Psychological Science sets Joey up for a thriving career with globally implemented Honours project


Joey Ciappina has always been interested in people’s behaviour, deep human cognition and mental processes that govern how we think, act and feel, and after completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) he’s now enjoying a successful career in an industry he loves.  

“Studying psychology sharpens our critical thinking to help us better understand the people around us”, says Joey. “There are so many career opportunities after completing a psychology degree.” 

Throughout his degree, Joey not only developed a theoretical understanding of psychology but also the importance of practical skills to use alongside that knowledge.  

“Flinders University has empowered and made me highly knowledgeable within the psychology domain”, says Joey. “As such, I have a great understanding of psychological assessments and measurements, intervention strategies and ethical, legal and professional matters. Flinders taught me the importance of preparation, organisation, critical analysis and the ability to liaise.”

For Joey, the skills learned at Flinders have been put directly into practice in his current role as a full-time provisional psychologist. “I regularly teach and run weekly presentations to various stakeholders, clients and groups as part of my role, and recognise the importance of being able to communicate and build relationships within cross-cultural contexts, and practice across the lifespan”, says Joey. 

Now that Joey has found his way into the industry, he can see how the staff at Flinders set him up for success. 

“The staff at Flinders University genuinely want you to succeed”, says Joey. “They equipped me with a fantastic understanding of how to evaluate, then integrate science into my patient assessments and therapies. I understand more than ever the need for evidence-based sessions within my applied practice.” 

Joey’s favourite times at Flinders came during his Honours year where he not only made ‘life-long friendships’ with his peers and supervisor, but was also highly successful in his research project. 

“I used my applied, social, clinical, neurological and developmental psychology skills to choose a research project, then design an intervention to help children across the globe”, says Joey. “I received First Class Honour for my project, and I am so excited for my intervention to soon be applied globally.” 

Joey’s research project revolved around children with sensory processing sensitivity issues who are highly sensitive and can be overwhelmed in environments with loud noises, bright lights and consistent social interactions. He developed a video resource tool to educate teachers as to how they can facilitate common coping mechanisms such as avoiding gaze and using fidget tools, rather than inhibit these self-regulation strategies.  

I am driven by all opportunities that increase students’ psychological wellbeing, equity and classroom inclusion”, says Joey. “Despite sensory processing sensitivity attracting much attention in both current media and scientific communities, limited evidence exploring its implications within childhood and classroom contexts exist. Therefore, I grew passionate and was inspired to use my Honours year to identify and evaluate the classroom challenges highly sensitive students experience.” 

Joey is proud to have created something that can help educators gain a greater understanding of how to work with their students and believes the benefits of this tool can benefit all students, not just those with sensory processing sensitivity.  

“The beauty of our strategies is that regulating sensory stimulation within the classroom has the potential to benefit the entire class, not just students with sensory processing sensitivity”, says Joey. “It is an honour to now share my intervention both within clinic settings, and online worldwide. Educators can easily access and view the intervention, and certainly begin to implement the strategies to facilitate a greater classroom learning experience, right away!.” 

If you’re thinking about studying Psychology at Flinders, Joey’s advice is to make the most of your time here – both inside and outside the classroom. “Enjoy your university experience and have the time of your life”, says Joey. ‘Set personal and academic standards for yourself, and live up to them. Make yourself a well-rounded person, take all the opportunities you can get, and take responsibility for yourself. Reward yourself, have fun, make lifelong friends, and invest in your future!” 

With jobs for psychologists projected to increase by 22.8% between 2020 – 2025*, there’s no better time to study Psychology at Flinders. If you want to learn more about the Bachelor of Psychological Science and our other Psychology degrees, click here. 

* Labour Market Information Portal, Department of Jobs and Small Business.2020 employment projections for the five years to November 2025. the five years to November 2025. 


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Alumni Psychology Undergraduate