Liverpool-born Joyce, who progressed through Bury's youth system before joining Sunderland in 2012, has been handed a six-month deal by the Tykes.
"I'm buzzing to be here and just pleased to be given a chance," Joyce told Barnsley's official website. "I want to impress and maybe get a longer deal.
"I like to think I'm a hard-working player. I like to get up and down the pitch and I won't shirk a challenge.
"I'm going to give it my all while I'm here and then we'll see what happens."