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Graduate Diploma in Psychology Online


1.7 years part-time




Eligible for Fee-HELP. Learn more

Start date

July 2024

Study mode


Course Overview

Our 100% online Graduate Diploma in Psychology is your first step in a rewarding career of connecting with others. The program and curriculum are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and covers all the foundational knowledge you need to start your journey towards becoming a registered psychologist.

Our smaller, intimate class sizes ensure you’re able to forge those one-on-one connections and get the most out of your study program and you'll be supported every step of the way by our dedicated and highly qualified staff. Start an application today and join South Australia's #1 university for graduate employability (QS, 2022). 

Why study psychology with us?


100% online

Study around your commitments and access content and assessments 24/7.


Engaging content

Discover what makes people tick through short instructional videos, readings and interactive activities. 

research excellence

Research excellence

We were ‘above world standard’ in the 2018 Australian Research Council (ARC) Excellence in Research Australia report.

On-going support until you graduate

Trusted support

Our dedicated Student Success Advisors and PhD-qualified tutors provide one-on-one support.

Connect with teachers and peers

Stay connected

Our smaller, intimate class sizes ensure that you’ll get the most out of your online psychology program.

Pathway for further study

Study pathway

Complete our Graduate Diploma in Psychology then seamlessly transition into our honours-equivalent program.

Accreditations and ranking

Make your mark amidst a rich history of excellence spanning more than 140 years.

APAC logo


Our online Graduate Diploma in Psychology is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).


Group of Eight

Studying at one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities guarantees an exceptional quality of learning and global recognition.


Global top 1%

We're in the top 1% of universities worldwide (Times Higher Education, 2023).

Flexible online learning

Studying psychology online allows you the flexibility to understand how the human brain works in your own time. 

How long is each psychology subject?

Six weeks.

What should I expect from the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology?

The ten online Graduate Diploma in Psychology courses cover the foundational knowledge you need to start your journey towards becoming a registered psychologist.

  • weekly interactive webinar tutorials to ask questions and deepen your psychology knowledge  
  • weekend drop-in sessions with your tutors  
  • discussion forums with your peers and tutors  
  • course readings and guided psychology research  
  • three assessments over the six weeks.

The University of Adelaide has partnered with Pearson, the world’s leading global learning company, to deliver this degree 100% online. The Partnership has been established to deliver the very best experience and learning outcomes to all our students. Students will be awarded a University of Adelaide qualification and this degree meets the University's highest quality standards.

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What our psychology students say

psych student"All my tutors have been fantastic. They're always there to help if I need and check in regularly."

- Madison O'Brien, current online Graduate Diploma in Psychology student

What will my psychology assignments be? 

Assessments will be real-world type assessments and will include but not limited to: 

  • small weekly psychology quizzes 
  • annotated bibliography 
  • literature review 
  • reports 
  • creative exercises 
  • group tasks 
  • reflective exercises

Download a Graduate Diploma in Psychology brochure to learn more about the online learning experience.

Psychology career paths and opportunities

Working as a registered psychologist is a deeply fulfilling and rewarding experience. There are many ways and settings in which you can help people and make a positive impact. From schools to hospitals, community organisations and research institutions; psychologists make invaluable contributions to individuals and societies across the globe. 

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The broad range of skills you will gain from the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology are also essential for many roles in health, business, sport 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.

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For students who wish to become a researcher or academic, successful completion of the psychology study pathway will also help you meet the entry requirements for psychology PhD or a doctorate. People working in academic psychology deepen our understanding of human behaviour and cognition by conducting scientific and scholarly research or educating the next generation of psychologists. 

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  • 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 psychology. 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’ psychology program. The University of Adelaide offers an online Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) (GDPA) which is a 4th-year equivalent psychology 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)
  • What level of experience do the Graduate Diploma in Psychology program tutors have?

    Our tutors have a wealth of academic and industry psychology experience and are well established in their fields with a minimum AQF Level of 9+.

  • Is the Graduate Diploma in Psychology online program APAC-accredited?

    Yes. Earning an accreditation from the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) means that the Graduate Diploma in Psychology has been formally and comprehensively examined and it meets the predetermined standards of education for psychologists. APAC also ensure the program formally provides the required sequence of subjects for students wishing to undertake further study in psychology and ongoing improvement of educational quality in psychology. 

  • What are the entry requirements for the online Graduate Diploma in Psychology?

    In order to apply for an online Graduate Diploma in Psychology, the applicant must have completed an undergraduate Bachelor's degree (of any discipline) with a passing grade, so long as it meets Aus Qual criteria.

  • What is the difference between a psychologist and a counsellor?

    There is a big difference between a psychologist and a counsellor. Professional psychologists provide clinical mental health support, helping patients suffering from complex long-term mental health conditions, whereas counsellors usually help patients with specific short-term challenges. Psychologists must complete a specific educational criteria only becoming a registered psychologist once they have achieved the correct training. A counsellor does not require as much training but cannot provide medical advice.

  • Foundations of psychology - PSYCHOL 6500OL

    This psychology course introduces foundational concepts and topics within the contemporary psychological field. You will learn about psychology 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 the psychology 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 the psychology 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. Psychology students will develop the skills needed to critically evaluate and conduct psychology research into why people think and act the way they do.

    View the Graduate Diploma in Psychology 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 the psychology 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 the Graduate Diploma in Psychology 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 the Graduate Diploma in Psychology 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 the psychology course outline.

  • Cognitive Psychology - PSYCHOL 6507OL

    Cognitive Psychology is the branch of Psychology focusing on how mental processes work. These mental processes include perception, attention, memory, language, and problem solving. In this course, students will be introduced to the research, theories, and debates within Cognitive Psychology regarding how these mental processes function, as well as the applications that research within the field have to everyday life and society.

    View the psychology 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 the Graduate Diploma in Psychology course outline.

What is the total cost?

$40,230* or $4,023 per course (2024 fees).

Find more information on fees for domestic students, including annual fees and fee increases, in the Fees (domestic students) section.

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.

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 meet the English language proficiency requirements for our 100% online postgraduate programs, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Typically, if English is your first language you will not be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. You will also not be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency if you are an Australian citizen, Australian Permanent Resident (visa status) 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.

To learn more, visit the English Language Proficiency Requirements for detailed information about these requirements, including acceptable English language tests.

We also recommend that you speak to an Enrolment Advisor to discuss options that are specific to your circumstances. You can schedule a call here.

When can I start the Graduate Diploma in Psychology online?

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 on studying psychology online.

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