The School of Psychology has an outstanding international reputation in research and teaching.

The interests and expertise of the faculty members are diverse but the School's strengths are broadly located in the areas of:

  • applied cognitive psychology
  • clinical/health psychology
  • development across the lifespan
  • social psychology
  • psychophysiology

The School's primary concern is with the maintenance of high standards of scholarship and practice. To ensure that these standards are met the School restricts its focus to the four core activities outlined below:

Internationally competitive programs of basic and applied research. The quality of these programs is reflected in the outstanding publication records of faculty members and PhD students in leading international journals, the extent of competitive research funding obtained from agencies such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council, and the ongoing involvement of School members on editorial boards and committees of research funding agencies.

Challenging and relevant undergraduate and honours degree programs. Undergraduate major programs lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology). The demand for these programs is reflected in the large number of applicants for each and the quality of selected students. Indicators of the quality of the programs include the favourable student evaluations of the various component topics, the strong endorsement of the programs by independent reviews, the success of our graduates in postgraduate research, and the number of faculty who have received prestigious awards for their teaching excellence.

Postgraduate professional training in clinical psychology. For many years the School has been a recognised national leader in clinical training via its MPsych (Clin) program. In 2002 the School also took its first intake into a new PhD (Clinical) program which combines coursework and practicum placements with a PhD research program. The program is accredited by the College of Clinical Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society. The School commits significant staffing resources to this program to ensure that the relatively small number of students receives intensive training and careful supervision. The School has established an on-campus clinic to further enhance the quality of clinical training.

Postgraduate research training. The School has a large cohort of students pursuing PhD programs in non-clinical areas. These students are working on a variety of research projects under the supervision of internationally recognised researchers on the School's faculty, with their research endeavours supported by external and university research grants. PhD students are actively engaged in the publication of their research in international journals, and receive strong encouragement to present their research regularly within the School's research colloquium program and at national and international conferences.

History of the School

Psychology was originally established as a discipline at Flinders University in 1967 and became a School within the University's revised faculty structure in 1992. It is located within the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Graduate and undergraduate teaching began in 1967.
Professor Norman T. Feather was appointed as the foundation Professor in the new discipline in 1968, and he now retains an active Emeritus appointment. The first degrees with a major in Psychology were awarded in 1971 and the first higher degrees were awarded in 1973.