Skip to main content

Graduate Diploma in Psychology

Learn foundational psychological theories and diverse perspectives from registered psychologists, academics, and thought leaders. Choose from a wide range of contemporary option courses and graduate with multiple study and employment pathways.

Note: Completion of this program in 2 years (24 months) means studying an average of 5 courses over four teaching periods. If you choose to study part-time with a 50% study load, you'll complete this program in 2.5 years (30 months).
Please use plan code GD214O in the application system for this program. 

Applications close

13 Dec 2022

Future intakes
Jan 2023|Apr 2023
Number of courses
24 months

Program Overview

Why study

According to the Australian Psychological Society, psychology is a science and profession dedicated to understanding how people think, behave, feel, and learn. Psychology is a rapidly growing profession, ideal for those looking to make an impact-driven career with highly transferable skills. 

Our Graduate Diploma in Psychology will give you a comprehensive APAC accredited* introduction to the theories and practices of psychology. You’ll explore a variety of psychological perspectives including developmental, biological, cognitive, and social psychology, alongside counselling and research skills. You’ll gain perspectives from practising psychologists, academics, and industry thought leaders. Importantly, you’ll have the flexibility to customise your study with a choice of two contemporary electives in health and wellbeing, motivation and work, or applied virtual care.

As part of this program, potential employment pathways you may be able to work in include social research, mental health, organisational behaviour, human resources, welfare resources, market research, and communications. Furthermore, students with an average grade of 75% are eligible for entrance into RMIT's on-campus Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) (Honours)

*This program has been accredited with conditions by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). Visit the APAC website for more information on what this means for graduates of the program.

Program outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the broad foundational theory in psychology and an ability to apply that knowledge in various real-world settings using a scientific approach.
  • Communicate interpersonally in an effective, culturally appropriate and sensitive way through a broad range of mediums (written, electronic, graphic, oral) with individuals of diverse backgrounds and values.
  • Critique theory and apply evidence-based knowledge to conceptualise and solve problems in a variety of contexts, independently and collaboratively.
  • Reflexively implement the values and ethics of psychology through scientific enquiry that is tolerant and respectful of individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds and values.
  • Generate and evaluate complex solutions in the autonomous pursuit of scholarly inquiry in psychology.

Learn more about our Graduate Diploma of Psychology


Part A - Fundamentals of Psychology

This course is one of two introductory psychology courses providing foundational knowledge of the primary subdisciplines of psychology. Topics covered include biological bases of behaviour; learning and memory; emotion and motivation, and developmental psychology. You’ll also be introduced to research methods and their applications.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically appraise academic literature in psychology and evaluate its significance regarding foundational psychology across cultures.
  • Evaluate the major theories of biological bases of behaviour, learning, memory, motivation and emotion.
  • Critically review key theoretical psychological perspectives on the stages of human development.
  • Exemplify effective written communication skills, including knowledge of APA style.

Part A - Fundamentals of Psychology 2

This course is one of two introductory psychology courses providing an introduction and critical review of major theories of psychology including personality, psychopathology, social psychology, and cross-cultural psychology. You’ll gain an introduction to scientific psychology, the theories of personality, perspectives and classification of psychological disorders, social influence and pro-social behaviour, and cultural differences applied to psychological theory and practice. As part of this course, you’ll also be introduced to and apply the basic elements of research methods.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically review major theories and key research in personality, social psychology, psychopathology and cross-cultural psychology.
  • Apply descriptive and inferential statistics and conceptually map various research methodologies in the field of psychology.
  • Critically reflect on psychology as the scientific study of human behaviour in an applied context.
  • Exemplify effective written communication skills, including knowledge of APA style.

Part B - Developmental and Social Psychology

This course introduces you to social behaviour and human development through the lifespan, including perceptualmotor, psychosocial and cognitive development. Historical issues, current perspectives, environmental factors and the major research designs used in developmental psychology will also be considered. The course emphasises development from infancy through to adolescence. Issues related to adulthood, old age, death and dying will then be considered.

You will critically examine social behaviour and explore the extensive applications of social psychological principles to real world problems including prejudice, safe sex behaviour, divorce, media violence and environmental problems. Theories and research findings are used to increase the understanding of settings and problems in the real world. You will apply both theoretical and practical methodological issues central to social psychological research. This course will illuminate the connection and dependencies between basic and applied research.

Learning outcomes

  • Outline major developmental theories and discuss in relation to fundamental questions within the field of developmental psychology.
  • Explain, to a non-professional audience, human development within each of the developmental domains at various stages of the lifespan and consider the role of cultural and context-related influences on development.
  • Critically analyse psychological explanations for the occurrence of certain kinds of social behaviour.
  • Critically apply social psychological principles to conceptualise socio-cultural issues in culturally diverse settings.
  • Critically analyse theoretical and practical methodological issues central to developmental and social psychology research.

Part B - Cognitive and Biological Psychology

This course will introduce you to the theory, research and methods underlying modern cognitive psychology and biological psychology. The cognitive psychology aspect canvasses underlying cognitive processes (e.g., memory, attention, perception) as well as more complex, high-level procedures, such as problem solving, intelligence and decision making. You will evaluate the most important applications of cognitive psychological research and key underlying theories. The biological psychology aspect will involve the application of knowledge of the biological basis of behaviour across a range of topic areas including neurotransmission; sleep and biological rhythms; hormones and behaviour; behaviour and genetics; the biological basis of memory; psychopharmacology; and the biology of abnormal behaviour. 

Learning outcomes 

  • Analyse the importance of cognitive psychology within the broader context of scientific psychology and other associated areas of study.
  • Critically evaluate key applications of cognitive psychological research and key theories and research underlying the basic content areas of cognitive psychology. 
  • Identify and elaborate on key findings from neuroscience in case studies where important contributions to cognitive psychology have been made and reflect on expert responses to these studies. 
  • Reflect your knowledge of the biological basis of psychological behaviour across a range of topic areas and value systems. 

Part B - Exploring Research in Psychology

This course will introduce you to the major methodological principles and data analysis techniques used in the scientific process of applied human research. You will review and analyse research designs and measurement techniques. You will apply a range of data analysis techniques across various commonly available data analysis packages.

Learning outcomes 

  • Design, review and critically analyse several psychology research analysis approaches and techniques used in applied human research. 
  • Critically appraise published research in psychology to analyse research designs and techniques. 
  • Design research questions and plans using appropriate data analysis techniques to produce valid, accurate insights which contribute to scholarly inquiry in psychology. 
  • Explain and apply a range of validated data analysis techniques to solve problems using commonly available platforms in psychology research. 

Part C - Counselling and Professional Practices

This work-integrated learning (WIL) course focuses on the professional practice of psychology in society and organisations by simulating current workplace practices, processes, and environments. You will investigate and critically analyse the different ways in which psychologists contribute to society and help you prepare for your graduation from the program, and entry into the workplace or clinical training. The course will use real-world scenarios and apply industry processes and methods to support you in developing and reflect on evidence-based counselling practices. You will explore cross-cultural issues and the importance of intercultural diversity and indigenous contributions and how they inform approaches to counselling. 

Learning outcomes 

  • Explain the organisation and regulation of psychology as a field in Australia, specifically regarding ethical practice and respect for indigenous values 
  • Critically review the practice of psychology across a range of cultural contexts 
  • Critically reflect on your application of a range of therapeutic techniques to establish and maintain effective communication with clients and co-workers in simulated professional settings 
  • Use culturally appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication approaches in communicating with clients and co-workers in a simulated professional situation 
  • Reflect on your use of evidence-based counselling approaches in simulated experiences 

Part C - Mental Health and Psychological Interventions

This course introduces the study of abnormal psychology. The concept of abnormality will be examined and issues related to the classification of psychological disorders will be explored. The descriptive taxonomy of the DSM-5 will be introduced and aetiological models and diagnosis of selected child, adolescent and adult disorders will be examined. Disorders may include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. A variety of contrasting theoretical models underlying psychological intervention will be examined to facilitate understanding of approaches and techniques of psychological intervention used by psychologists. 

Learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate concepts of normality, abnormality, and mental illness and justify the methodologies used to study, diagnose, and treat these psychopathologies 
  • Evaluate contrasting psychotherapeutic models and practical elements of the psychotherapeutic interaction within specific cultural contexts 
  • Analyse limitations and advantages of psychology diagnostic and classification systems used in Australia and internationally through scholarly inquiry 
  • Critically review the aetiology and assessment of selected child, adolescent, and adult psychological disorders. 

Part C - Personality and Assessment in Psychology

In this course you will evaluate and apply different theoretical models of individual differences, and evaluate a range of assessment procedures, ethical issues, and professional issues related to psychological assessment. You will learn to apply the scientist-practitioner model to psychological research to: evaluate your own perspectives on individual differences in terms of established concepts; consider the implications of these concepts for your own development; select and evaluate assessment instruments by applying knowledge of psychometric theory; and demonstrate an understanding of a range of ethical and professional issues related to psychological assessment. The course also considers key historical and philosophical influences underlying psychology, as well as more recent trends in thinking.

Learning outcomes 

  • Explain the historical context of modern psychology and apply these to the main ethical issues and dilemmas that face modern researchers and practitioners of psychology 
  • Conceptualise, conduct and communicate research findings using the guiding principles of scientist-practitioner model to psychological research, with a focus on evidence-based research 
  • Critically evaluate the major theories of individual difference in psychology and evaluate their suitability for use in psychological research contexts 
  • Evaluate the suitability of assessment procedures in psychology, and critically analyse the ethical and professional issues related to the assessment of individuals from various cultural groups.

Part D - Option course (Options 1 and 2)

For these option courses, you will choose two out of the three following courses:

Psychology of Motivation and Work 

The questions of what drives us and how to motivate peak performance among individuals, groups and organisations have become critical in contemporary work, education and sporting contexts. Apply theories and research into human motivation, examining topics that include drivers and instincts, volitional behaviour, self-control, self-regulation, and the interactions between motivation, emotion, learning, and behaviour change. Devise and evaluate empirically supported strategies for goal-setting and achievement, drawing from cognitive-behavioural, positive psychology, and other evidence-based models. Investigate and analyse the ways in which individuals and groups function in organisations and the impact of the organisational environment, including the dynamics of working in a multicultural society. 

Health and Wellbeing Psychology

In this course, you’ll critically evaluate the theory and application of health psychology, a field aiming to reduce harmful health behaviours including poor dietary habits, smoking, physical inactivity, as well as alcohol and other drug abuse. Risk factors associated with a variety of chronic health conditions will also be examined such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and chronic pain, and appropriate evidence-based interventions for individuals and populations at risk of developing them. 

Part D - Option course (Option 3)

Applied Telehealth and Virtual Care

Health services are being and will increasingly be delivered differently in digital societies, including through different channels. Telehealth and virtual care capabilities have existed for quite some time, but their usage has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and is unlikely to retreat. Applied Telehealth and Virtual Care contextualises and analyses features of telehealth and virtual care models. You will analyse the nature and scope of contemporary telehealth and virtual care and explore emerging developments in the field. You will appraise recent innovations through a series of case studies and examine the implications for patient, consumer and citizen engagement, health outcomes and health service delivery.

Topics include investigation of issues associated with the use of telehealth and virtual care including human connection, privacy and security, ethics and governance. You will be able to draw from their professional experience (in areas such as mental health, chronic disease management, and professions such as medicine, nursing, allied and complementary health) to complete the learning activities and assessment tasks.

Learn with industry experts

Dr. Russell Conduit
Dr. Russell ConduitProgram Manager, RMIT

Dr Russell Conduit is a psychology program manager at RMIT University. He is an active researcher in psychology, with publications and grant funding in sleep disorders and the impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive functioning. Russell has over 20 years of psychology teaching and course management experience in the

Professor Jane Burns
Professor Jane Burns Subject matter expert

Jane is an industry thought leader on this program, contributing her perspectives via video within courses. Jane has over two decades of experience in mental health and suicide prevention and has a strong passion for digital health solutions and the profit for purpose sector. Jane is a respected industry and

Dr. Amantha Imber
Dr. Amantha Imber Subject matter expert

Amantha is an industry thought leader on this program, contributing her perspectives via video Psychology of Motivation and Work course. Dr Amantha Imber is an organisational psychologist and founder of behavioural science consultancy Inventium. Amantha is also the co-creator of the Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies list and the

Student success team
Student success teamRMIT Online

Our student success team are here to help you with 1:1 coaching, tips on how to successfully study online, and any questions or concerns you may have.

Why choose RMIT Online

Get a world-class education and transform your career.

Real world skills

Develop skills that have been validated by industry, while getting credentialed by a world-leading university.

Industry connected

You'll gain knowledge and practical skills from renowned industry partners who are at the forefront of their field.

Flexible delivery

Advance your career while you study. RMIT Online courses let you balance work, study and life commitments.

Supported community

Be guided by a network of industry experts and peers, and supported by our dedicated success team.

Entry requirements

An Australian Bachelor degree or equivalent, or higher-level qualification, from a recognised tertiary institution.

If you’ve completed an APAC accredited psychology degree within the last 10 years, you are not normally eligible for this program.

English Language

A minimum IELTS (Academic module) overall score of 6.5, with no band below 6.0; or equivalent. International students are required to provide current evidence of

English language proficiency for admission to RMIT University. You can provide your results from one of these three options:

  • An accepted English language proficiency test, or
  • An accepted English language provider, or
  • A recognised Australian or international qualification.

For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit the English language requirements and equivalency information.

Australian Student Visas

RMIT’s Online Graduate Diploma in Psychology does not meet Australian student visa requirements. For an Australian student visa, you must have an on-campus place in a program of study. For more details on RMIT’s on-campus programs visit


Full Fee*

3240 per course

32400 all 10 courses

Important information

Fees are indicative only and are subject to change each year.
FEE-HELP and Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are subject to eligibility requirements.
Plus a capped Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) based on your credit point enrolment load.

Download a brochure

For a closer look at what you'll do in this program and where it can take you, fill out this form to get your free course guide

By clicking Submit, you agree to be contacted via email and SMS about our courses. Local numbers may also be contacted by phone. For information on how RMIT collects, stores and uses your personal information, see our RMIT Privacy Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.