Psychology - PSYCAH3566

Stream Summary

Faculty: SCI - Faculty of Science

School: School of Psychology


Program: 3566 - Economics/Adv Science (Hons)


Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)

View stream information for previous years

Stream Outline

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 Honours in Psychology 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.

Upon completion of Honours in the School of 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.

Stream Structure

Honours in Psychology 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.

Semester One
Semester Two


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 Honours is described in this page of the Handbook.

All students will be required to complete a written thesis. Details of thesis requirements such as word limit, format, and submission deadline will be provided by the School.

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.

Academic Rules

  • Students are expected to complete all the requirements for Honours as listed in this page of the Handbook. Where a student does not complete a particular requirement of Honours, their grade and hence graduation will be withheld until the item is completed.
  • 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.
  • Students will complete a research project totalling 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.
  • It is not possible to take leave from the Honours program.

Honours Grade Calculation

In calculating an overall Honours mark, assessment components are given the following weight:
At the completion of Honours, students will be awarded an honours grading as follows:

Final Mark ≥85 (Honours Class 1)

Final Mark 75-84 (Honours Class 2.1)

Final Mark 65-74 (Honours Class 2.2)

Final Mark 50-64 (Honours Class 3)

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.

Admission Requirements and Process

Admission Requirements

This Honours in Psychology stream is the honours pathway for students who have completed an approved Psychology major in a pass degree at UNSW.

Students will not be allowed entry into this Honours stream unless they 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.

Exceptional graduates from other institutions may apply for Honours in Psychology via program 4518 Bachelor of Psychological Science.

Admission Process

In Semester 2 each year, a meeting is organised by the School for all current students who wish to undertake a Fourth Year in psychology. The meeting time and location will be advertised via Level III psychology courses. At this meeting information is provided regarding Honours, including a list of available supervisors and their research interests. If you wish to apply for Honours in the following year, it is important that you attend this meeting as you will be given an application form which requires you to nominate your preference for supervisor and research area.

Honours in Psychology does not allow for mid-year intake.


Postgraduate Study

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

Registration as a Psychologist and APS Membership

Honours in Psychology at UNSW meets the requirement of a fourth year in psychology towards provisional national registration as a psychologist and associate membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).