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What’s the difference between studying Applied Mental Health and Psychology? 

If you’re passionate about making a positive impact on the way individuals and groups function in society and working in mental health, there are different pathways to consider.

With growing awareness around the direct and indirect impacts of mental illness and wellbeing, there’s a definite surge in demand for services in this growth sector.

We run a suite of courses across two study areas, Applied Mental Health, and Psychology. But, what’s the difference between them and what outcomes can you expect?

Applied Mental Health

Our Graduate Certificate and Master of Applied Mental Health courses focus on developing your knowledge and skills in mental health practice.

Both courses are guided by recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and integrate academic, practice, and lived/living experience expertise.

With a focus on applying mental health and wellbeing, in a range of contexts and sectors, you gain a broad knowledge of contemporary issues and an understanding of diverse populations in the context of mental health settings.

With the Graduate Certificate you’ll be introduced to mental health practice at a graduate level to expand your existing understanding or experience. You’ll complete foundational units, counselling skills, and digital technology use in mental health services.

Learning to apply holistic evidence-based models of care, you’ll enhance your communication skills to support individuals and carers to navigate mental health systems and promote wellbeing practices.

If you’re looking to delve deeper, the Master of Applied Mental Health will empower you with a core understanding of mental health practice at an advanced graduate level.

The Master equips you to understand and work with the complex range of factors that impact mental health and wellbeing and empower others to do the same. Expanding on your foundational knowledge, you’ll explore units focussed on priority populations and areas. On completion you’ll have worked directly with an industry partner to solve a real-world problem, and produced a digital portfolio that prepares you for future employment.

Career outcomes in this area depend on which qualification you complete.

With the Graduate Certificate you’ll be able to apply your skills within your current role or pursue opportunities such as a:

  • Mental Health Worker
  • Mental Health Policy Officer
  • Mental Health Project Officer
  • Support Coordinator
  • Peer Worker
  • Wellbeing/Safety Officer.

The advanced graduate focus of the Master empowers you for the following:

  • Mental Health Program/Service Manager
  • Clinical Coordinator
  • Policy Advisor or Analyst
  • Project Coordinator
  • Wellbeing/Health and Safety Manager.


The Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced are essential steps on the pathway to practising as a registered psychologist.

These courses are an ideal pathway if you’ve completed a degree in another discipline and want to pursue a graduate level qualification in psychology. And are both accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

As a Psychology graduate, you’ll develop a wide range of skills including a deep understanding of human behaviour, ability to communicate and present ideas effectively, and advanced research and critical thinking skills.

The Graduate Diploma is a flexible option that advances your psychological skillset and perspective for application in contemporary settings, from working in mental health and counselling, to other sectors, including influencing public policy, conducting market research and consultancy work. This introduction to psychology as a behavioural science includes training in research techniques and research design and analysis.

As you progress, you’ll cover topics such as developmental and biological psychology, psychopathology and clinical psychology, principles and processes of test development, administration, and interpretation.

Our Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced is a fourth-year, honours-equivalent program designed to continue your pathway to becoming a psychologist or pursuing a research degree.

Combining psychological theory and methodology with integral research skills, you’ll focus on psychological assessment and intervention, the ethics of psychological research and practice, and research methods and statistics. You’ll also undertake a supervised research project with training in both discipline specific and generic research skills.

Equipped with a psychological perspective and transferrable skills, our Graduate Diploma enables you to pursue opportunities in:

  • mental health
  • community services and counselling
  • community corrections
  • education and training.
  • human resources
  • marketing and advertising
  • welfare work

After completing the Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced, you’ll be able to register as a provisional psychologist and pursue further research and training in psychology.

Our Applied Mental Health courses bridge the gaps in conventional mental health training and prepare you for broad and meaningful work across the human lifespan. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about the science of psychology, specialising in an area or becoming an accredited practitioner our Psychology courses are informed by research conducted by the world-leading Turner Institute. Either way, you’ll be part of a cohort of like-minded students who are driven to improve mental health and wellbeing in Australia.

“Monash has structured the content to effectively challenge my limits but with a significant amount of care and consideration to ensure I have the resources, guidance and support if I ever need it.”

Antosh Sokol,

Graduate Diploma in Psychology