Skip to main content
I’m interested in…

Graduate Diploma in Psychology online


1.7 years part-time



Program price (2021 pricing)

$3,549 per course

Study mode


Program Overview

Are you curious about how the brain processes information? Have you always been fascinated by behaviour and perception? Studying psychology 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 meet this challenge. 

The ten 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 the fourth year in the sequence with confidence. 

The broad range of skills you will gain from this program 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 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.


  • Foundations of psychology - PSYCHOL 6500OL

    This course introduces foundational concepts and topics within contemporary psychology. 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 learning in psychology.

  • Learning and behaviour - PSYCHOL 6509OL

    How do we learn from the environment around us? 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.

  • Research methods, design and analysis - PSYCHOL 6501OL

    How do we make well-founded discoveries about the mind and behaviour? This 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Psychological health and well-being - PSYCHOL 6503OL

    What does it mean to be healthy? This 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. It also covers select topics in clinical and health psychology. 

  • Applying research methods in psychology - PSYCHOL 6504OL

    How do we apply methodological and statistical concepts to real-world problems? This course builds on the foundation of research methods provided in PSYCHOL 6501OL. You will 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.

  • Culture and context - PSYCHOL 6505OL

    How much are you a product of your environment? In this 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.

  • Social psychology - PSYCHOL 6506OL

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

  • Perception and cognition - PSYCHOL 6507OL

    Are you curious about what goes on in peoples’ heads? This 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.

  • 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.

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 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 qualification in a different field, the possibilities are endless.

You could apply your postgraduate 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. A postgraduate psychology qualification can also benefit job prospects in education, corrective services and other fields, providing you with plenty of pathways through which to advance your career.

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 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.


Entry requirements

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

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, contact us on 1300 293 830.

When can I start?

There are six intakes into the 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?

$35,490 or $3,549 per course 

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.