There are a number of good reasons to study Psychology in Australia. The first is that there is a uniformly high standard of research being done across most departments of Psychology in Australia.
High quality research
In the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings, 22 of the 27 assessed departments had research at or above world standard. Good quality research is highly correlated with good quality teaching – those academics who are doing cutting-edge research are passionate about the areas that they research and this passion and enthusiasm transfers into their teaching. Also, students get hands-on experience of research, right from their first year, first as participants in research projects, and then in working with academics and postgraduates to conduct research.
Accreditations and constant reviews
Secondly, the content of teaching for many departments of Psychology in Australia is regulated by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), and so you can be sure that in those departments the course content will cover the essential building blocks you need to ensure that you get a broad and comprehensive education in Psychology. Accreditation has to be achieved every five years, which involves extensive review and evaluation of what is taught in order for a department to achieve accreditation. This process ensures that every department is maintaining high-quality teaching.
Fantastic support from universities
Thirdly, Australian universities tend to offer a lot of support for students, and this includes peer support through Psychology Students’ Associations. For example, at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, our Psychology Students’ Association works with academics and professional staff in the department to offer statistics workshops and career information days. They also have an activities team that create events that add fun to the university year, allowing students from all year levels to interact with undergraduate, postgraduate and faculty, so students feel a sense of belonging to the School of Psychology. The committee also has an important role in participating in reviews of the school and ensuring that the student voice and opinion are represented.
Finally, Australia is a great place to live! For example, Adelaide was ranked as the fifth most liveable city in the world in the 2013 Global Liveability Survey, for the second year in a row. Throughout Australia, the climate is great, we have safe communities, wonderful food, and unique and entrancing animals.
Article contributed by Professor Tracey Wade, Dean of the School of Psychology at Flinders University in Australia.