VCE Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behaviour in humans. Biological, behavioural, cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives inform the way psychologists approach their research into the human condition.


The science of psychology has produced rapid expansion in knowledge, particularly in the fields of neuroscience and cognition. This growth has been fuelled by the emergence of new interdisciplinary approaches, advances in imaging technologies and a broader public interest in applications of psychology. As a result, new ethical frameworks have emerged for neuroscientific and psychological research, clinical practice and commercial applications.


In the VCE study of Psychology, students explore complex human behaviours and thought processes. They develop empathetic understandings and an understanding of mental health issues in society. Students are given the opportunity to apply psychological principles to everyday situations such as workplace and social relations. Psychology provides students with a sophisticated framework for understanding the complex interactions between biological, behavioural, cognitive and socio-cultural factors that influence thought, emotions and behaviour. The study assists students to further develop effective language skills for communication, and numeracy skills for research, data analysis and other applications. In addition, students develop a range of broader skills including those of problem solving, critical evaluation and the application of processes of scientific inquiry.


The study of Psychology leads to opportunities in a range of careers that involve working with children, adults, families and communities in a variety of settings. These include academic and research institutions, management and human resources, and government, corporate and private enterprises. Fields of applied psychology include educational, environmental, forensic, health, sport and organisational psychology. Specialist fields of psychology include counselling and clinical contexts, as well as neuropsychology, social psychology and developmental psychology.



The study is made up of four units:
Unit 1: Introduction to psychology
Unit 2: Self and others
Unit 3: The conscious self
Unit 4: Brain, behaviour and experience


Each unit contains two areas of study.



There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education. All VCE studies are benchmarked against comparable national and international standards.