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VCE Psychology provides students with a framework for exploring the complex interactions between biological, psychological and social factors that influence human thought, emotions and behaviour. In undertaking this study, students apply their learning to everyday situations including workplace and social relations. They gain insights into a range of psychological health issues in society.

In VCE Psychology students develop a range of inquiry skills involving practical experimentation and research, analytical skills including critical and creative thinking, and communication skills. Students use scientific and cognitive skills and understanding to analyse contemporary psychology-related issues, and communicate their views from an informed position.

VCE Psychology provides for continuing study pathways within the discipline and leads to a range of careers. Opportunities may involve working with children, adults, families and communities in a variety of settings such as 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. Psychologists also work in cross-disciplinary areas such as medical research or as part of on-going or emergency support services in educational, institutional and industrial settings.


This study enables students to:

  • apply psychological models, theories and concepts to describe, explain and analyse observations and ideas related to human thoughts, emotions and behaviour

  • examine the ways that a biopsychosocial approach can be applied to organise, analyse and extend knowledge in psychology

    and more broadly to:

  • understand the cooperative, cumulative, evolutionary and interdisciplinary nature of science as a human endeavour, including its possibilities, limitations and political and sociocultural influences

  • develop a range of individual and collaborative science investigation skills through experimental and inquiry tasks in the field and in the laboratory

  • develop an informed perspective on contemporary science-based issues of local and global significance

  • apply their scientific understanding to familiar and to unfamiliar situations, including personal, social, environmental and technological contexts

  • develop attitudes that include curiosity, open-mindedness, creativity, flexibility, integrity, attention to detail and respect for evidence-based conclusions

  • understand and apply the research, ethical and safety principles that govern the study and practice of the discipline in the collection, analysis, critical evaluation and reporting of data

  • communicate clearly and accurately an understanding of the discipline using appropriate terminology, conventions and formats.


The study is made up of four units:
Unit 1: How are behaviour and mental processes shaped?
Unit 2: How do external factors influence behaviour and mental processes?
Unit 3: How does experience affect behaviour and mental processes?
Unit 4: How is wellbeing developed and maintained?



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