Behavioural Science

Behavioural Science at Notre Dame is based on the premise of social justice and equity for all peoples. It is concerned with the practical application of such principles to all aspects of human interaction. A Behavioural Scientist values human diversity and works collaboratively with communities to identify and advance the goals of the group and the individuals that comprise it. Behavioural Science promotes the concept of Wellbeing and aims to facilitate this at the individual, relational and collective levels.

The Behavioural Science degree incorporates specialised knowledge developed in the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology, Political Science and Cultural Studies. It examines the manner in which people respond to the various contexts they inhabit and also the influence that people can have on those contexts. As such it provides the nexus between traditional Psychology and Social Work.

Students of the Bachelor of Behavioural Science may also include a supporting major or minor from any of the Arts, Science, Communications and Media or Counselling degrees. Students might also consider taking one of the many double degree options offered by the University. Behavioural Science is a popular combination with Arts, Commerce, Education, Law and Science.

Students can study this discipline in a Bachelor of Behavioural Science or as a major in such Bachelor degrees as Arts, Science, Communication and Media, Commerce, or Education. A degree in Behavioural Science equips graduates with the skills to work in a range of professional settings including government, the private sector, and not for profit organisations.

Bachelor of Behavioural Science

This degree can be completed in three years if studied full time. Students undertake the following units of study:

Core and Foundation Units: 4 Units

Academic Writing, Communications and Research
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Theology

Behavioural Science Units: 12 Units

Introduction to Behavioural Science
Introduction to Research Methods
Developmental Psychology
Themes and Perspectives in Behavioural Science
Social Psychology
Psychology of Work
Culture and Society
Health Psychology
Professional Practice in Behavioural Science
Community: Policy and Development
Research Methods and Practice
Behavioural Science Internship

Electives: 8 Units

Students may chose to undertake these electives from a broad range of disciplinary areas including the four Behavioural Science electives listed below, or they may prefer to combine the electives into an 8 unit supporting major or 6 unit minor.

Behavioural Science Electives

In addition to the compulsory Behavioural Science units, students are able to increase the Behavioural Science content by adding the four elective units to their degree:

Contemporary Family Issues
Beyond Family Violence: Issues and Responses
Abnormal Psychology
Sociology of Childhood

Behavioural Science units are run either annually or in a two-year rotation cycle.

There are various requirements for the Bachelor degree, the 8 unit Major and the 6 unit Minor in Behavioural Science. Please see the Majors and Minors lists and the Degree Planners made available by the School on our homepage. See the links below.

Unit Descriptions, Units on Offer and Degree Planners

The following resources are published on the School's homepage and provide information regarding unit availability, unit content and program requirements:

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad program allows Notre Dame’s Behavioural Science students to spend one semester of their degree at an overseas university in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe or Asia while gaining full credit in their degree at home. Some students may be eligible for a Student Exchange Scholarship to help reduce the cost of airfares, accommodation and other expenses.

For more information please contact Notre Dame’s Study Abroad office.

Experience the World

A variety of opportunities for extended scholarly and service learning exist for those students conducting a degree in Notre Dame’s School of Arts and Sciences. Participation in these programs will provide students with additional professional and life skills that will not only enrich their learning experience at University, but will make their degree more marketable and attractive on completion.

Caritas Australia development program

We believe that university education should be about more than training for a profession. Rather, we want Notre Dame students to be ready to change the world.
Students of Arts and Sciences at Notre Dame are eligible to participate in an overseas program we conduct each year in partnership with the aid organisation, Caritas Australia. Teams of Notre Dame staff and students visit an overseas location such as Cambodia, Uganda, or India. In an immersion experience of up to four weeks, the team explores the development work conducted by Caritas and studies, among other things, the intersection of poverty, development, politics and globalisation.
The Caritas program may be available as an elective within a degree program and may, on approval of the Dean, be counted towards a major or minor.


Honours in Behavioural Science provides a professional finish to your undergraduate degree and should make your educational qualifications more competitive in the profession in which you hope to build your career. Honours in Behavioural Science may lead students to higher degree research such as a Master of Arts (MA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Because of the unique nature of Notre Dame’s School of Arts and Sciences, students completing an Honours degree in Behavioural Science have the opportunity to develop an inter-disciplinary research project which may combine their work with other disciplines.

Students completing an Honours program in Behavioural Science will undertake a major research project under supervision, complete coursework in Behavioural Science or related units, participate in a regular interdisciplinary seminar series and contribute to a conference program regarding their research activities.

For further information on Honours please speak with any academic member of staff or contact the Honours coordinators.

Double Degrees

Behavioural Science combines well with the study of other degrees at Notre Dame, including a Bachelor of Arts, Business, Communications, Education Law or Science.

Postgraduate Degrees

A Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are available as postgraduate research degrees by thesis and are completed under supervision by an academic member of staff.