Now that you’ve looked at what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Psychology at Melbourne Uni, you’re probably looking for an honest opinion from an actual student.
Lucky for you, we’ve talked to Jasmine, a third-year Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) student at Melbourne Uni, to share some pros and cons about the degree.
Let’s get started!
Why should you study a Psychology major at Melbourne Uni?
If a Psychology major at Melbourne Uni has caught your interest, you’re probably passionate about helping others and want to make a difference to people’s lives, mental health and wellbeing.
Melbourne University is also ranked #1 in Australia for Psychology which makes it one of the best places to study Psychology!
Top 3 Pros of a Psychology major
#1: You’re developing amazing research & writing skills
One of the best things about studying Psychology at Melbourne Uni is that it’s very research-heavy! The subjects you study and assessment tasks such as essays and lab reports will help you refine and learn amazing research skills as well as different forms of writing ranging from more art-focussed essays to science-focussed lab reports.
The research-led teaching will give you a great foundation for future studies such as Honours or Masters and will certainly help you if you’re considering a career in research!
“If you’re the slightest bit interested in the research aspect of Psychology, you should be nowhere other than Melbourne Uni,” said Jasmine.
#2: You’re surrounded by like-minded students
Another pro of studying Psychology at Melbourne Uni is that you’ll have a chance to connect with heaps of like-minded people! Everyone makes great contributions to lab classes and your class discussions will leave you feeling challenged and drive you to do better.
“You’re going to study with some of the smartest Psychology students and feeling challenged is nice, especially in lab classes… you’re ‘putting your brain there’ with some really really smart people,” said Jasmine.
#3: The Psychology faculty is great
One of the best things about a Psychology major at Melbourne Uni is the faculty. It’s even ranked #1 in Australia which tells you just how amazing the faculty is!
“They [the teaching staff] are all really good and the person who’s teaching you a particular unit is also researching or working clinically in that particular area so you’re getting the expert in the field to teach you,” she said.
Top 3 Cons of a Psychology major
#1: Gets competitive — not reflective of culture, just the nature of honours
One of the worst things about a Psychology major is that it gets quite competitive. Jasmine told us this isn’t reflective of the culture though!
It’s actually because Melbourne Uni’s Psychology Honours program has limited seats so students, especially third-years, end up getting competitive to make sure they get in!
“One of the biggest cons is that it gets really competitive and in my opinion, it’s not reflective of the culture because most people are really amazing… It’s just the nature of the degree because their Honours seats are so limited,” she said.
#2: Not a lot of support with internships
Another con of the Psychology major at Melbourne Uni is that there are no built-in placements and the uni doesn’t offer a lot of support with finding internships. “There’s not a direct pathway for us to find research placements,” said Jasmine.
#3: Not very flexible
Jasmine also told us about how there’s not a lot of flexibility within the Psychology major which is one of her least favourite things about the degree. She’s allowed to study a maximum of 10 Psychology subjects and only 2 of these are elective units!
While the course structure varies depending on which degree you choose, Jasmine finds that the limited flexibility means she can’t study some of the subjects she’s interested in.
“There’s not a lot of Psychology electives to choose from… I only get to choose two subjects and there’s also a restriction that I can only do 10 Psych subjects which is something I’m a little bit annoyed about because I’d like to do more Psych units!” she said.
Reflecting on her time studying Psychology at Melbourne Uni, Jasmine doesn’t have any regrets! With her involvement in her classes, clubs and societies, research internships and more, she’s found that she has enjoyed her time at Melbourne Uni.
What do you wish you had known before starting Melbourne Uni Psychology?
#1: Don’t be hard on yourself
It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of the content you cover as well as the different types of assessments you’ll come across are all new, especially compared to high school. Jasmine found that her first few semesters were difficult as she wasn’t completely familiar with writing lab reports or essays.
Not to worry though, you’ll get the hang of everything soon and until then, remember to not beat yourself up over it! “Give yourself time to learn those skills and then you’ll be alright,” she said.
#2: Look into the course structure
Another thing Jasmine recommends is focussing on the course structure when choosing your university. After all, it’s important to have a solid idea of what exactly you’ll study in order to make the right decision!
“I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to what the course structure was like… Course structure is probably something that people should look into before deciding the university,” she said.
What makes this major different from the ones offered at other universities?
One thing that makes the Psychology major offered at Melbourne University different to the ones offered at other unis is that it’s very research-focussed. The major is designed to set you up for further studies such as Honours, future research, or postgraduate clinical studies.
“Our lecturers are clinical psychologists but other than that, there’s no clinical training or any kind of coursework that trains you to be in a therapeutic setup… Psychology at Melbourne Uni is very research-focussed,” said Jasmine.
If you’re interested in clinical psychology, this may not sound ideal but there are still plenty of opportunities to become a practising psychologist through further studies! In fact, having a good research foundation can actually be beneficial in a clinical setting too and Melbourne Uni’s research-led Psychology major will help you understand the importance of research in clinical practice.
What inspired you to choose Melbourne Uni Psychology?
For Jasmine, Melbourne University’s ranking for Psychology was a big motivating factor. Its high ranking in Australia for Psychology was a good indicator of its teaching quality!
As for why she wanted to study Psychology, Jasmine describes wanting to make a meaningful difference to people’s lives and mental health. “I have struggled with depression myself, so I just knew that I wanted to be the help that I received when I was younger,” she said.
What are the possible career paths?
Studying Psychology at Melbourne Uni is the starting point for a range of different careers. While a lot of psychology-related career paths require further study and qualifications, this major is a great foundation for building your future career!
Some potential career areas (with further study) include:
- Clinical Psychology
- Community Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Human Resources
Maitreyi Kulkarni is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications (Public Relations and Social Media) at Macquarie University. She loves writing just about anything from articles to poetry, and has also had one of her articles published with the ABC. When she’s not writing up a storm, she can be found reading, bingeing sitcoms, or playing the guitar.