Study options

Psychology and Counselling courses help students understand human cognition, perception, emotion and behaviour, leading to a range of careers where interpersonal skills are required.

Our courses focus on real world skills including teamwork, oral presenting, computing and data analysis, report writing, critical thinking, and interpretation of research findings.

We offer psychology courses accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) that provide pathways for becoming a psychologist and other careers, as well as specialist degrees in rehabilitation counselling, art therapy, and family therapy, each accredited by the relevant professional body.

Our Bachelor degree graduates will have the La Trobe Essentials: interdisciplinary skills, knowledge and attitudes sought by employers.

Our professional Masters degrees equip graduates with the practical, real-world skills necessary to become effective psychologists, counsellors, therapists or mental health care workers. According to the 2021 Good Universities Guide, La Trobe's postgraduate psychology programs are ranked best in the country on skills development (100% positive rating), learner engagement (93% positive), and teaching quality (96% positive); and best in Victoria on overall educational experience (89% positive).

Undergraduate and Honours - Psychology

Our APAC accredited courses include:

Double degrees:

View all Psychology courses

Subjects

You will study a broad range of psychology subjects and electives, with flexibility to do electives outside of psychology.

Core subjects include:

  • Experimental and clinical foundations of psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Cognition
  • Psychological research methods
  • Psychological assessment and intervention
  • Research projects in psychology

Psychology electives can be chosen in such areas as:

  • Behavioural neuroscience
  • Clinical neuroscience and neuropsychology
  • Psychology of human-animal relationships
  • Neural bases of consciousness
  • Close relationships: Theory and practice
  • Psychology of culture, communities and global citizenship
  • Understanding and treating autism spectrum disorders

Field placements

You will also do a supervised field placement to observe and engage in real world activities in a workplace setting. In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services we can offer students placements with offices such as Child Protection Services, Disability Services, Secure Welfare Services, Client Outcomes Branch and Health Workforce Planning. Alternatively, organisational psychology projects can be done in a business context.

Undergraduate and Honours - Counselling

If you're interested in community health, rehabilitation counselling, athlete welfare and health performance, public health or health promotion or are unsure which area of health science is for you, a Health Sciences degree can help you find your niche.

Our Bachelor of Health Sciences lets you pursue up to two specialised areas including:

Rehabilitation counselling

  • Understand how the counselling process helps people achieve personal, career and independent living goals.

Health, wellbeing and performance

  • Apply cognitive behavioural techniques to improve athlete performance, concentration, motivation, fitness and health.

and other specialisations exploring the social and psychological impacts of health and science:

  • Public health
  • Health promotion
  • Health and medical sciences

Our Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program enables you to build on your successes in the Bachelor of Health Sciences by completing Honours to enhance essential employability skills or take your first step to a career in research, academia and beyond.

Graduates not only gain an edge in an increasingly competitive job market, but also have the opportunity to advance to further coursework or research at Master's level or, for high achievers, direct entry into a PhD.

Postgraduate

Our Masters programs provide advanced, world-class training that will qualify you to be skilled and effective professional practioners, working as psychologists, counsellors, therapists or mental health care workers. Our contemporary, evidence-based training programs employ a competency-based approach to clinical training that integrates theoretical knowledge and practical skill development.

This was evidenced by La Trobe's postgraduate psychology programs being ranked by graduates as best in the country on skills development (100% positive rating), learner engagement (93% positive), and teaching quality (96% positive); and best in Victoria on overall educational experience (89% positive) –  2021 Good Universities Guide.

Courses include:

  • Master of Clinical Psychology: completion of this degree followed by a supervised registrar program leads to an area of practice endorsement as a Clinical Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. The opportunity to expand to a concurrent Master of Clinical Psychology/PhD program is available for local applicants after successful completion of the first year of the Master of Clinical Psychology. PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this course now close on 30 October.
  • Master of Clinical Neuropsychology: completion of this degree followed by a supervised registrar program leads to an area of practice endorsement as a Clinical Neuropsychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. The opportunity to expand to a concurrent Master of Clinical Neuropsychology/PhD program is available for local applicants after successful completion of the first year of the Master of Clinical Neuropsychology. NOT BEING OFFERED IN 2022.
  • Master of Professional Psychology: completion of this degree followed by one year of supervised practice leads to general registration as a Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this course now close on 30 October. Late offers will be considered after this date if applicants have applied to the Master of Clinical Psychology or the Master of Neuropsychology and have not received an interview, or an offer.
  • Master of Art Therapy: Art Therapists work in areas where people require assistance with achieving a better quality of mental health wellbeing or to support behavioural change. You might work with a client or a group of clients through creative activities such as drawing, painting, sculpting and collage. Work might be in psychiatric wards, prisons, rehabilitation centres, drug and alcohol units, community health centres or palliative care services..
  • Master of Rehabilitation Counselling and Mental Health: This accredited program provides students with the opportunity to learn how to support individuals and communities through disability, disadvantage and injury – helping them to reach their full potential and reintegrate into work and the community.  Offering hands-on experience, students graduate prepared to work in rehabilitation counselling, as well as broader counselling settings such as mental health and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselling.
  • Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Counselling: The program is accredited by the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC), making it easier for employers to recognise your advanced skills and knowledge. Students graduate prepared to work in rehabilitation counselling, as well as broader counselling settings related to areas such as wellbeing, sport, and mental health.
  • Master of Clinical Family Therapy: This practically orientated course provides training in family therapy with a focus on supervision of family work and integrating family therapy theory. It's ideal for psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, youth workers, drug and alcohol counsellors, psychiatric nurses or workers from other professions who are suitably qualified and want to focus strictly on family therapy counselling.
  • Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy: This course is ideal for practitioners working in the fields or education, nursing, welfare, family support, child protection, disability, drugs and alcohol, residential care and mental health to enhance their skills in dealing professionally with families. The course enables students to relate theory and practice to their own work settings.

Practical placements

High-quality training opportunities are provided both through external placement and within onsite clinical settings, including the La Trobe University Psychology Clinic; the Bouverie Centre: Victoria’s Family Institute; the Autism Research Clinical Assessment suites; and the Art Therapy Studio.

External placements are done with a wide range of partner organisations, including all major public health services in Melbourne, drug and alcohol services, memory clinics and private practitioners and clinics.

Research degrees

La Trobe University runs postgraduate programs that prepare students for a career in research or advanced application of knowledge in their specialist field.

PhD degrees can be completed as a stand-alone degree with a research focus or for appropriately qualified graduates, can be combined with a professional psychology Masters program.

There are many researchers in the School of Psychology and Public Health with strong partnerships locally and internationally, with whom you can complete a research degree. Or view our PhD topics available for supervision.