Best universities for psychology degrees in Australia

Explore the best universities in Australia for psychology degrees using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Best universities in
March 25 2021
Best universities for psychology degrees in Australia


Australia is one of the leading destinations for international students. It is home to some of the best universities in the world and provides a great study-abroad experience for students both in and out of the classroom.

When it comes to studying psychology in Australia, there are plenty of courses on offer at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

In Australia, students also benefit from hands-on experience of research from as early as their first year, first as volunteers or even participants in research projects and later working with academics and postgraduates to design and conduct studies.

There are 34 Australian universities featured in the Times Higher Education psychology ranking, with six universities featured in the top 100. 

Below are the best universities in Australia for psychology degrees.

1. University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is a public research university in Melbourne, Australia. Not only is it the top university in Australia for psychology, but the institution is ranked as the best university in Australia overall, according to Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2021.

The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences offers undergraduate psychology majors as part of bachelors of arts or science, as well as a breadth of psychology minor options and a graduate diploma programme for graduates seeking an accelerated psychology major. Postgraduate options include two master of psychology degrees in clinical psychology or clinical neuropsychology. 

The University of Melbourne Psychology Clinic is a teaching clinic that provides low-cost clinical services to adults, 17 years and over, living in Melbourne. The clinic is a component of the university’s professional training programme in psychology and has been running since the 1970s. Postgraduate students working towards their clinical degrees can see adult patients under the supervision of faculty members who are senior clinicians and registered clinical psychologists.

The University of Melbourne undertakes research in cognitive and behavioural neuroscience, quantitative psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology and clinical science.

What can you do with a psychology degree?

2. University of Sydney

The University of Sydney’s School of Psychology is one of the oldest in Australia.

The undergraduate psychology programme at the university consists of 10 psychology units studied over three years. Completion of the programme is a requirement for eligibility to proceed to a master’s year. Students can also study psychology as a major or minor alongside other subjects.

The University of Sydney also offers postgraduate options such as a master or doctor of philosophy as well as graduate diplomas in psychology, clinical psychology and coaching psychology. 

Psychology students at the University of Sydney have the opportunity to explore the research facilities, including the Charles Perkins Centre and the Brain and Mind Centre. These offer hands-on experience in many areas ranging from neurobiological foundations to clinical therapy, social interaction to decision-making, and from psychopharmacology to virtual reality.

The university is also home to the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, which investigates the medicinal use of cannabinoids; the world’s first university-based Coaching Psychology Unit; and a Clinical Psychology Unit that adopts a scientist-practitioner model. 

3. UNSW Sydney

The School of Psychology at UNSW Sydney offers a broad range of undergraduate courses that not only teach the foundations of psychology but also give students general skills in research design, critical thinking, statistical analysis, and written and oral communication.

Postgraduate programmes in clinical and forensic psychology provide professional training alongside module learning, while the doctorate programme offers the opportunity for advanced study in a range of specialised research fields.  

Facilities include computer laboratories running specialist software that allow students to design and implement their own psychological research and analyse and interpret the data they collect. At master’s level, students can access laboratories
for the analysis of cognition and brain function, including electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and eye tracking.

4. The University of Queensland

The School of Psychology at The University of Queensland has about 50 full-time academic staff, and the school provides an extensive range of research expertise covering biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, organisational and social psychology.

Undergraduate students can complete a four-year bachelor of psychological science or a three-year bachelor of arts or science with a major in psychology, or choose to study psychology as a minor alongside another degree. An accredited fourth year of study can also be completed following the undergraduate courses.

The postgraduate offering includes a research-based master’s and doctorate courses across all areas of psychology.

The school has several centres that provide advanced-level training in practice and research in psychology while serving the community. These include the UQ Psychology Clinic and the Parenting and Family Support Centre.

The Psychology Students’ Association (PSA) is the main student society for psychology students at the university, and it organises events, both on and off campus, to promote the social and academic pursuits of association members.

5. Australian National University (ANU)

The Australian National University’s Research School of Psychology was established in 1951 and now offers a comprehensive suite of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. 

ANU psychology students leave with an understanding of human motivation and behaviour, data analytics and statistics. The course also focuses on essential professional skills needed to work in the field, such as working in teams, conducting research and using various communication methods, from presentations to report writing.

Facilities include dedicated research laboratories with the latest equipment for electroencephalography (EEG), as well as eye trackers, driving simulators and research facilities for observing child development. 

Graduates of psychology courses at ANU have gone on to work in public service roles and in research positions at a variety of institutes; others have become management consultants at top firms such as KPMG and PwC.

Top universities in Australia for psychology degrees 2021

Australia Psychology Rank 2021  WUR Psychology Rank 2021  University City
1  23  University of Melbourne Melbourne
2  31  University of Sydney Sydney
3  34  UNSW Sydney Kensington
4  =52  The University of Queensland Brisbane
5  67  Australian National University Canberra
6  91  The University of Western Australia Perth
7  101–125  Macquarie University Sydney
8  126–150  Monash University Melbourne
=9  151–175  Curtin University Perth
=9  151–175  Western Sydney University Sydney
11  176–200  Australian Catholic University Sydney
=12  201–250  University of Adelaide Adelaide
=12  201–250  Deakin University Geelong
=12  201–250  Flinders University Adelaide
=12  201–250  Griffith University Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan
=12  201–250  La Trobe University Melbourne
=21  201–250  University of Newcastle Callaghan
'=18  251–300  Queensland University of Technology Brisbane
=18  251–300  University of Wollongong Wollongong
=20  301–400  University of Canberra Canberra
=20  301–400  Central Queensland University Rockhampton
=20  301–400  Edith Cowan University Joondalup
=20  301–400  Murdoch University Murdoch
=20  301–400  RMIT University Melbourne
=20  301–400  University of South Australia Adelaide
=20  301–400  Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn
=20  301–400  University of Tasmania Hobart
=20  301–400  Victoria University Melbourne
=29  401–500  Bond University Gold Coast
=29  401–500  Charles Sturt University Bathurst
=29  401–500  James Cook University Townsville City
=29  401–500  Southern Cross University Lismore
=29  401–500  University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba
=29  401–500  University of the Sunshine Coast Sunshine Coast


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