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Study
Human Behaviour

Understanding what drives us

Ever wonder why we behave the way we do? Why people react differently to similar circumstances and how that shapes their behaviour? Understanding who we are, as well as how we think, feel and act is at the heart of the study of human behaviour. Study in this field will give you the tools to help people change their thought patterns and behaviours and improve their wellbeing.

At UOW we offer accredited degrees in the fields of psychology and social work. You’ll learn from staff who are at the forefront of their chosen discipline. You’ll learn career-ready skills from practical experiences, meaning you graduate ready for the workplace.

Belong to one of the best

Our psychology and social work degrees are world class:

  • Number 1 in NSW: In the 2021 Good Universities Guide, UOW ranked undergraduate psychology first in NSW for learning resources and skills development, and second overall.
  • Best employment prospects: In the 2021 Good Universities Guide, UOW ranked postgraduate psychology first in NSW for graduates in full-time employment, and student support.
  • Best teaching quality: In the 2021 Good Universities Guide, UOW ranked social work first in NSW for overall educational experience, student support and teaching quality.

 

 

UOW's Jioji Ravulo stands at the South Western Sydney campus

The study of human behaviour can lead in many directions; use your skills to improve the wellbeing of others, or better understand how people think and react in the workplace or as consumers.

At UOW, your choice of courses include psychology, psychological science, neuroscience, and social work.

You can also choose to study a double degree when you combine psychology with a related field such as commerce or law.

You may also choose a pathway to practice as a registered psychologist, with postgraduate study or supervised work experience that qualifies you for registration with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.

Study Social Work

At UOW we focus on teaching you the practical skills that you need to succeed:

  • Our onsite psychology clinic, Northfields Clinic, provides postgraduate clinical students with valuable real-world experience.
  • Our social work courses contain a total of 1000 hours of work-based placements, giving you an invaluable opportunity to learn practical skills first-hand.
  • As a UOW student you’ll also have access to work-integrated learning and careers support services from UOW’s Careers Central, helping you plan and prepare for your career before you graduate.

Group patient session at Northfields Clinic

All of our psychology courses are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), either for Registration as a Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, or as qualifying degrees for entering a registrar program leading to endorsement in Clinical Psychology.

Our social work courses are accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), meaning that you are eligible for AASW membership on graduation.

You can be sure you’ll graduate with the skills you need in practice, and those sought after by industry.

Sarah Loughran placing electrodes on student's head for sleep test

 

UOW has a strong health-based research portfolio, and is home to some of the most advanced research facilities in the region:

  • The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) is located on our Wollongong campus, and is home to research into a range of mental illnesses and addictions, as well as youth mental health and general psychology research.
  • The UOW School of Psychology is home to a range of research groups that focus on issues such as borderline personality disorder and the psychology of health.
  • The UOW School of Health and Society focuses on interdisciplinary research that inlcudes the role of social work in understanding and preventing violence.

Our research students have access to advanced research support from our Graduate Research School, helping to ensure they meet key milestones and meet or exceed international standards.

Two women sitting in a consultation type situation

You can study UOW undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses at our Wollongong campus. UOW undergraduate social work courses are offered at our Wollongong and Shoalhaven campuses, and postgraduate courses are available at our Wollongong and South Western Sydney campuses.

Please check the course information page for delivery details.

Number 1

UOW postgraduate Psychology ranked number one in Australia for graduates in full-time employment.

The Good Universities Guide 2021

Become one of the world's most employable graduates

UOW Social Work students are exposed to a variety of fields and methods of practice, preparing you for a wide range of career opportunities upon graduation.

Becoming a registered psychologist requires you to complete a path of study approved by the Psychology Board of Australia and available here at UOW. If this is not your goal, there are also other career options for those who complete a 3-year degree.

  • Brand manager
  • Child protection officer
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Cognitive psychologist
  • Community or social services officer
  • Data analyst
  • Developmental psychologist
  • Educational officer
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Juvenile justice officer
  • Life coach
  • Market and social research consultant
  • Marketing and advertising manager
  • Occupational psychologist
  • Organisational behaviour consultant
  • Personnel or human resources manager
  • Recruitment consultant
  • Rehabilitation services case manager
  • Social policy advisor
  • Social worker
  • Training and development manager
  • Youth worker

Read more: What can I do with my degree?

Meet Sarah

I have always had an interest in what drives people’s behaviour, how the mind works, and why people feel the way they do. These interests drove me toward studying psychology. I hope to one day become a Clinical Psychologist working with people in a clinical setting—while continuing my research.SarahDoctor of Philosophy (Clinical) Candidate Bachelor of Psychology Honours

Open to new opportunities

In 2020, the federal government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) ranked UOW Psychology as one of the best among NSW and the ACT universities for Learner Engagement. Here UOW student Tyler describes how study at UOW has opened new opportunities for him.

ALUMNI STORIES

[Tyler] I came to the UOW expecting to become a psychologist, and then during my time here I moved out and I started to broaden my expectations and my views, thanks to the learning that I got.
 
What I've studied here at university is being able to transfer across into getting me a real life position, and I know what my future holds for me. 

Real-world experience

Recent social work graduate Talei Vulatha and Associate Professor Jioji Ravulo talk about the importance of support and real-world placements in a social work degree.

ALUMNI STORIES

[Talei Vulatha - Master of Social Work (Qualifying)] I chose to study social work because I had a really keen interest in understanding how to create positive change, and also looking for ways of tackling disadvantage, injustice and inequality.
 
[Jioji Ravulo - Academic Program Director, Social Work] Our social work students will be great at understanding the realities of the world around them. Our social work students will have a bigger picture understanding of what it means to be a social worker and to respond proactively and effectively to social and welfare needs across the community.
 
[Talei] I think that it creates this really unique opportunity to engage in different challenges on a day-to-day basis, but you begin to see these challenges as really amazing opportunities for change.
 
[Jioji] It's about getting our social work students to understand the complexities of society and how we as social workers can assist in making those changes and making those differences.
 
[Talei] A couple of the real world experiences i've had a chance to partake in have been with my two professional placements. So on my first placement I was with a multicultural organization that was working primarily with people from refugee and refugee like backgrounds. And in my second placement with a community health organization working with people experiencing domestic violence.
 
[Jioji] And it's through those particular placements that they also develop a interest in a particular area of social work they see themselves possibly going into.
 
[Talei] Before we went on placement we were given the opportunity to participate in simulation labs which gives you a really unique opportunity to watch back your practice and then reflect on that and unpack it with your peers, and it really gives you a chance to explore your practice style before going out into the field.
 
[Jioji] So students are put into the placements not to just observe and you know get coffee they're actually there to actually work in those agencies which then provides them with those skills that they then develop and then they can take with them when they finish their social work degree. 
 
[Talei] I think a highlight for me has been the incredible support that you have throughout the degree whether that's from your academics people in community organizations and especially from your peers when you're going through such a challenging experience you really band together and i think that's one of the things that makes social work such an amazing thing to study and a really strong discipline.
 
[Jioji] The future looks bright for our social work students. They will go into a career that enables them to have job satisfaction that what they are doing is making a difference. That what they are doing will matter, that will create opportunities for those that are having a tough time in society to to move beyond those circumstances.

 

A brighter future starts here

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