Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science

Key Facts

Course Code: PY085
Location: Online
Study Load: Full-time (6 months)
Part-time (1 year)
Delivery Mode: Online
Intake: Semester 1 each year
Application Type: Domestic only
Fees: $10,972.52*
CRICOS code: N/A
Post-nominal: GCPsychSci

Course Overview

The Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science has been designed for students looking to take the first or early steps on the pathway to a career in psychology. This course provides an alternative pathway to the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science, via a fast-tracked 4-unit sequence of study.

This program is appropriate for students with any undergraduate AQF level 7 (Bachelors) degree who do not meet the requirements for the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science, or those seeking to improve results from an APAC accredited undergraduate degree for entry into the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Cairnmillar.

Alternative entry into the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science at Cairnmillar: Students who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate with a WAM of 60 or higher will automatically be offered a place into the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science at Cairnmillar with recognition of prior learning (RPL) for the four completed units.

Please note: Cairnmillar’s courses are subject to minimum and maximum group numbers. Courses may be cancelled or postponed if minimum numbers are not achieved by the start date of the course. Courses may close prior to the start date if the maximum numbers are reached. In that situation, eligible applicants will be offered a place in the next available intake.

2023 Course Information Session

Application Period

Applications for February 2024 are now closed!

Course Structure

The Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science consists of 50 credit points across a total of four units of study. All four are coursework units.

Full-time (6 months) structure:

Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 PSY401 Theories of Personality 12.5
1 PSY402 Research Design and Statistics 12.5
1 PSY403 Social Psychology 12.5
1 PSY404 Developmental Psychology 12.5

Part-time (1 year) structure:

*Note, for potential future study in psychology it is strongly recommended to select PSY402 in the first semester.

Semester 1 – select two of the following units:

Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
PSY401 Theories of Personality 12.5
PSY402 Research Design and Statistics 12.5
PSY403 Social Psychology 12.5
PSY404 Developmental Psychology 12.5

Semester 2 – complete both of the following units:

Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
PSY405 Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience 12.5
PSY406 Psychopathology 12.5


Entry Requirements

Applicants must have completed an Australian undergraduate (AQF level 7) degree or equivalent qualification, in any discipline.

Applicants will also be required to submit proof of identity/citizenship, in the form of a passport, birth certificate or citizenship certificate.

Please note this course is not available to international student applications. To see which courses at Cairnmillar are, please visit the Find a Course page.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Students who satisfactorily complete the Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science will be able to:

  • Demonstrate high-level knowledge of core psychological theory, research skills, and the associated empirical evidence base.
  • Synthesise research and theory from major fields in psychology and apply this knowledge to different contexts to resolve complex problems and apply in professional practice.
  • Communicate clearly, effectively, and professionally across a range of contexts including oration, writing, the online environment, and in teams.
  • Act ethically and professionally while respecting cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity.
  • Demonstrate self-motivated and self-directed learning principles that facilitate lifelong learning and ongoing professional development.

Fees & Scholarships

**Total fees are estimates only based on the current fee schedule. Annual tuition fee review and possible increases applies, see: Fees & Scholarships.

For information on tuition fees and what scholarships might apply to this course, please visit the Fees & Scholarships page.

Career Opportunities & Study Pathways

Graduates can obtain work in a variety of industries including:

  • Health and community services
  • Human resources
  • Disability services
  • Mental health rehabilitation
  • Youth support
  • Product design/marketing.

Upon completion of this course, graduates who obtained a 60% or credit average during the course would be eligible to transfer into the Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science to further their knowledge and training.

Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma enables graduates to apply for APAC accredited fourth year programs, such as Cairnmillar’s Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).


The Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science is a Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) accredited program.

This program sits within level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Students applying for this program may enter a process in which they may be granted credit or partial credit towards the qualification. This requires evidence of previous experience where an equivalence of earlier learning can be established.

Credit transfer for an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) course, is only applicable for recently completed APAC accredited programs of an equivalent level. Credit or partial credit is not granted in recognition of knowledge or skills gained through work or life experience.

Cairnmillar’s RPL policy can be viewed here and further information can be found here.

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