What is psychology?

 

Psychology is the science of mind and behaviour - in other words, everything a person thinks, says, feels or does falls within the remit of psychology! The behaviour of non-human animals is also examined.

Our Psychology degree programme at the University of Chester is applied in nature, meaning that through the course of your study you'll learn to apply your knowledge in lots of different contexts.

Why study psychology?

 

Psychology is exciting

If you are interested in what makes people think, act or behave in the way that they do, then Psychology is the right choice for you. Psychology is the scientific study of people's minds and behaviour, and the primary goal of psychology is to describe, explain and predict why humans think and behave the way that they do. At the University of Chester, we do this from a range of perspectives, which are detailed below, to give you a broad understanding of the subject.

Psychology is important

Understanding human behaviour has an important impact on many areas of life, including health, education, industry, the economy and crime. Psychologists work to help solve practical problems, ranging from helping to find ways to prevent bullying in schools, to helping athletes and sports people to perfom better. Our Psychology degree programme at the University of Chester is applied in nature, meaning that through the course of your study you'll learn to apply your knowledge in lots of different contexts.

Psychology is useful

In addition to providing the foundation for going on to study or train towards a professional psycholoy career, a Psychology degree from the University of Chester will also equip you with a broad range of transferable skills if you chose not to follow a career in Psychology. Psychology students are some of the most employable in the UK, as they are able to deliver skills that employers particularly value, including literacy, numeracy, critical appraisal skills, data handing, communication and presentation and logical problem solving skills.

The main areas of academic psychology

Cognitive psychology deals with how the brain processes information. Cognitive psychology covers topics such as perception, how we remember and why we forget, how we make decisions, and why we make mistakes.

Developmental psychology covers human development across the lifespan, considering how babies and infants develop through childhood and adolescence, through to changes that occur throughout adult life.

Social psychology considers how people act and interact in groups and social situations, including how we make friends and are attracted to partners.

Individual differences explores the factors that make individuals unique, such as skills, abilities and personality characteristics.

Abnormal psychology considers the factors influencing mental health, and the causes of, and treatments for, mental illness.

Cross-cultural psychology explores differences across cultures, looking at how behaviour and attitudes that are normal, typical or acceptable in one culture can be regarded as unusual in another cultural context.

Comparative psychologists study the behaviour of non-human animals, and look for differences and similarities between species - in some cases human and animal behaviours may be more similar than you would expect!


The main areas of professional psychology

In the UK, all chartered psychologists have at least six years education and training in psychology. Usually, this will include three years undergraduate study, and three years postgraduate professional training combined with supervised experience.

Chartered psychologists are regulated by the British Psychological Society, and normally join a specialised division of the society depending on their area of expertise.  The main areas of work as a professional psychologist are in: occupational psychology, forensic psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, health psychology, and counselling psychology.