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Diploma of Social and Psychological Science

Learn how to understand the human brain and predict behaviour.

Get a head start!

The Diploma of Social and Psychological Science gives me the opportunity to choose between a number of psychology study areas before I commit to my bachelor degree.

Brooke Tingle,
Diploma of Social and Psychological Science



2 trimesters (8 months)
3 trimesters (12 months)


Trimester 1, 2, 3


Mt Gravatt
Gold Coast

Social and Psychological Science overview

This program is designed to provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills for further study in the areas of psychology, counselling, human services and social work.

You will develop an understanding of key theories of social and psychological science and structures of human services within their broader historical, socio-cultural, political and economic contexts.

Additional workshops focus on the critical and reflective thinking skills important to understanding the complexities of human cognition and behaviour, interpersonal relationships and social systems in contemporary society.


Current Fees

The trajectory of how it all works has been very helpful because I’ve been able to get the structure of university.

Mitchell Boland,
Diploma of Social and Psychological Science

Where could this diploma take me?

With a Diploma of Social and Psychological Science from Griffith College you could start your journey towards one of the careers below:

  • Psychologist
  • Youth worker
  • Child safety officer
  • Counsellor
  • Welfare officer
  • Correctional services officer
  • Social worker
  • Human resources
  • Community planning and development

Sample program structure

Students who enter with an IELTS (or equivalent) < 6.0 will be required to undertake the free Language Development Modules as part of their program.

First trimester

1201QBT - Academic & Professional Skills Development

The course offers students a broad introduction to the skills involved in acquiring information and in displaying knowledge to others. It includes the basic knowledge and skills required to successfully participate in an undergraduate degree program and to operate effectively in a professional context.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Self as Learner: SWOT and Reflection (25%)
  2. Individual Source Analysis and Paired Presentation (30%)
  3. Academic Essay Planner and Academic Essay (45%)
1006HSV - Human Services Structures

This course introduces human services within its broader historical, socio-cultural, political and economic contexts. It examines the Australian post – welfare state and the contested ideas, philosophies, theories, institutional forms and professional identities associated with it. The course provides a set of frameworks and concepts for analysing historical, present and future changes in the structures and content of human service provision. The purpose is to familiarise students with the language, key concepts, tensions and trajectories of the diverse human services field, whilst assisting students to use such concepts in analysis of specific areas of human service pertinent to their professional interests.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Critical Reflection Essay (20%)
  2. Quiz – Selected Responses (10%)
  3. Compare and Contrast Essay (40%)
  4. Quiz – Selected and Constructed Responses (30%)
1008HSV - Interpersonal Skills

This course is designed to facilitate, guide and stimulate your interest and commitment to an increased understanding of what constitutes effective communication and to develop your ability to communicate effectively. To assist with your skills acquisition, this course has been designed using an active learning approach. Learning actively will provide you with the opportunity to develop both a theoretical understanding and a practical ability to communicate and interact interpersonally. In preparation for your role as a professional in the field, you will be encouraged in this course to think of yourself as a practitioner-in-training. One of the implications of this, is that we expect you to be self-managing in terms of your own learning and the learning of your colleagues.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Active participation in tutorials and workshops (20%)
  2. Mid-trimester exam (20%)
  3. Presentation- In-class Interaction Session (30%)
  4. Written assessment – Video Transcript Analysis (30%)
1002PSY - Introductory Individual & Social Psychology

This course provides an introductory-level overview of several fields within psychology. It focuses on developmental and social processes and their relationships to individual differences in behaviour. It also provides a broad introduction to the areas of developmental, personality, abnormal and social psychology.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Research Analysis (5%)
  2. Mid-Trimester Examination (20%)
  3. Assignment – Research Report (30%)
  4. Final Examination (45%)

Second trimester

1007HSV - Human Services Processess# OR 1001PSY - Introductory Cognitive & Biological Psychology^

1007HSV – Human Services Processess

This course sets out the foundations for human services processes and practices, establishing students as ’emerging practitioners’ and providing the knowledge, skills and values framework for development of professional identity. In particular, it tracks the identification of need, service delivery models and systems, and the organisational context in which assessment and intervention processes take place across the domains of practice. The course also explores the influences of knowledge and theory, and uses case analysis to identify the perspectives of service users, as well as the challenges for practice. This course is structured around the idea that human service practitioners are decision makers and that their decisions can affect the lives of many people. Students are encouraged to develop a critical awareness of the characteristics of different human service systems and processes. The ‘helping process’ is introduced and discussed including stages of engagement, assessment, intervention, termination, and review.

Assessment plan:

  1. Agency Observation simulation and Reflection Essay (20%)
  2. Mid trimester exam (16%)
  3. Case Study Report (40%)
  4. Final exam (24%)

1001PSY – Introductory Cognitive & Biological Psychology

This course provides a foundation for understanding the cognitive and biological bases of human behaviour, including the role of the brain and neural processes in behaviour, perception (how the senses allow you to see, hear, taste, touch and smell the world around you), conditioning and learning (how humans and other animals learn about their environment), cognition and memory (how people think, solve problems and remember). Drawing on various research traditions in experimental psychology, this course demonstrates how cognitive and biological psychology contributes to our knowledge of human well-being and performance. Students apply this knowledge through a series of practical in-class exercises.

Assessment plan:

  1. Assignment – Planning Document (5%)
  2. Mid-Trimester Exam – Selected Response (25%)
  3. Assignment – Lab Report (25%)
  4. Final Exam (45%)
1014HSV - Introduction to Social Theory

This course aims to expose students to the wider social and cultural context in which health and human services operate, including an understanding of culture, globalisation, environmental sustainability and issues surrounding disadvantage.

Assessment plan:

  1. Module 1 quiz (15%)
  2. Module 2-3 quiz (25% x 2 = 50%)
  3. Sociological Imagination map (35%)
1028HSV - Equity & Diversity

This course enables students to consider human services work with people from diverse cultural and minority group backgrounds who represent a truly unique combination of traits, cultures, experiences, and backgrounds. Within this diversity, some identities come to be socially, culturally, and politically privileged and accepted as “normal” while others are marginalised and oppressed. This creates significant gaps in marginalised persons’ experiences of equity, health, wellbeing, and social justice. The course examines points of tension between the norms and traditions of other cultures and those of Australian society. In particular, students will develop an understanding of diverse groups who currently experience social marginalisation in Australia and elsewhere.

Assessment plan:

  1. Reflective Journal 1-2 (10% x 2 = 20%)
  2. Written Assignment – Scenario Analysis (40%)
  3. Final examination (40%)
1010HSV - Lifespan Development# OR 1003PSY - Research Methods & Statistics in Psychology^

1010HSV – Lifespan Development

This course provides students with an understanding of the lifespan development and learning of the person from psychological, sociological and biological perspectives, and the inter- relationship of these perspectives with cultural, social, legal, economic and political frameworks.

Assessment plan:

  1. Module 1 Selected response Quiz (15%)
  2. Module 2 Selected response Quiz (20%)
  3. Module 3 Selected response Quiz (10%)
  4. Module 4 Selected response Quiz (5%)
  5. Essay (50%)

1003PSY – Research Methods & Statistics in Psychology

This course introduces students to the core concepts of statistical analysis. It is introductory in nature and provides materials across a broad range of statistical techniques and methods. The focus of this course is to provide students with the ability to recognise situations in which statistical analysis may be useful, and the relevant techniques and methods that apply in those situations.

Assessment plan:

  1. SPSS Examination (5%)
  2. Mid-Trimester Examination (20%)
  3. Laboratory Report (30%)
  4. Final Examination (45%)

Find out more: Current program structure

# Required for students articulating to Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Human Services and Bachelor of Child and Family Studies.

^ Required for students articulating to Bachelor of Psychological Science and Bachelor of Counselling.

Pathways to a Griffith University Degree

Domestic students
International students


2 trimesters (8 months)
3 trimesters (12 months)


Trimester 1, 2, 3


Mt Gravatt
Gold Coast
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