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Pathways to registration

For students

Pathway options

Pathways to registration

Students interested in obtaining registration as a psychologist have a number of pathways to registration that they can choose to follow. The first step within the pathway typically starts with an APAC accredited three year undergraduate sequence, followed by the completion of a fourth year program of study.

After completing the fourth year, there are three pathway options for a student to follow which leads to registration as a psychologist in Australia. The pathways are shown in the figure above and explained in more detail on this page.

Registration pathways to becoming a psychologist
Complete an APAC accredited Level 1 program

The Level 1 Foundational Competencies are broadly equivalent to the level of competence of a Bachelor degree which may be designed specifically for psychology or as a psychology sequence in a Bachelor degree for a different discipline. The Level 1 Foundational Competencies can also be used as a psychology sequence in a higher level psychology qualification (i.e. AQF 8 Graduate Diploma) intended as a bridge for students holding a qualification in another discipline.

If you have graduated from a program that is not APAC accredited, you may be eligible for entry into a 3-year bridging program (approximately 12-18 months in duration) which, on successful completion, you may be eligible to apply for entry to an APAC accredited fourth year program.

Complete an APAC accredited Level 2 program

The Level 2 Pre-Professional Competencies are broadly equivalent to a Bachelor Honours degree and can be offered as either a stand-alone program or integrated with a lower or higher-level program. The Level 2 Pre-Professional Competencies can also be used as a psychology sequence in an equivalent Level 2 Graduate Diploma degree.

When offered as a stand-alone program, typically, these programs are one year in duration on a full-time study load.

Note: some education providers offer years 1-4 (packaged Level 1 and 2) in one program which is a four-year psychology sequence, or years 4-5 (packaged Level 2 and 3) in one program which is a two year psychology sequence.

At the end of 4th year, there are three pathway options

4+2 pathway

Complete a two-year internship of supervised practice as a provisionally registered psychologist and subsequently, pass the National Psychology Exam.

Please note, this pathway is being retired by the PsyBA. Please refer to the PsyBA for further information on the 4+2 internship program.

5+1 pathway

Complete an APAC accredited Level 3 fifth year program of study as a provisionally registered psychologist, followed by a one-year internship of supervised practice and subsequently, pass the National Psychology Exam.

Please refer to the PsyBA for further information on the 5+1 internship program.

Please note, students who are enrolled in the packaged Level 2 and 3 program will need to gain provisional registration at the end of the fourth year component of the program. Please refer to the PsyBA for further information regarding registration requirements.

Postgraduate professional psychology pathway

Complete an APAC accredited packaged Level 3 and 4 (fifth and sixth year of study) Masters, combined Masters/PhD or Doctorate program as a provisionally registered psychologist. Professional postgraduate programs are offered in nine Areas of Practice Endorsement (AoPE):

  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Educational and Developmental Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

After completion of an AoPE postgraduate program, a psychologist must also complete the PsyBA registrar program to be eligible for AoPE. Please contact the PsyBA for further information on the registrar program.

Level 4 Stand-alone programs for endorsement

Psychologists who hold general registration, including those who have completed an internship pathway, may be eligible for entry into a one-year Level 4 stand-alone program for AoPE. As with all programs for endorsement, psychologists must also complete the PsyBA registrar program to be eligible for the AoPE.

Post-Masters bridging programs for endorsement

Psychologists who already hold general registration plus an AoPE and wish to gain another AoPE may be eligible for entry into a Level 4 Post-Masters bridging program, followed by the PsyBA registrar program.

The search for a program page lists all current APAC accredited programs of study. Please contact the relevant higher education provider directly for more information about its programs.

Registration Standards are defined and managed by the Psychology Board of Australia

All enquiries relating to internships, supervision, the area of practice endorsement registrar program and the National Psychology Exam should be directed to the PsyBA. For further information on careers and study pathways, please contact the Australian Psychological Society.

More information for students

Learn more about the pathways of study which lead to registration as a psychologist in Australia.
Entry requirements
The APAC Accreditation Standards set the minimum entry requirements for each level of study.
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Refresher training
Applicants who wish to continue their studies in psychology education but have completed the four year sequence more than 10 years ago may be eligible to complete a refresher training program.
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Academic transcript check
APAC publishes details of accredited programs of study on the website, including programs that may be in the process of being taught out or have been recently discontinued.
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Overseas qualifications
If you have gained an overseas academic qualification in psychology and you are seeking to register to practise as a psychologist or continue further studies in an APAC accredited program in Australia, the appropriate course of action is dependent on the advice you are seeking.
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