Certificate in Psychology - VPS002

Take the first step toward a new or improved career working with people, whether in counselling, welfare, personnel management, marketing or something else.

An understanding of psychology is fundamental to all these, and many other professions.
When you understand how people think you can manage them better, help them more effectively, and much more.

For many people, this course is all they need to provide a kick start to a successful career. For others, we provide lots of options to upgrade to longer study programs, using what is studied here for advance credits.

The course is divided into 6 modules/subjects as follows:
(Each Module = 100 hours)

2 x Core (compulsory) Modules:

Introduction to Psychology
This module involves seven lessons as outlined below:

  • The nature and scope of Psychology
  • Neurological basis of behaviour
  • Environmental effects on behaviour
  • Consciousness and perception
  • Personality
  • Psychological development
  • Needs, drives and motivation
  • Psychology and Counselling
    This also involves seven lessons, as below:

    • Stress
    • Abnormal Behaviour
    • Individual Behaviour
    • Group Behaviour
    • Methods of Dealing with Abnormalities
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Interpersonal Communication Skills

    4 x Optional (elective) modules are chosen from: 

    Industrial Psychology

    Educational Psychology

    Sports Psychology

    Child Psychology

    Biopsychology I

    Marketing Psychology

    Conflict Management

    Counselling Skills I

    Counselling Techniques

    Professional Practice in Counselling 

    NB: Brief outlines of selected modules follow; or by clicking on any of the modules listed above, you can access a more detailed outline of that module

    MORE DETAIL ON ELECTIVE MODULES (selected outlines)

    Child Psychology

    This module is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the cognitive, behavioural and emotional development of children. There are twelve lessons in this module, as follows:

  • Introduction to Child Psychology
  • The New-born Infant
  • States & Senses of the Infant
  • Learning
  • Emotions and Socialisation
  • Cognitive Development
  • Language Development
  • Intelligence
  • Socialisation – Part A
  • Morality
  • Sexuality
  • Socialisation – Part B
  • Industrial Psychology

    This module will develop your understanding of how the psychological state of employees in the workplace affects both their work and their overall well being. There are ten lessons in this course, as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Understanding the Employees Thinking
  • Personality & Temperament
  • Psychological Testing
  • Management & Managers
  • The Work Environment
  • Motivation and Incentives
  • Recruitment
  • Social Considerations
  • Abnormalities and Disorders
  • Sports Psychology

    Successful completion of this module will develop your skills and understanding of the psychological dimensions of sports performance and coaching. There are ten lessons in this module as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Psychological Traits of Successful Athletes        
  • Anxiety & Arousal
  • Motivation
  • Aggression
  • Leadership & Coaching
  • Team Dynamics
  • Special Groups.
  • Educational Psychology

    Successful completion of this module will develop an understanding of the psychological processes that influence learning. There are eight lessons in this module as follows:

  • Introduction –Development & Learning Theory
  • Behavioural Learning
  • Information Processing
  • Memory Retention & Loss
  • Individual Needs
  • Constructivist Learning
  • Motivation
  • Conflict Management

    This course gives the student insight into conflict and into different techniques for managing conflict to product positive outcomes. There are eight lessons in this course, as follows:

  • Conflict Management and Anger
  • Listening
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Facilitation
  • Balance of Power 
  • Discussion and Group Work
  • Crisis Analysis and Responses
  • Biopsychology

    Successful completion of this module will develop your understanding of physiological influences on human behaviour and the influence of thoughts, feelings, perception and other psychological processes on the  physiology of the body. There are seven lessons in this module as follows:

  • Introduction
  • The Senses
  • The Nervous System
  • The Endocrine System
  • Stress
  • Emotions
  • Consciousness
  • Marketing Psychology

    Successful completion of this module will develop your understanding of the psychological influences on  consumers, and your ability to  apply  psychology to marketing. There are eight lessons in this module as follows:

  • People as Consumers
  • Market Segmentation
  • Internal Influences –Perception & Personality
  • Internal Influences –Motivation and Awareness
  • Social Influences –Small groups and family; social class, culture etc
  • Consumerism
  • Communication and Persuasion
  • Deciding to Buy          
  • This course is accredited by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council.


    Penny Dawes Profile

    Certificate in Psychology, Completed November 2007



    After ten years as a nurse, Penny Dawes was ready to try something new but the thought of going back to study after such a long break was unnerving. She decided to ease herself into the routine of studying and assignments by doing a Certificate in Psychology through ACS Distance Education.

    “I haven’t been in formal study for a long time so it was a challenge getting back into study mode and I found it difficult at first,” she said.

    “Doing it by distance education means you can do it at your own pace and it’s flexible so that’s been really good.

    “I had some personal issues during the course and being able to leave it for a bit and then pick it up again was great. Also I have two teenage kids so it’s good to be able to fit the study around picking them up from school activities.”

    Ms Dawes said she was hoping the certificate would enable her to take her career in a whole new direction.

    “In the UK I was a nurse but since I have been over here, I have worked in a youth information and referral service that deals with kids up to the age of 25 who are disengaged and have psychological or mental issues,” she said.

    “I thought doing a Certificate in Psychology would be a good start because it’s the kind of qualification that you could apply to anything. I would like to be able to start my own business and I have done some industrial psychology so it will be good for that.

    “I am actually thinking about doing a university degree now. It has been useful to do this course to get me back into the routine of doing assignments and reading and studying and give me the confidence to go onto the next thing.”

    Ms Dawes said she had also found the course content enlightening on more than just an academic level.

    “I did really enjoy the course content, it’s really interesting,” she said.

    “And in a lot of cases I was using previous experience to base my assignments on so I did a lot of self discovery as well – scary stuff!”


    Welfare Workers, Psychologists, Counsellors and Care professionals work with clients to improve their quality of life by providing support, information and advice.

    Most people may assume that you need a university degree to work in these industries; and you do if you want to practise as a Psychologist, or undertake some other high level job; but for most people working in these industries, it is their knowledge, attitude and experience that counts most toward career success. 

    This course is certainly an excellent place to start.

    A welfare officer will primarily address any issues a client may have around their emotions, finances, health, or housing. There may be other welfare matters that they may address as well. The welfare worker will connect the client with any appropriate welfare or community services that can provide further support.
    There are different types of welfare worker job roles that specialise in different areas, such as families, youth, drug and alcohol abuse, disabilities, domestic violence, criminals, immigrants, refuges, and more.

    Some of the job titles for welfare workers include:

    • Community Worker
    • Disabilities Services Officer
    • Social Worker
    • Family Support Worker
    • Parole or Probation Officer
    • Residential Care Officer
    • Youth Worker
    • Community Health Worker
    • Programme Coordinator
    • Field Worker
    • Project Officer
    • Carer

    Depending on the job, a welfare worker’s duties may differ, but here are some common duties for a welfare worker:

    • Assessing the nature and extent of the clients needs
    • Planning, developing and implementing appropriate training or programmes
    • Providing ongoing support for the client, whilst exploring alternatives for their current situation, whether that is an abusive relationship, drug issues, lack of adequate housing, unemployment.
    • Monitoring the client’s progress
    • Completing relevant reports
    • Referring clients to appropriate specialists, or relevant agencies that can provide additional support
    • Assessing community need and resources for health, welfare, housing, employment, training and other facilities and services
    • Act on behalf of the community to obtain funding for required facilities and services.
    • Providing residential care for elderly, disabled, families, and children.
    • Working with offenders on probation and parole
    • Supporting young people with emotional, social, educational, and financial issues.
    • Assess risk and provide short term solutions for families in crisis.
    • Coordinate support services.

    Welfare workers are employed by the government, local councils, hospitals, health centres, private organisations, community groups, and more. Some welfare workers, in some countries, are self-employed, but this is less common.
    Some welfare workers are in supervisory and policy-making roles, whilst others work in the field. Welfare workers may work individually, but will often work in a team with other welfare workers, as well as other allied health professionals (such as counsellors, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, etc)
    Welfare workers work individually or as part of a team. They may work in an office, visit clients in their homes and attend evening community meetings.
    Welfare workers will often work part-time, and may be required to work odd hours, such as evenings, weekends, or sleepovers. Earnings are moderate to low, but can be increased depending on the job role, the level of experience, and the level of study. Earning can also be increased through higher rates of pay during evening and weekend work, and overtime hours.
    There is generally a great deal of demand for welfare workers, however the amount of jobs available is largely influenced by available government funding in this area.
    Risks and challenges:
    Welfare workers are frequently in highly emotional and stressful situations, which can lead to a high rate of burnout. This is not necessarily the case with all job roles, but in general, a welfare worker will be dealing with people who are undergoing some form of personal crisis. To work effectively the welfare worker will need to remain empathetic but detached from their clients. They will also need to develop a stress management protocol for themselves. Regular supervision, counselling and debriefing can also be helpful.

    Depending again on the job role, welfare work can be challenging as it can demand hours outside of business hours. This can work to the benefit, or disadvantage of the worker, depending on their situation.

    How to become a Welfare Worker
    The type of job role you wish to obtain will determine the level of qualification that is needed. Often college or vocational training will be sufficient, however some jobs may require a Bachelor or Masters Degree. As with many of the “care” professions; welfare workers can often ”evolve” into a job, if they have inherent skills and temperament that complements a position they encounter.

    Volunteering or gaining work experience in the area will help your chances to gain employment. There is generally great demand for “carer” type roles in elderly, disabilities, mental health, and with youth. You may find that you can obtain a job in this role while you are studying, then progress into supervisory, case management, team leader, and other welfare roles from there.

    There are also Welfare Worker associations that you may be eligible to join.

    • Some of the personal skills that you will need to succeed are:
    • An ability to think rationally and problem solve
    • An ability to be empathetic with your clients, but still remain detached
    • Good communication skills
    • Ability to cope with stressful situations and conflict
    • Genuine care for other’s wellbeing

    Other related jobs:

    • Counsellor
    • Careers Counsellor
    • Life Coach
    • Social Worker
    • Play leader
    • Crisis Counsellor
    • Relationships Counsellor
    • Chaplain

    Enrol Now!

    Fee Information (CT)
    Prices in Australian Dollars

    PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
    A 1 x $3,425.51  1 x $3,114.10
    B 2 x $1,848.61  2 x $1,680.55
    C 4 x $996.93  4 x $906.30

    Note: Australian prices include GST. 

    Select a payment plan:

    Courses can be started anytime
    from anywhere in the world!

    All orders processed in Australian dollars.