Did you know that psychology is used to design supermarket layouts?
We wouldn’t call it a trick, but it is designed to help you find things better, and also spend more time at the supermarket!
If you are fascinated with how things like that can impact behaviour, and if you have a keen interest in the human mind, a course in Psychology could be a good choice for you!
This guide will give you a good idea about studying a Psychology course in Malaysia and help you decide whether Psychology is right for you.
#1. The Basics of Psychology
a) What Is Psychology
Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour. It helps you understand why people are the way they are and why they do what they do. From human motivation to decision-making and social interaction, Psychology seeks to understand our thoughts, feelings and actions.
While many of us are familiar with psychologists (or therapists) listening to a patient’s problems while they lie comfortably on a couch, there is a lot more to Psychology than that. Psychology is also applied to many other areas, from creating better workspaces to website design and company branding.
For example, if a company is launching an eco-friendly product, using the colour green for its packaging and branding campaigns will help convey this message more effectively to consumers.
b) What Are the Various Fields of Psychology?
There are many branches of Psychology, and each branch focuses on different aspects of human thought and behaviour. Here are some of the fields of basic Psychology.
|Field||What It Is All About|
|Abnormal Psychology||Deals with unusual behaviour, such as depression, mental disorders and schizophrenia|
|Biological Psychology||Study of the brain functions at the neuron and neurotransmitter level, and how it can influence thoughts and emotions|
|Cognitive Psychology||Relates to mental processes, such as attention, memory, language and perception|
|Developmental Psychology||Relates to changes throughout the human lifespan, covering biological, social, emotional and cognitive aspects|
|Social Psychology||Deals with how people's thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced in the presence of others|
These fields of basic Psychology provide the foundation of Applied Psychology, which applies psychological principles and theories to overcome problems in real-life situations.
Areas of Applied Psychology include: Clinical Psychology (diagnosing and treating mental disorders), Counselling Psychology (therapy and counselling), Forensic Psychology (psychology in the field of criminal investigation and law), Sports Psychology (performance in sports) and Organisational Psychology (human behaviour in the workplace).
#2. Studying a Psychology Course
a) Entry Requirements & Qualifications
In order to pursue a degree in Psychology, you will generally need:
(i) Diploma in Psychology
To study a Diploma in Design, you will typically need:
- SPM / O-Level Qualification: Minimum of 3 credits, including Mathematics and Science as well as a pass in English.
A Diploma in Psychology typically takes about 2 – 2.5 years long, where you’ll be equipped with the fundamentals of Psychology.
Upon completion of your Diploma in Psychology course, you can choose to venture into the working world or further your education with a Degree in Psychology.
(ii) Degree in Psychology
To pursue a Degree in Psychology, you need to complete your SPM or equivalent qualification and you also need to complete a Pre-University program.
The requirements that you need in order to pursue a Psychology Degree are:
- A-Level: Minimum of 2Es; or
- STPM: Minimum of 2Cs; or
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum of ATAR 60; or
- Canadian Pre-University: At least an average of 60% in 6 subjects; or
- Diploma: Minimum CGPA of 2.0
- Foundation in Science or Foundation in Arts: CGPA of 2.0
In addition to that, you’ll also need to have 3 credits in SPM, including Mathematics and Science as well as a pass in English.
A degree in psychology is usually 3 years long.
But wait, there’s more to this!
One of biggest misconceptions many students have is that they are a psychologist after completing an undergraduate degree. However, a degree in Psychology is too general.
In order to be a psychologist, you will need to obtain at least a Masters in a specialised field of Psychology, such as clinical psychology, neuropsychology or forensic psychology. This will take approximately 2-3 years long.
b) How does your education pathway look like?
c) What Will You Study in a Psychology Degree?
In most degrees, you will typically learn subjects in the area of basic Psychology to provide you with a strong foundation of psychological concepts and theories.
Here are some of the topics that you may cover in a Psychology course.
- Biological Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Perception, Memory & Cognition
- Applications of Psychology
- Research Methods
#3. Why Should You Study Psychology?
(a) You have a deep fascination for the human mind
A Psychology degree will allow you to learn how the mind functions and what makes someone tick. Psychology will help you answer many interesting questions, like how does the brain learn language, what causes stock markets to crash and why do people suffer from depression and anxiety. If this sounds fascinating to you, then Psychology might be the course for you!
(b) Gain useful insights to apply to daily life
From recognising sales tactics to overcoming grief and depression, psychology can be extremely useful, giving you a deeper understanding on how certain things can affect your thoughts, emotions and actions. You can use concepts and lessons from psychology to improve your life, whether your goal is to exercise more, stop smoking or be more motivated at school!
(c) Wide career options and opportunities
A Psychology degree will enable you to understand and predict the behaviour of individuals and groups, which can be useful in various job settings. You can find Psychology degree holders in diverse fields, such as advertising, marketing, social services, consulting and human resource.
#4. What Skills Do You Need to Study a Psychology Course?
Here are some of the key qualities and skills that you will need to develop in order to do well in a Psychology degree.
(a) Good research skills
A Psychology degree will require you to read lots of material, including concepts, theories, case studies and research papers. Being able to find the information that you want is important, especially since you will be required to write lots of essays and research reports.
(b) Ability to think critically and solve problems
As part of your Psychology studies, you will need to learn how to apply different theories, strategies and approaches to understand and solve problems. At times, complex cases may require multiple approaches, so good thinking skills are a must.
(c) Ability to deal with numbers
This one may come as a surprise to you! Most Psychology degrees will teach you research methods, which involves applying quantitative models to data in order to identify associations and make predictions. As such, you must be comfortable with summarising numbers using statistical tests and equations.
#5. What Career Options Do You Have with a Psychology Degree?
Here are some career options that are highly related to psychology and therapy. Do note that some may require you to further your studies to either a Masters or a PhD.
- Clinical Psychologist
- Counselling Psychologist
- Occupational Psychologist
- Psychiatric Assistant
- Sport & Exercise Psychologist
- Social Worker
As a Psychology degree holder, you do not necessarily have to pursue a career that is directly related to Psychology. Here are various other sectors (or jobs) where you can find Psychology graduates.
- Business Development
- Career Counselling
- Human Resource
- Market Research
- Media & Advertising
#6. Where Can You Study Psychology in Malaysia?
Here are some of the most popular universities for Psychology in Malaysia.
Bachelor of Psychology (Hons)
Campus: Subang 2
Intakes: Jan, May & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM81,000
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Twinning programme with partner universities (Australia, UK, and US)
Malaysia’s first non-Australian University to attain the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accreditation
Vibrant student life with active psychology student clubs and sporting events
Opportunities for practical training with over 200 organisations
View other colleges
Bachelor of Psychological Science and Business
Campus: Bandar Sunway
Intakes: Mar & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM102,660
Scholarships: Up to RM10,000 tuition fee waiver
Dual major in psychology and business
Accredited by Australian Psychology Accreditation Council
Ranked 38th in the world for psychology, according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Psychology
Campus: Bukit Jalil
Intakes: Feb & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM83,000
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Focuses on health and clinical psychology
Transfer to partner universities overseas (Australia and UK)
12-week attachment programme with industry or NGOs