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Why Aspiring Psychologists Should Consider an Online 4th-Year Program

Aspiring Psychologist Leanne


Completing a 4th-year course is an essential step for aspiring psychologists. On-campus honours programs offer an immersive learning experience, but they require students to balance their careers and personal commitments with attending classes in person.  

If fitting an on-campus degree into your busy schedule isn’t feasible, consider studying psychology online. Our Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced is a 100% online 4th-year psychology program that offers students great flexibility.  

This honours-equivalent course opens doors to the same psychology career pathways that a full-time, on-campus degree would. Upon graduating, you’ll be eligible to undertake further specialised postgraduate training or an internship via the Psychology Board of Australia in order to qualify for provisional registration. 

Discover how an online 4th-year psychology program could work for you.   


Online psychology programs let you work while you study. In addition to avoiding gaps in your job history, having the flexibility to stay employed while studying may also help you get accepted into postgraduate psychology degrees in the future (on the condition you meet entry requirements for the course you’re applying for). 

While relevant work experience is not necessary to qualify for a master’s degree in psychology, it can support your application. When applying for a master’s program, you’ll likely be required to attend selection interviews and provide references and personal statements. Designed to assess your eligibility to practise psychology, this process will be much easier with relevant work experience. 

In some cases, online study can also lead to improved learning outcomes. Research published in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology found that students with experience in both face-to-face and online study believed that the need for flexibility outweighed the perceived benefits of face-to-face learning.

Student Support  

As the first tertiary institution in Australia to deliver a 100% online Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, Monash Online is dedicated to ensuring students have the necessary resources to get a great education. We provide aspiring psychologists with an expert support team via Student Success, a dedicated faculty of leading experts in online education. 

The Student Support faculty were heavily involved in the development of our online psychology courses. Many of them work in the psychology industry themselves in research and consulting roles, so they can offer valuable insights based on real-world experience. 

While enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a Dedicated Student Success Advisor. They’ll be available to offer constant support, even more so than on-campus course advisors. 

From enrolment to graduation, your Dedicated Student Success Advisor will provide you with: 

  • Motivation 
  • Class scheduling advice 
  • Help with finding study resources 
  • Admin support  
  • General advice and tips

Not studying on-campus doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on working with your peers. The Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced fosters a sense of community among students by providing opportunities for online collaboration. Many students also get to know each other in person by organising offline catch-ups.

Wider Choice of Research Topics 

Based on Job Outlook data, advanced research skills are crucial for aspiring psychologists. Given the importance of developing your abilities as a researcher, choosing a specialisation during the 4th year of your psychology studies is a significant consideration. 

The Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced offers a broader scope of research domain options. If you’re already interested in a particular area of mental health, you’ll have more options studying online than you would on campus, where you’d be restricted to a few topics depending on the semester.  

Some examples of possible research domains include:

  • Antisociality and prosociality
  • Social and applied psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Health psychology
  • Cognition and psychological state

Regardless of the subject, you decide to focus on, the Monash Psychology Research Portal encompasses all the resources, information and tools you’ll need to complete a research project 100% online.

This award-winning portal is designed to help you with a range of tasks relating to your psychology studies, including: 

  • Recruiting participants for studies 
  • Accessing academic journals
  • Requesting feedback from supervisors 

It has such a wealth of information that on-campus students also use it despite having physical access to other study resources.

Well-Paced Subjects  

It’s possible to complete an honours-equivalent 4th-year psychology course at a pace that aligns with your schedule. The Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced can be studied one subject at a time, allowing you to focus on individual topics. If you’ve only ever studied on-campus before, this pace of learning will help you adjust to studying online. 

The course’s one-subject-at-a-time structure means you can avoid sacrificing your work or personal commitments while studying. Covering 8 teaching units, it takes 1.4 years to complete – longer than full-time on-campus but shorter than part-time on-campus.

Postgraduate Opportunities 

For entry into Monash Online's Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, you will need to meet the minimum entry requirements. This includes a distinction (70%) average across second and third-year psychology units (including psychology electives), or across all psychology graduate diploma units, excluding any foundational units. 

Once successfully completing the Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, you will be qualified to apply for provisional registration as a psychologist. You’ll also be able to undertake further specialised postgraduate training, such as a master’s or PhD. Your eligibility to study a master’s degree will be assessed on a combination of things, including your academic track record, how you perform in the application interview and how well you articulate yourself in your personal statement. 

Choosing the right 4th-year psychology course will improve your chances of being accepted into a master’s program. This is why it’s so important to consider all your options carefully, including online study.

Even though online study requires discipline and self-motivation, it also comes with many advantages that aren’t available with on-campus programs. If you would like more information about the Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, make an appointment to speak with an Advisor at Monash Online today.