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Start date


4 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

2021: AUD$ 30,600 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Study South Australia’s only undergraduate cognitive neuroscience degree.
  • Join SA’s number one university for psychology researchand number one in SA for teaching quality in psychology2.
  • Study with the No.1 University in SA for graduate careers in Psychology3.
  • Gain industry experience through a research placement.
  • Gain practical experience in our on-campus laboratories.
  • Gain a well-respected qualification that is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.
  • Use this degree as a pathway to further study required to become a clinical or neuropsychologist.

1The only university in SA to have all its assessed Psychology and Cognitive Sciences research rated well-above world standard. 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).
2ComparED (QILT): Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.
3ComparED (QILT): Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017-19 – Overall Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.



This degree offers a unique opportunity for you to explore the neural underpinnings of human cognition and behaviour.

State-of-the-art learning facilities, such as on-campus laboratories, offer the opportunity for you to learn in a real-world environment. This practical learning environment will see you graduate will the skills and confidence needed to work in a clinical or research setting. The University of South Australia is recognised for its world-class research in psychology1, and as part of your studies you will graduate with specialised knowledge and skills in this area.

Applying for the one year Honours program

Students who have completed a three-year degree in psychology or psychological science and wish to apply for the Honours year should lodge an online application direct to the University of South Australia via UniSA’s Apply Online portal using the program code MHPU.

Applications for entry to the Honours year through Apply Online open in early September and close on 30 November.

12015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Explore brain function and how it is impacted by social and developmental factors with this unique degree that combines biology and psychology. Core psychology courses, along with courses in cognitive neuroscience, anatomy and physiology, will make up the content during your first three years of study.

Many of these courses include a practical component. Research studies are also a key focus. During your third year you will also select from a number of psychology-specific professional development courses, which will complement the degree’s core content. These courses include:

  • Health Psychology
  • Work and Organisational Psychology
  • Language, Context and Social Behaviour
  • Conservation Psychology
  • Psychophysiology of Sleep
  • Psychological Assessment

During your final year you will undertake advanced coursework and a supervised research project.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2, or 3)
Psychology 1A BEHL 1003 4.5
Human Anatomy 100 HLTH 1020 4.5
Biology A BIOL 1007 4.5
Personal and Professional Development BEHL 1033 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, or 6)
Psychology 1B BEHL 1004 4.5
Introductory Research Methods BEHL 2005 4.5
Foundations in Cognitive Neuroscience BEHL 1024 4.5
Aboriginal Australians and Psychology BEHL 1032 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2, or 3)
Developmental Psychology BEHL 3011 4.5
Cognitive Psychology BEHL 3002 4.5
Human Anatomy 200 HLTH 2022 4.5
Cognitive Neuroscience BEHL 3021 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, or 6)
Data Science for Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology BEHL 2023 4.5
Social and Community Psychology BEHL 2006 4.5
Biological and Learning Psychology BEHL 2012 4.5
States of Awareness BEHL 2015 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2, or 3)
Advanced Research Methods BEHL 3005 4.5
The Neuroscience of Language BEHL 3030 4.5
Personality Psychology BEHL 3024 4.5
Specialist Psychology Course 4.5 Note(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, or 6)
Clinical and Abnormal Psychology BEHL 3004 4.5
Specialist Psychology Course 4.5 Note(s): 1
Neuroscience Across the Lifespan BEHL 3025 4.5
Psychology Research Experience BEHL 3028 4.5 Note(s): 2
Rule(s): 1
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Psychology Research Methods BEHL 4052 4.5
Psychology Honours Research Project 1 BEHL 4056 9
Life Span Developmental Psychology BEHL 4059 4.5 Note(s): 3
Psychology Under the Microscope BEHL 4053 4.5 Note(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Psychology Honours Research Project 2 BEHL 4057 9
Communicating Research BEHL 4063 4.5
Introduction to Psychological Practice BEHL 4060 4.5
Health Psychology BEHL 3012 4.5 Note(s): 1
Work and Organisational Psychology BEHL 3008 4.5 Note(s): 1
Language, Context and Social Behaviour BEHL 3023 4.5 Note(s): 1
Conservation Psychology BEHL 3022 4.5 Note(s): 1
Psychophysiology of Sleep BEHL 3029 4.5 Note(s): 1
Psychological Assessment BEHL 4003 4.5 Note(s): 1

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • research reports
  • essays and assignments
  • presentations and skills demonstrations
  • examinations

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities


This is a four-year, professional degree with honours. The honours component includes a minimum of one year of advanced studies in research and professional practice. You will receive First Class, Second Class or Third Class Honours, depending on your performance.

During the honours preparation, you will undertake courses in research methods and ethics. Within the honours thesis course, you will undertake a research project under the supervision of an experienced researcher and report on this project through a thesis and oral presentation. You will graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher-level qualification than a bachelor degree. Your honours year will prepare you for future leadership roles and postgraduate study.

Why Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (Cognitive Neuroscience)

Why this Degree

This degree is taught by world-class researchers in their field1.

Studying this degree will see you graduate industry-ready. You will explore the impact that social and developmental factors have on cognition in our state-of-the-art, on-campus Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. You will also benefit from our award-winning research, and as part of your studies you will complete in-depth research and project work that will equip you with specialised skills needed for a career in this area.

12015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Career outcomes

Your career

The ability to listen and analyse, plus the possession of critical thinking skills and an interest in human behaviour and biology, are key attributes of students considering a career in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Careers to consider: 

  • clinical neurophysiological technician: record electrical activity of the brain and nervous system; daily tasks may involve reviewing patient history, gathering data and preparing patients for testing  
  • laboratory technician (clinical or research): collect samples, perform tests and record results 
  • research assistant: assist with academic research; research assistants are often employed by universities or research institutes
  • laboratory manager (clinical or research): coordinate and organise ongoing activity in a laboratory environment related to the field of psychology and/or neuroscience
  • clinical neuropsychologist (with further study): use scientific study of human behaviour and how it relates to brain function to assess patients and offer treatment; neuropsychologists often work as researchers or teachers, or are employed by hospitals or healthcare facilities 
  • researcher in psychology or neuroscience (with further study): collect and analyse data, conduct tests and experiments, and observe behaviour relating to a specific area of research
  • clinical psychologist (with further study): work with patients to identify and diagnose emotional, mental and behavioural issues

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Applying for the one year Honours program

Students who have completed a three-year degree in psychology or psychological science and wish to apply for the Honours year should lodge an online application direct to the University of South Australia via UniSA’s Apply Online portal using the program code MHPU.

Applications for entry to the Honours year through Apply Online open in early September and close on 30 November.

Alternative Pathways

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including: 


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

  • careers advice
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA
  • accommodation services 

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

As a psychology student, you will have access to: 

  • Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory  
  • dedicated teaching and learning spaces 
Your study spaces

Your program director

My research focuses on the development of a model of language that respects basic design principles of the human brain. I am also interested in the neurobiology of reading, language and ageing, and the notion of "complexity" in cognitive science especially in language theory.

Prof Matthias Schlesewsky

Program Director

Portrait image for Prof Matthias Schlesewsky
Portrait image for Prof Matthias Schlesewsky

Prof Matthias Schlesewsky

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

One of the things I love about my degree is working in the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory with world-class researchers, where I gain hands-on experience with specialised cognitive neuroscience research methods such as electroencephalography.

Angela Osborn

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (Cognitive Neuroscience)

Angela Osborn

Angela Osborn

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (Cognitive Neuroscience)