Information on this page is for Australian residents

4 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
Face to Face


Become a leading researcher in psychology, with additional support and guidance. Our integrated program offers psychology graduates an alternative path to a doctoral degree.

Integrated PhD in Psychology program

During the first year of our integrated program, you’ll receive training in best-practice research methods. This allows graduates of our Bachelor of Psychology or similar to undertake a PhD, without previous thesis-research experience.

On passing the first-year components with a 70% average, you’ll begin your own original research, graduating in the standard timeframe.

You’ll make real contributions to the psychology field through an original PhD thesis in one of research-focus areas. Our expert staff offer world-class opportunities for interdisciplinary research.

You’ll present your research in a variety of contexts, including journals and conferences.

VU offers expertise and guidance in several specialised research areas.

Our research centres offer fantastic opportunities for supported and collaborative research. The newly formed Institute for Health & Sport and Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities incorporate research undertaken by the following:

Our partnerships with educational, health and community organisations offer important research opportunities. Research is undertaken in collaboration with government, not-for-profit organisations and other universities.

Recent relationships include:

  • Western Health
  • Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre
  • BeyondBlue – the National Depression Initiative
  • NorthWestern Mental Health and NorthWestern Mental Health Aged Persons' Mental Health Program; Consultative
  • Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Clinic
  • Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre
  • North West Metropolitan Integrated Pharmacotherapy Network
  • Victorian Govt Department of Health.

We have many postgraduate courses in psychology where you can consolidate your study and take your career to a new level.

A suggested pathway to your PhD is to undertake a research masters following your bachelor degree. Having successfully completed the first year of the PhD (Integrated) program, you may then progress to a PhD program.

In order to practise as a psychologist, you must complete an appropriately accredited postgraduate course. The Master of Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology) and the Master of Applied Psychology (Community Psychology) consist of course work, work placements and a research thesis. Graduates are eligible for practice accreditation, and registration with the AHPRA. After completing the applied masters degree, you may apply to the doctoral program.

VU psychology courses are Australian Psychological Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited. APAC accreditation ensures you receive high-quality education and are ready to use your psychology knowledge and skills in the community.

On completion of an applied masters degree, prior to your PhD, you can register as a psychologist in Victoria with the Psychology Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and apply for full membership with the Australian Psychological Society.

We offer various research scholarships for our PhD students. Victoria University has several generous research scholarships for successful applicants. There are also externally funded scholarships from dozens of organisations, some of which are aimed at postgraduate students.

VU Research gives you opportunities to:

  • connect with other researchers
  • participate in research festivals and competitions
  • develop your research skills
  • get funding for your research
  • publish and promote your findings.

We offer support for graduate researchers including:

Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.

Study in professional surroundings with expert support


We offer a professional clinic for VU's interdisciplinary work between 10 key primary health disciplines.

Careers in psychology research

A PhD will enhance your career opportunities in applied health settings. The Master of Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology) qualifies you to work as a clinical psychologist, following registration with the AHPRA. Adding a PhD increases your expertise and specialist skills in health-related research.

You’ll also graduate ready for a research career in government, health institutes or universities.

Job titles include:

  • psychologist
  • researcher
  • policy adviser
  • university lecturer.

The government website Job Outlook has these averaged salaries:

  • university lecturers, over A$100,000 (JobOutlook).

Course structure

To attain the award of Doctor of Philosophy through undertaking the Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) students will be required to completed in total 384 credit points consisting of:

  • 72 credit points of Core studies in Year 1
  • 24 credit points of Elective studies in Year 1
  • 288 credit points of Thesis units as per standard PhD


Core studies

Thesis Units (36 credit points)


Select 24 credit points (equivalent to 2 units) Elective Studies:

YEARS 2 - 4

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. expert understanding of a substantial body of theory and its practical application at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including substantial expert knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to the field.  
  2. intellectual independence and cognitive skills to undertake a systematic investigation, reflect critically on theory and practice and evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, including identifying, evaluating and critically analysing the validity of research studies and their applicability to a research problem.  
  3. expert cognitive, technical and creative skills to: design, develop and implement a research project/s to systematically investigate a research problem; develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge; manage, analyse, evaluate and interpret data, synthesising key ideas and theorising within the context of key literature.  
  4. expert communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions; to disseminate and promote new insights; and to cogently present a complex investigation of originality, or original research, both for external examination and to specialist (eg researcher peers) and non-specialist (industry and/or community) audiences through informal interaction, scholarly publications, reports and formal presentations.  
  5. capacity to reflect on, develop and evaluate strategies for achieving their own learning and career goals.  
  6. intellectual independence, initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning.  
  7. ethical practice and full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs.  
  8. autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and independent scholar.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Entry requirements

Completed a qualification at AQF level 8 or above, typically in a cognate discipline (including a qualification without minor thesis), with Honours or its equivalent at a high standard.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

How to apply

You will need to follow the six steps to becoming a research student.

Contact the Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity on +61 3 9919 4522 or email if you require further information.

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Contact the Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.