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A Breakdown of the Subject: Psychology

Psychology, while being an immensely fascinating subject to learn, is also becoming increasingly recognised for its importance as it continues to unravel mysteries surrounding the human condition. 

Our minds are incredibly powerful as they run the complex system that is our bodies, without conscious thought. It also forms our individual personalities, which encompass everything from our quirks to neuroses and anxieties.  

Understanding how and why we think, feel and behave the way we do can provide answers to significant questions. This is why people with this understanding are highly desirable, and employable within society.  

Psychology today is and has been the second most popular degree choice in the UK for a number of years. Professional psychologists have also been added to the UK shortage occupation list, which also attests to the speed of growth the psychology sector is experiencing.  

If you’re considering studying psychology, we break down this complex subject for you below and help you see how diverse and captivating it really is. Plus, the many types of psychology jobs you can get with the right qualifications.  

What is Psychology? 

In studying psychology, you study the human mind, the way it works and the way it can affect human thoughts, feelings and behaviours.  

You will look at the mind and mental development of people from birth to old age. Though this isn’t always in a singular context, while there is certainly study of the individual mind in psychology, you also look at groups as many of our behaviours occur in group settings.  

As many things from group activity to our health, cognitive processes and physical activity influence the human condition, psychology is a multifaceted subject that looks at numerous sub-fields. 

Despite being a deep and complex field of study, psychology has four main goals: to describe, explain, predict and change the behaviour and mental processes of others.  

So, if you’re wondering ‘Why study psychology?’, in doing so, you can help develop the understanding of our responses to situations, why trends in behaviour occur, what behaviours can be expected in the future, affect positive changes in behaviour and more.  


What Can You Do with a Psychology Degree


Is Psychology a Science? 

Yes, it is. While it might not seem so on the surface, psychology practice and education are built upon research findings that come from scientific methods.  

Psychology studies are very similar in design to studies in other scientific fields, and learning to design these science-like psychology studies and interpret the findings is a large part of psychology education. 

Certain psychology disciplines, like neuropsychology, are closely aligned with natural science, and the overarching subject of psychology is commonly recognised as a social science. To further cement its status as a science, psychology is also part of the National Science Foundation’s list of recognised STEM disciplines. 

What Do You Study in Psychology? 

No matter where and how you study psychology, be it in psychology books or online psychology courses, you will cover a host of topics that relate to human behaviour and the thoughts and emotions which influence it.  

With learndirect, you can study an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Psychology) which includes the following modules: 

  • Introduction to Psychology 
  • Understanding Crime and Deviance 
  • Developing Child 
  • Sociology of the Family 
  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology 
  • The Brain & Nervous System (Psychology) 
  • Abnormal Psychology 
  • Psychological Methodology 
  • The Psychology of Learning 
  • Sociology of Education 
  • Social Relationships 
  • Forensic Psychology 
  • Theories of Child Development 
  • Psychobiology of Stress 

As a course aimed at preparing you to study a psychology degree, this course also includes a number of modules designed to prepare you for university level study. Perfect for any learner, but especially those who are going back into education after some time away from it.  


Is Psychology a Science


What Other Subjects Can You Study with Psychology? 

As so many things impact our mental state and emotions throughout our lives, it’s no wonder psychology is studied alongside many different complementary topics.  

With so many types of psychology, the ways in which you can study the subject is almost endless. This makes it perfect for those who enjoy continual learning and building their knowledge and skillset well into their career.  

Applied Psychology 

Applies psychological study and theories to solve practical, real-world problems in health, workplace, education or similar, by developing treatments or programmes to solve common issues. 

Child Psychology 

Focuses on the physical, mental, emotional, and social development of human’s throughout childhood. 

Clinical Psychology 

In studying clinical psychology, you explore the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. 

Consumer Psychology 

A more niche area that specifically focuses on human behaviour in terms of their buying patterns, use and disposal of products and services. 

Counselling Psychology 

Psychology and counselling combined looks at the ways people function individually and in terms of the relationships they have at all ages. In this subject, you aim to address concerns people have in relation to emotional, social, work, school and physical health, at different stages in their lives. 

Developmental Psychology 

Examine how people grow and change or remain consistent throughout life in terms of thinking, feeling and behaviour.  

Educational Psychology 

Look at everything that is involved in the concept of learning, as a child and throughout life. From teaching methods to instructional processes and the differences in learning from person to person, to grasp how people learn and retain information best.   

Forensic Psychology  

In studying criminal psychology, or criminology and psychology combined, you apply the study of clinical psychology to legal situations to understand an individuals state of mind during a crime. 

Sociology and Psychology 

Examine different areas from both the viewpoint of the individual and larger groups in society. This will help you understand and analyse social relationships in different contexts and the mental processes and structures that drive human behaviour. 

Sports Psychology 

Learn how psychological factors affect performance and how psychology studies and theories can be harnessed to overcome performance-related problems.   

The above are just some of a growing number of psychology combined subjects you can study. Though, as we learn more about the human condition and what affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, this subject base continues to expand.  


What is Psychology


What Can You Do with a Psychology Degree?  

Looking at the many types of psychology sub-divisions that exist, it’s no wonder there are a vast array of psychology jobs you can pursue. Even though psychology is focused on the mind, your career options aren’t solely limited to those relating to mental health.  

If you’re wondering what jobs can you get with a psychology degree, we have listed a number of popular and diverse options below: 

Aviation Psychologist 

Examine pilots, air traffic controllers and other staff working in the aviation sector, then use your knowledge to assess cabin safety, investigate accidents and conduct research on aviation safety. All of this will help you provide valuable input in aviation designs like flight decks.  

As an Aviation Psychologist, part of your role is also providing psychological assessment, support and training to crew members so they can better help passengers with in-flight anxiety. 

Clinical Neuropsychologist 

Assess and examine people experiencing a host of mental health issues, brain injuries and neurological conditions, and create rehabilitation and recovery plans to support them. 

Experimental Psychologist 

Choose an area of expertise to conduct experiments and research within, and advance that field of study. This could be anything from the ageing process to children’s development.  

High-Intensity Therapist 

Work with individuals experiencing depression and anxiety disorders like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to equip them with the tools and techniques they need to overcome their complex problems. 

Occupational Psychologist 

Assess people’s behaviour in the workplace to find opportunities to increase productivity, effectiveness and job satisfaction.  

You can pursue all of the above roles and more psychology jobs with a psychology degree. Though, it’s worth noting some of the above careers may require you to have additional qualifications.  

How Long is a Psychology Degree? 

If you are going into full-time study at university, you will be able to complete your psychology degree within 3 or 4 years.  

This is because psychology degrees are offered both with and without the opportunity to complete a year in industry. Degrees with the year in industry are known as a ‘sandwich degree’, which typically has a year of practical work experience in the third year. If you choose to complete the 4 year sandwich degree, you will gain desirable hands-on experience that employers are looking for.  

However, 3 year psychology degrees are just as popular, as you can get qualified as move towards your psychology-related career much quicker. It’s also worth noting that you can complete part-time psychology degrees, but these will take longer to complete.  


What Do You Study in Psychology


Study Psychology Online 

If you like how fascinating and diverse psychology is as a subject, not to mention the multitude of important careers a psychology degree can help you pursue, you can start your study journey online with learndirect.  

Traditionally, learners would require a certain number of A Levels to study a psychology degree. A degree in psychology today, however, is open to more Level 3 qualification alternatives.  

You can study an online Access to Higher Education Diploma (Psychology) that provides an equivalent to three A Levels. So, you can meet the requirements of your psychology degree with one single course.  

Once enrolled, you will gain access to our innovative student platform, where you can access all of your online course materials. As there are no classes or timetables, you can move through these at your pace, though you will receive an Individual Learning Plan that outlines the submission schedule for your assignments.  

Other than this, your online psychology course is completely flexible, and there are no exams to complete!  

Enrol Today! 

If you would like to learn more about how your future could be shaped by studying psychology online, get in touch with our Course Executives today. They can run you through what our online psychology course offers, the degrees and careers it can lead you into, plus the other perks that come with being an online student with learndirect!  

Call 01202 006 464 today, or reach out by contacting us online.  

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