The rising popularity of undergraduate psychology courses is the focus of a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship awarded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) to Associate Professor Jacquelyn Cranney.

Almost one in seven Australian university students is now taking first-year psychology studies with increasing numbers opting for a psychology major. In the US, psychology is now the second most popular major, after English.

"The discipline of psychology bridges the natural and social sciences and a psychology major can be considered the new 'liberal' education," Professor Cranney said.

In an ALTC pilot study, Professor Cranney found that psychology graduates have a broad range of career destinations. It turns out that psychology is popular with both students and employers because of the skill set that graduates acquire during their studies.

Professor Cranney is a committed teacher and says she is passionate about why and how students learn and well as what they learn. The fellowship, valued at up to $350,000, is awarded to outstanding scholars who are respected leaders in learning and teaching in higher education.

Professor Cranney will chair the International Conference on Psychology Education (ICOPE 2010), being held at UNSW in July.

Read more at the Faculty of Science newsroom.

Media contacts: Jacky Cranney |; Bob Beale | UNSW Faculty of Science media liaison | 0411 705 435 |