Psychology is an NSW Department of Education approved elective course.


Psychology provides students with an understanding and a critical awareness of the nature of human behaviour and the influence of biological, cognitive and socio-cultural factors on individuals and society. Students develop knowledge and understanding of human nature by asking questions and undertaking studies into the fields of neuroscience, cognitive sciences and social psychology.

Course structure

Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in Psychology.. Courses are structured in the following ways:

  • a 100-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and a minimum of two options
  • a 200-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and a minimum of six options.

Professional learning

Advice for leaders on whole school considerations, key information and further support for Psychology.

Syllabus information for leaders

Whole school considerations

Schools may need consider the following if delivering Psychology in 2022:

  • time for planning and programming
  • resourcing, including
    • staffing
    • new teaching resources and materials
    • budget implications to upskill teachers

Teachers may require time to upskill and build their knowledge in order to deliver the course.

Knowledge of the Controversial Issues in Schools policy and procedures is required in planning for the teaching of various aspects of the Psychology course.

The Psychology course has been developed in consultation with schools who previously delivered Psychology as a school-developed board endorsed course (SDBEC). There have been significant changes to the course content and requirements.

Important information:

  • Psychology may be delivered as a 100 or 200-hour course
  • a set of resources has been published to support the implementation of Psychology in schools, including:
    • course document
    • sample scope and sequences
    • assessment advice.

  • professional learning available in 2022

A comprehensive overview of the outcomes, content and requirements for satisfactory completion of the course.


In order to comply with the Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 Policy and associated policy standards, schools must use the course document to develop educational programs for students.

Illustrative examples of how to sequence the core and options topics.

Scope and sequence

Scope and sequences are flexible documents and may vary according to local school contexts and student cohorts, provided they comply with the course documents.

A range of teaching and learning activities and resources that may be used to deliver the course content.

Teaching resources

Schools may choose to adapt or modify this content or use other materials suitable to their local context, provided they comply with the course documents.

Assessment advice and examples aligning to course content


Department approved elective courses are not eligible for credentialing on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). Assessment activities should reflect the school's organisation of the course and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Support for department-approved elective courses


Lyndal Bimson

Teaching and Learning Advisor

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