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Graduate Diploma in Psychology online


1.7 years part-time



Program price (2022 fees)

$3,648 per course

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Program Overview

Are you curious about how the brain processes information? Have you always been fascinated by behaviour and perception? Studying psychology online can help you understand how the human brain works, giving you the skills to further your career in fields like social work, human resources, education and more. 


What could your future look like?

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is your first step towards a rewarding career in helping people. The demand for professionals who can provide mental health support has never been greater - now is the perfect time to study psychology online and meet this challenge. 

The ten online Graduate Diploma in Psychology courses cover the foundational knowledge you need to start your journey towards becoming a registered psychologist. Our APAC-accreditation means you can continue onto a fourth year psychology qualification in the sequence with confidence. 

The broad range of skills you will gain from the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology are essential for roles in health, business, and community organisations. Whether you want to shift your career trajectory, boost your current job, or brush up on your education – your new critical thinking and people-orientated skills will empower you to answer your calling. 

What will you learn?

Upon successful completion of the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology, graduates will be able to:

  • synthesise and critique psychological theory and contemporary knowledge
  • apply psychological concepts to complex personal, social and societal issues
  • formulate research questions and design psychological research studies
  • apply qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodology techniques to analyse psychological data
  • produce reports and other materials in formats suitable for a variety of audiences and purposes
  • reflect critically on the ethical issues, legislative requirements and evidence-based approaches underpinning psychological research and select areas of professional practice.


Study online, on your terms


  • Foundations of psychology - PSYCHOL 6500OL

    This psychology course introduces foundational concepts and topics within the contemporary psychological field. You will learn about research, theories, concepts and applications of psychological science in diverse topics such as:

    • Child development
    • Mental health
    • Personality and ability
    • Biological bases of behaviour
    • Memory and cognition
    • Motivation and emotion

    These areas of study will provide a strong foundation for your future studies in psychology. View course outline.

  • Research methods, design and analysis - PSYCHOL 6501OL

    How do we make well-founded discoveries about the mind and behaviour? This online psychology course will uncover key techniques and tools used for research in psychology. Students will develop the skills needed to critically evaluate and conduct research into why people think and act the way they do. View course outline.

  • Developmental psychology - PSYCHOL 6502OL

    What is human development and does it ever stop? In what ways do people change and stay the same as they get older? This online psychology course will provide you with a multidimensional understanding of ageing and human development. You will be asked to consider established and emerging theories, along with contemporary research and applications in both child and adult development. View course outline.

  • Psychological health and well-being - PSYCHOL 6503OL

    What does it mean to be healthy? This online psychology course is structured as an introduction to evidence-based assessment, treatment and prevention. You will form a holistic view of behaviours and experiences from a biopsychosocial perspective to identify how psychological health can be enhanced or compromised. This online psychology course also covers select topics in clinical and health psychology. View course outline.

  • Applying research methods in psychology - PSYCHOL 6504OL

    How do we apply methodological and statistical concepts to real-world problems? This online psychology course builds on the foundation of research methods provided in PSYCHOL 6501OL. This psychology course will teach you to think critically about the process of conducting research, apply your knowledge of research methods to a variety of contexts, and further develop your understanding of common analyses. View course outline.

  • Culture and context - PSYCHOL 6505OL

    How much are you a product of your environment? In this online psychology course you will learn about the influence of cultural assumptions and values. The importance of understanding these issues in the context of working with indigenous people will be emphasised. You will also be provided with an understanding of how psychology can be used to improve work-related practices, job satisfaction and performance. View course outline.

  • Social psychology - PSYCHOL 6506OL

    Do you ever wonder why we behave differently in groups than when we’re on our own? This online psychology course will explore topics central to contemporary research in social psychology. View course outline.

  • Perception and cognition - PSYCHOL 6507OL

    Are you curious about what goes on in peoples’ heads? This psychology course delves into the psychological processes involved in perception, learning, and thinking. You will learn about key theories and principles based on cognition research and consider how this knowledge applies to real-world problems. View course outline.

  • Individual difference and assessment - PSYCHOL 6508OL

    Are we all different or more similar than we think? Learn how and why people behave differently despite the broad similarities shared by all humankind. You will review major theories, research methods and findings and learn how these translate into practices in the fields of intelligence, personality, and psychological assessment. View course outline.

  • Learning and behaviour - PSYCHOL 6509OL

    How do we learn from the environment around us? Study psychology and explore the theoretical foundations of learning and how they are supported by research while examining how this knowledge is applied to human and animal behaviour. View course outline.

Career outlook

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is a great postgraduate building block in the science and application of contemporary psychology. It complements established careers in a variety of industries, giving graduates of the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology a versatile career outlook.

As organisations across different fields become more aware of the importance of psychological services, the demand for qualified psychologists will naturally increase. According to job outlook data collected by the Australian Government, the number of people working as a psychologist is expected to grow from 37,500 in 2018 to 48,800 by 2023. Whether you want to undertake further study to become a registered psychologist or you decide to use your online psychology qualification in a different field, the possibilities are endless.

You could apply your Graduate Diploma in Psychology qualification in a people management field, such as human resources or industrial relations, or use it to further your career in the social assistance sector. Studying psychology can also benefit job prospects in education, corrective services and other fields, providing you with plenty of pathways through which to advance your career.

How to become a psychologist

Before you can become a practicing or “registered psychologist”, you need to complete a sequence of both study and training. This sequence is divided up into three steps. If you have a Bachelor’s degree but not in psychology, our Graduate Diploma in Psychology (GDP) is your first step.  

Once you successfully complete our graduate diploma, you are then eligible to continue onto step two, which is a ‘4th-year’ program. The University of Adelaide offers an online Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) (GDPA) in which is a 4th-year equivalent program, just like an on-campus honours program. 

The final step is to complete one of the University of Adelaide's masters level study options below plus supervised practice before you can apply for general registration.   

  • Master of Psychology (Clinical)
  • Master of Psychology (Health)
  • Master of Psychology (Organisational and Human Factors)

Salary expectations

Salary expectations can vary depending on your chosen field and level of experience. But regardless of your industry or career history, you can be sure of increasing your earning potential with a postgraduate psychology qualification. Even though Australia has seen a slump in wage growth, a 2017 Graduate Outcome Survey found that full-time salaries for postgraduate qualification holders rose by 12.5% over the three years to 2017.  

Enrolling in the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology can also help you attain formal recognition of your experience, so you can make the most of advancement opportunities and pursue your specialisation at a more advanced level.


Academic entry requirements

To be eligible for the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology, you will need an undergraduate Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in any discipline.

English language requirements

In order to study with the University of Adelaide, you must be proficient in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English as this is the language of instruction.

You must be able to demonstrate that you meet the Minimum English Language Requirements. However, you will not be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency if you are an Australian citizen, Australian Permanent Resident (visa) or hold a passport from one of the following countries: Canada (English speaking provinces only), New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

If English is not your first language of instruction, further documentary evidence will be required so please download the Minimum English Language Requirements document (Postgraduate Coursework Programs section) for information about acceptable English language tests.

How to apply

To apply for the University of Adelaide’s online Graduate Diploma in Psychology, you first need to create an account via the University of Adelaide Application Portal.

Once you have verified your account, complete your online application form and as a minimum upload the following supporting documents:

  • Valid photo ID (passport or driver's licence)
  • Proof of citizenship / permanent residency
  • Transcripts from your complete Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • Change of name documents (if applicable) e.g marriage certificate
  • English language requirements (if you are an international applicant)

For assistance with your application into this psychology qualification, contact us on 1300 293 830.

When can I start?

There are six intakes into the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology degree throughout the year: January, March, May, July, August and October. Applications typically close four weeks before the online teaching period commences. See the Important dates section for further details. 


What is the total cost?

$36,480 or $3,648 per course (2022 fees).

Is there FEE-HELP available?

Yes, Australian citizens are eligible for a HELP loan. You must also be enrolled in a program with the University of Adelaide by the enrolment deadline (census), and have not reached the HELP loan limit.

Once you have been offered a place in the University of Adelaide program, you will be able to apply for a HELP loan as a part of the enrolment process. Please see our FAQs section for further details.