Study Psychology in Australia
Psychology courses in Australia provide graduates with what they need for a variety of careers. Psychology courses focusing on how people think and behave often involve an engaging mix of theory and applied skill in real situations. Asking why Psychology appeals to those looking to join one of Australia’s university programs lets us see several reasons for the popularity of the field:
– Psychology is an appealing subject if you have an interest in people, as it allows us to develop a deeper understanding of human behaviour.
– Psychology is a field that spreads into disciplines of science and arts – Psychology studies attract students with a broad range of interests.
– Psychology, at university level and beyond, is a field that is constantly changing. With new research contributing to our knowledge almost continuously, Psychology students connect with a field of human knowledge as full of evidence-based assertions as it is controversy.
– Such broader interest often goes together with experience. As well as novices, Psychology training is popular with students who’ve already had some contact with the field through work – in business and marketing, in teaching, in healthcare and social services. Even if you’re just out of school and choosing your first degree, it’s likely that you’ll work together with students from a range of backgrounds sharing a basic interest in engaging with the world around them.
Your study direction – how should I build towards my career?
The diverse range of ways that Psychology can be applied means that Psychology graduates enjoy different options for careers. And new choices are emerging, as the subject of Psychology – plus our understanding of how it can influence in different contexts – develops. University training certainly reflects these developments, now leading to careers in sports psychology, consumer psychology and roles in marketing, as well as in the development of health and social care. With graduate employment at a respectable level it’s an exciting time to be a Psychology graduate!
Next we’ll consider some of the main areas within the field of Psychology. These different specialisms will take you towards your chosen career as a graduate.
The largest area of the field is Clinical Psychology – it’s a fact reflected by the popularity of this study path and also by how competitive it is to gain a study place. Applicants to university courses generally need work experience in a clinical care context like community work or assisting a qualified Psychology professional in a healthcare situation. Experience as a volunteer is also very helpful for your university application.
Is this the field for you? As a trained Clinical Psychologist you could work with clients of all ages. You’ll evaluate their needs and provide therapy; you will also carrying out research into the effects of different approaches and treatments. But you are not a psychiatrist. Your clients may have issues of drug dependency, emotional problems or interpersonal issues, or specific learning difficulties (for instance, conditions within the autism spectrum).
When you work in the area of Occupational Psychology your employers can be quite diverse as may be the roles you will fulfill. And Occupational Psychologists also have plenty of options to work freelance. You could be closely involved in research on how to choose the staff that will enter an organisation, also discovering which methods are most effective for training them. This is also true in a business context, where you may work to find the best way of delivering the company’s own training program – work that could easily involve psychological tests. One example of this direction is in team-building, or the introduction of new technology to company staff. Where technology is concerned you be contributing to the design of a user interface, based on your research findings and knowledge of methods that could allow for useful feedback from potential users.
As a counselling psychologist most of your work will take the form of meetings one to one with your clients. You may work with those experiencing relationship problems, for example with family or marriage. Or you may counsel clients who have lost family members, assisting them in developing ways to cope with or overcome the problems faced.
Next we look at the specialism of Educational Psychology. In this area, you’ll deal with how children, teenagers and young adults develop – typically, specialists in Educational Psychology work mainly with education institutions like schools and education authorities in a location. Your work could involve communication with teachers and parents, identifying such things as learning difficulties which specific students may have (for example, discovering why certain pupils have difficulties with reading). Your work could lead you towards assisting youngsters causing problems at school (an example being bullying). Professional Psychologists in this area typically assess, consult and advise on action that would be most effective, letting the school or organisation take the best steps to resolve its problems.
Australia is a sporting giant, and there has been much written about what lies behind the success of its national sportspeople. One possible secret is the widespread use of Sports Psychologists, who work with athletes of all kinds with the goal of improving their performance. As a field, Sports Psychology will include looking at how sportswomen and men can raise their levels of focus during training and when competing. Again, the growth in this field is mirrored by the number of university study options now available in Australia.
For more information and a discussion of your specific requirements, come and see us at YEC.