Advanced Certificate in Behavioural Science

A broad foundation in behavioural science with elective options. This course is a unique opportunity to develop knowledge of different areas of psychology to give you a platform from which to go on and specialise.

Course Code: VPS044
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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Lay a Foundation for Future Study

Psychology is a fascinating area of study. It requires students to think critically about why we behave in certain ways, how we develop certain traits and characteristics, and how we perceive things. 

This course provides a broad-based foundation in theoretical psychology which can be applied in many fields of work. It will develop your insight into human behaviour and factors (such as learning, environment and personality) that influence behaviour. It will improve your ability to deal effectively with others.  

Learn more about human behaviour and the mind ...

Psychology is the study of human and animal behaviour and mental processes. Given the scope of psychology, psychologists themselves usually specialise in particular areas of work.

Overall you will develop a capacity to apply psychology for more effective teaching, management, consulting, parenting, marketing, or for your own personal growth. The course may also provide a valuable stepping stone to further study in this fascinating field.

This course is ideal for you if you would like to: 

  • Learn and understand the human mind

  • Develop skills for dealing with people - at home, work, or play

  • Develop your knowledge of psychology for many different careers

  • Enhance your workplace skills in management, communications, teaching, or counselling  

With an appropriate combination of elective modules, you can cultivate skills to work in various industries.

Examples include:   

  • Life Coaching

  • Marketing

  • Human Resource Management

  • Education

  • Social Welfare

  • Leisure Services

  • Counselling

  • Industrial Relations


You might be asking yourself questions like:

  • How well does the career I’m aiming for fit my personality?

  • What training or education opportunities exist to help me reach my goals?

  • What is the average salary can expect to earn once working?

  • What kind of things will I be doing in the job on a daily basis?

  • Will I cope with the responsibilities and challenges of the job?

  • Will I have the motivation to complete this course?  


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Behavioural Science.
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Child Psychology BPS104
 Industrial Psychology BPS103
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Research Project I BGN102
 Social Psychology I BPS205
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 42 modules.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Educational Psychology BPS105
 Food Coaching VRE110
 Leadership BBS110
 Marketing Psychology BPS107
 Motivation VBS111
 Play Leadership VRE101
 Psychology & Counselling BPS102
 Sports Coaching VRE109
 Sports Psychology BPS106
 Starting A Small Business VBS101
 Stress Management VPS100
 Workshop I BGN103
 Adolescent Psychology BPS211
 Aged Care and Counselling BPS212
 Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals) BAG203
 Biopsychology II BPS204
 Cat Psychology and Training BAG222
 Child and Adolescent Mental Health BPS214
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 Developmental Psychology BPS210
 Developmental, Learning and Behavioural Disorders in Children and Adolescents BPS215
 Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
 Emotional Intelligence BPS223
 Ethics BPS217
 Family Counselling BPS213
 Grief Counselling BPS209
 Managing Mental Health in Adults BPS216
 Relationships & Communication Counselling BPS208
 Therapeutic Nutrition BRE211
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
 Criminal Psychology BPS309
 Crisis Counselling BPS304
 Life Coaching BPS305
 Multi Cultural Awareness BPS303
 Neurodiversity BPS311
 Neuropsychology BPS306
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301
 Psychological Assessment BPS308
 Psychopharmacology (Drugs & Psychology) BPS302

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Behavioural Science is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

What is your future in psychology ?

Do not confine your thinking to what area you will find work in. Your thoughts and preferences may change with experience.

Broaden your perspective and consider all of the options that are available to you.

Don’t limit your own opportunities – keep an open mind.

Employment options on completion of this course ..

  • Research Assistant
  • Youth worker
  • Writer
  • Social services coordinator
  • Case worker
  • Public relations agent
  • Police officer
  • Probation/parole officer
  • Life coach
  • Counsellor – grief, rehabilitation, addictions (substance abuse), academic/career, crisis, career 
  • Mental health coordinator
  • Family and marriage therapist
  • Recruitment/employment consultant
  • Community counsellor
  • Corrections treatment specialist
  • Art or music therapist
  • Aged care worker

Future career options or to support those already working professionally as…

  • Social worker
  • Psychology professor/lecturer
  • School teacher
  • Psychologist – sports, clinical, forensic, social, military, aviation, industrial, criminal, educational, developmental, comparative, child
  • Psychiatrist or psychiatrist aide
  • General practitioner (GP)
  • Child care worker
  • Occupational therapist
  • Mental health nurse
  • Lawyer
  • Human resources manager

What can psychology teach you?

  • Why we act differently when we are in groups and when we are alone
  • How to improve a person's motivation and performance
  • How we develop certain patterns of thought and behaviour, and how to change negative patterns
  • How we learn from the moment we are born
  • How our biological development and environmental conditions affect our thinking
  • How to help children develop desirable behaviours......and that's only the beginning!
  • This course allows for flexible learning through home study, leading to both broad based and "specialist" knowledge and skills in psychology, behavioural management and counselling.

Explore all of your options. Only a small percentage of psychology graduates continue to become professional psychologists. There are many different areas of psychology, such as educational psychology, occupational psychology, criminological and legal psychology, psychology teaching and research. Each of these fields have different careers, pay and prospects within them. Some offer full time work, others only part time. Some offer consultancy and freelance work.

Graduates of this course have the opportunity to differentiate themselves from each other, and from graduates of traditional psychology degrees, by choosing highly practical elective modules that have application in industry, and are in demand in the workplace.

The most common element of work within psychology is problem solving. This may be done as part of a team with other professionals.  

Students develop skills in   

  • problem solving
  • objective data gathering
  • skills in statistical analysis & interpreting data
  • interviewing
  • experimental design
  • considering evidence
  • communication

Example potential employment opportunity: Youth Worker

Youth work is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of different jobs working with youths to help develop their educational, social and personal skills. There are many different avenues in this line of work, but the most important aspect is that you enjoy working with young people.

Some job possibilities include working in residential care with children under the guardianship of the Department of Child Safety, working with homeless youths in homeless shelters, working for programs that help disengaged youths engage in some form of education or training, working with youth groups through churches, working in schools as support staff for students, working in group situations to help youths with their personal development, leading outdoor activities to challenge youths… the list goes on.  The important thing to consider here is what experiences and talents do you have that you can share with young people? Use this to guide your decision as to what area of youth work you would like to work in.


There are tremendous opportunities for becoming involved with youth work. There are many programs and organisations that receive government funding and are therefore able to provide employment opportunities. There are also private organisations that offer employment opportunities. Many organisations will make use of volunteers. Whilst this may not be the career you had envisaged for yourself, it may be an excellent place to start developing skills and figuring out if this is the right job for you. Sometimes people embark in roles in youth work and then go on to undertake further study to develop careers in similar fields e.g. child psychologist.

Within organisations that deliver youth services, there are usually several types of roles, and as you gain experience you may progress into different types of roles. Central to youth work is obviously the staff members who interact with the youths. There is usually also a team leader or senior staff member who is also involved with working directly with the young people, but they may also have additional responsibilities such as managing rosters, designing programs, and overseeing the delivery of the service.

Organisations will also often have a case manager, who looks after more of the administration aspects of the young people who are engaged in the program. They will monitor the young people’s progress, and be involved in important decisions in regards to the young person’s placement in the program. They may interact with the young people, but less frequently than other workers. In larger organisations there may also be higher management that oversees the running of the service from a broader perspective.

You can see that there is scope for career advancement within an organisation, as well as salary advancement. Front-line staff members are generally paid less than management staff, however they may have bonuses such as casual loading, or higher rates of pay for weekend, evening, overnight and early morning shifts. 

Risks and Challenges
One of the main challenges of youth work is the emotional and stressful nature of the work. You will generally be working with young people who are going through difficult times. The difficulties may range from fairly mild to incredibly traumatic. This can result in a young person who is very stressed and difficult to deal with – potentially being rude, non-compliant and/or aggressive towards the youth worker. This can be challenging and stressful for the youth worker. Youth workers can also experience secondary traumatic stress or vicarious trauma from caring for people who have been through trauma. Burnout is also common as a result of excessive demand of energy and resources, often with limited or unmeasurable results.  Saying that, there are many different types of youth work, so make sure you find one that suits you.

The thing to be aware of is the signs of burnout, secondary stress, and vicarious trauma, (some symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, stress, anxiety, decrease of pleasure, and social withdrawal) and make sure you take appropriate steps to look after yourself, such as time off, counselling, supervision, self-care (massage, yoga and so on), education and training.

How to become a Youth Worker
There are many different routes to become a youth worker, and it will usually come down to a combination of your personality and your skills and knowledge. Organisations will often look for some form of education in counselling, youth work, psychology, social work, or similar. Experience is also highly regarded, so while you are studying or looking for work it is a good idea to volunteer or undertake work experience so you can demonstrate your ability to work in this area. Starting work in a related job, even if it is not the job that you are aiming for will help to build your experience to be able to get the job that you desire. Because youth work relies heavily on interpersonal skills, your personality and ability to communicate to young people will affect your selection for work. Youth work also often involves introducing young people to activities such as sports, gardening, music, camping, and so on, so experience and abilities in areas outside of youth work are also highly valued. 

ACS Distance Education Student Testimonial

“The notes and study tools encourage me to conduct research to develop my knowledge of components in my course. It is very worthwhile. [My tutor] gives me good feedback and food for thought with her comments and sometimes elaborates on my answers – I really value her input”.

Larissa Kalnins, Australia - Psychology & Counselling Student

So you're interested in studying psychology and working with people ... have a chat now with one of our psychology academics who can tell you more about psychological health and studying with us. Or you could enrol and get started today and take yourself on a new path! 

This course could lead to: 

  • employment in any field working with people  
  • a foundation to working in the expansive field of psychology - have you already thought of an exciting new career? 
  • a first step to further education in psychology and counselling 
  • a basis for starting your business in well-being and mental health - maybe you dream of running a counselling, education or advisory service? 
  • professional development opportunities and networking with other like-minded professionals...

ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Lyn Quirk

M.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.

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist.
B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE.
Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc.
25 years industry experience in writing, editing, education, psychology, and business. Tracey has several books and hundreds of articles published; in both fiction and non fiction.

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