leave from the Honours program.
For further details of Academic Rules see Psychological Science - PSYCAH4518


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Admission Requirements and Process

UNSW Students
To gain entry to the Honours program in psychology, students are required to have achieved an average of 75% or higher of:
  • Marks for 60 UOC of psychology core courses which include:- PSYC1001, PSYC1011, PSYC1111, PSYC2001, PSYC2061, PSYC2071, PSYC2081, PSYC2101, PSYC3001 and PSYC3011;
  • The three highest of marks for all level 3 psychology electives ever attempted (totalling 18 UOC)
The average is based on a student’s mark for the first attempt at courses—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. Results for psychology courses completed by students externally at another institution are not included in the average.

Note: The Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program is the honours pathway for students who have completed an approved Psychology major in a 3 or 4 year pass degree at UNSW.

Non-UNSW Students
The Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program is available to exceptional graduates from other institutions. To be eligible, students need to have completed either a degree with a three-year sequence in Psychology, or a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, that is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and approved by the Psychology Board of Australia.

Places are offered on the basis of merit. Whilst the School has no quota as such on the total number of Fourth Year students, please note the School first allocates Honours places to qualified current students from UNSW and then considers applications from students from other universities. The number of places for external applicants varies from year to year and depends upon the number of eligible current students and the availability of School resources. For this reason, only those external applicants with an outstanding first three years of psychology will be considered.

External domestic applicants are required to submit an application for study at UNSW directly to the UNSW Admissions Office. Details regarding admission and the application form can be found at

In addition to applicants who are a graduate/graduand of another university, applicants who are a graduate of UNSW after an absence of at least one semester must apply for admission directly to the UNSW Admissions Office.

The closing date for application for admission to an honours program for domestic external applicants is early December. However, the School of Psychology sets an earlier closing date for internal applicants and we aim to finalise places in the Honours program around mid-November, so external applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.

The Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program does not allow for mid-year intake.

Honours Grading

At the completion of their Honours program students will be awarded an honours grading as follows:
  • Honours Class 1: mark of 85 or greater;
  • Honours Class 2 Division 1: mark from 75 to 84;
  • Honours Class 2 Division 2: mark from 65 to 74;
  • Honours Class 3 or Pass: mark below 65.
The calculation of class of award will be determined from the student’s weighted average mark for all of the courses (research-based and coursework) required for the program.

Please note that only courses completed as part of the Honours program will be included within an honours calculation.

Honours marks and gradings will be scrutinised at the School level to ensure consistency across cohorts. The Faculty will also review these marks and grades prior to the release of results.

Postgraduate Study

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

Registration as a Psychologist and APS Membership

The Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program at UNSW meets the requirement of a fourth year in psychology towards provisional registration as a psychologist nationally ( and associate membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) (

Faculty of Science Rules

The Faculty of Science has some rules that relate to all students enrolled in programs offered by the Faculty in relation to recognition for prior learning, general education, course exclusions, study load, and cross-institutional study. All students should read the information contained on the Faculty General Rules and Requirements page in this Handbook.

Area(s) of Specialisation