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Qualification - Associate Diploma In Psychology

Course CodeVPS010
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationAssociate Diploma

Study this Psychology Diploma and Specialise in an area of Psychology that Suits YOU!
  • Focus on Child Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Biological Psychology, Counselling, Business Psychology and so on.  
  • Study in your own home with support from our highly experienced and qualified tutors.
  • Learn more about the fascinating field of psychology
  • Improve your job and career prospects at the same time
 

COURSE STRUCTURE

The 1500 hour course is made up of 15 modules: 8 compulsory core modules and 7 electives (which can be selected from the 'elective modules' list below).

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Associate Diploma In Psychology.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Child Psychology BPS104
 Industrial Psychology BPS103
 Introduction To Psychology BPS101
 Psychology & Counselling BPS102
 Research Project I BGN102
 Starting A Small Business VBS101
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 7 of the following 17 modules.
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Educational Psychology BPS105
 Marketing Psychology BPS107
 Sports Psychology BPS106
 Stress Management VPS100
 Careers Counselling BPS202
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Developmental Psychology BPS210
 Relationships And Communication Counselling BPS208
 Research Project II BGN201
 Social Psychology I BPS205
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
 Life Coaching BPS305
 Neuropsychology BPS306
 Psychological Assessment I BPS308
 Statistics BSC304
 

Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma In Psychology is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


No Two People are the Same

Through a study of psychology you can get to better understand the people you interact with whether in a professional capacity at work; or in other aspects of your life. A person's psychology is however affected by many things from their genetics, general physical condition and state of health, through to the experiences they encounter and the context they find themselves in, across their lifespan.

It is important to understand that psychological conditions can come and go, and vary in intensity, from insignificant to very significant. A good example is autism. Many people exhibit some, if not many autism characteristics at one point or another across their lifespan; but often the symptoms are insignificant and may well go unnoticed.

Autism is the name given to a pervasive developmental disorder that describes a wide range of behaviours. Pervasive developmental disorders are those which are characterised by abnormal social interactions and communication skills, and by repetitive, or stereotyped, and restricted interests and activities. These impairments are significant in light of the individual's developmental or mental age and occur across a wide range of situations. 

Autism may also be referred to as infantile autism, childhood autism, or autistic disorder. Children with autism are less able to interact with the world in the way that other children do. They will usually have deficits in three main areas – social awareness and interactions, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted interests and behaviour. Particular areas where deficits are observed might include gross and fine motor skills, sometimes intellectual skills, and imaginative play.

Autism is a spectrum disorder.

This means a person can be considered a 'little' autistic or 'very' autistic.  
Children with autism are sometimes given a 'label' or specifier which refers to the type of diagnosis they have according to where they fit on the autism spectrum.

If the effect of the autism is limited, the child may be given a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, whilst if the Autism has more effect, they may be regarded as having Classic Autism, Autism or Kanner Autism (named after Kanner 1943 who first described the main features of autism). Recent research has suggested that there may actually be more than one type of autism, but there is still debate as to how many 'autisms' there are and so the Autistic Spectrum is still used currently. 

Disorders become apparent in the first five years of life. Often some degree of mental retardation is also present and should be noted.

THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM

The following abnormalities in development may be observed in autism. Impairments must be observed in at least one key area before the age of three if autism is to be diagnosed. Abnormalities of social development are most specific to autism.

Impaired Social Development & Interactions 

Impairments in social development and interactions are marked and sustained. They have impairments in understanding non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions, gestures, eye contact or body language. The lack of understanding of these social cues means they often won’t respond appropriately to other people (for example talking continuously about one topic and not picking up that someone is bored, not recognising that someone is upset, not responding to smiles and shows of affection).

Children with autism have great difficulties with feeling and expressing emotions in relationships and are often seen as being cold by others. They do not respond to affection such as smiles, kissing or cuddling and often object to being shown affection. They also show little, if any, difference in responses to their parents as they do to total strangers and are often disinterested in other children and making friendships. They may avoid eye contact and behave similarly to inanimate objects as they do to people. 

Older children may wish to establish friendships with peers but fail to understand social conventions. There is also a lack of sharing of interests, experiences and enjoyment with others. 

Children might also prefer to engage in solitary activities or only include other children as tools for their games and activities rather than becoming involved in reciprocal social activities. They may not have any understanding of the needs of others, including siblings, or even notice their presence or when they are upset.  

Abnormal Communication

Again, abnormalities in communication are marked and sustained. Both verbal and non-verbal skills are affected. Speech may be delayed or sometimes not develop at all. In around 20% of cases speech appears to develop quite normally until around the age of two years before partially or completely disappearing. Those who do speak may exhibit difficulties in making conversation or maintaining conversation with others. They may use stereotyped language or idiosyncratic language. Whilst around half of autistic children develop some meaningful speech skills, impairments often persist and include using repetitive words and monologues and misuse of words. They may find it hard to initiate or carry on a conversation, and may take longer than usual to speak. 

Children may also fail to engage in spontaneous play and non-verbal communication is affected. They often do not engage in make-believe and show little creativity and imagination. 

Some people believe that rather than having poor communication skills, people with autism have different communication skills. It may help if people without autism who are dealing with an autistic child learn to communicate with the child using communication skills that the child understands. 

For children with autism, not being able to communicate with others can be a source of anger and frustration, and may lead to problems such as being excluded, social isolation, and bullying. 
Speech and Language therapies may help improve communication skills.

Repetitive Behaviour

Children with autism also show limited interests and stereotyped patterns of behaviour. They like things to be the same and can get very upset if there are even slight changes in their environment. Obsessive interests may seem abnormal through their intensity or focus, and they may engage in inflexible routines or rituals, or rituals which serve no function. Sometimes they may be obsessed with parts of objects or may engage in repetitive mannerisms such as clicking their fingers or rocking back and forth. 

They may want to eat the same food, wear the same clothes and play the same games over and over. They may become obsessed with very narrow interests e.g. telephone numbers, or trains. Some are preoccupied with movements such as spinning wheels.   

Some of these repetitive behaviours are a coping strategy that autistic people use to deal with stress and anxiety. People with autism are also often hypersensitive to certain sounds or sensory inputs. They may also be used to either increase or decrease sensory input and environmental stimulation, for example rocking may help stimulate the vestibular system, and hand flapping may stimulate the visual system; focusing on a particular action or sound may help reduce the stimulation of an overwhelming environment.

The Advantages of Autism

People with autism can have a lot to contribute to society, when given the right opportunities for them. Some of the strengths often seen in people with autism include an ability to be highly focused, to be reliable, have a good memory for facts and figures, and deal with things in fine detail. The tendency to be obsessed with one particular thing – be it insects, planes, stamps and so on – autistic people may have the ability to become a highly specialised expert in their field. Given the opportunities in modern times for specialised work in technology and other areas, there is a real potential for people with autism to become highly successful. People with autism will generally do better in an environment that is highly structured, and well organised. 

Another interesting aspect of autism is the autistic “savant”. These are people that have areas of extraordinary ability in specific areas (despite the fact that they may have impairments to other areas of intellectual functioning). It is estimated that between 10-25% of people with autism have some sort of exceptional ability (compared to about 1% in the general population). There are different areas that these abilities might be in. 

Some common areas are: 

  • Mathematical ability – may include the ability to make complex calculations in their head, or a memory for calendar dates (e.g. knowing what day of the week it was on April 23rd 1950).
  • Exceptional memory – this is often for something specific, such as memorising everything about a particular topic.
  • Artistic ability – there are many extraordinary autistic artists.
  • Musical ability – may have the ability to hear a complex piece of music once and play it back, or may be able to play an instrument without having had lessons.
     

What's Different About this Diploma?

  • Options to choose electives that you don't find in similar diplomas elsewhere.
  • A longer, more in depth diploma than what is offered at many other colleges (Compare the duration -1500 hours). Study more, learn more, go further in your career or business.
  • A stronger focus on learning (some colleges focus more on assessment than we do -but we believe that what you learn is what makes the difference)
  • Exceptional tutors...compare the qualifications and experience of our staff (see staff profiles at ... http://www.acsedu.com/about-us/our-staff.aspx)  ....after all, it doesn't make sense to choose where to study if you don't first know who will be teaching you.

Study this Psychology Diploma course to -

  • Learn more about psychology
  • Specialise in the area of psychology that YOU are interested in
  • Understand how to psychological theories and research in the real world
  • Improve your job and career prospects with this psychology course
  • Enrol now to find out more.


Meet some of our academics

Lyn QuirkM.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).
Gavin ColePsychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin is both a highly experienced Psychologist and tutor. Gavin has over 25 years experience in the Psychology industry, and has been working with ACS since 2001. He has worked in both Australia and England, and has been involved in writing numerous books and courses in Psychology and Counselling


Check out our eBooks

Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.
Psychology DictionaryWritten by professional psychologists, this “dictionary of psychology” contains descriptions for common terms used in Psychology. There are many terms used in the area of Psychology alone, that are explained throughout this text. Other terms have been taken from everyday language and used in a different context to describe psychological phenomena. 66 pages
Counselling HandbookFull of interesting case studies, this ebook is a wonderful introduction to the complex world of the human psyche. Chapters include: Using Counselling, Seeing Behind the Mask, Emotions and Attitudes, Communicating Better, Theory vs Practice, Diffusing Difficult Situations and Golden Rules for Counselors. 43 pages
How Children ThinkLearn more about child psychology and how children think. Have you ever tried to make a child clean up their mess, stop throwing mud or stop drawing on the walls? Then you will know that children think differently to adults. This book is for parents or students of psychology. Seven chapters cover: developmental stages, the influence of nature and nurture, creating balance, changing behaviours, problems and solutions, and staying up to date. 73 pages 40 colour photos