Psychology is an academic discipline that studies brain function and behaviour in its various social, behavioural and cognitive guises. From the study of human emotion – such as why we laugh, cry, become enraged, feel hope and despair – to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions, Psychology delves into what it means to be human. It is a well-regarded and potentially very lucrative career choice: professional psychologists are to be found working in fields as various as law and forensics, arts and the media, sports and cultural activities.
What is Psychology?
The word psychology comes from the Greek ‘psyche’ meaning ‘soul’ or ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ as it was initially regarded as a spiritual subject, closely aligned with Philosophy. It was later in 1890 when William James redefined the word to mean ‘the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions’ that it began to depart from its spiritual roots towards what is now regarded as a science, based on clinical observation and scientific experimentation. Without meaning to be, every single human being is an armchair psychologist; it is intrinsic to human nature to ruminate on the workings of our own minds and dwell in introspection. All the ancient civilisations such as Egypt, Greece, China, India and Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of Psychology and since then, humans have continued to perpetually analyse human behaviour and seek to shape or alter it.
The study of modern psychology deals in how humans think and the way in which humans arrive at decisions or behaviours. It helps us to understand what motivates people’s actions and and how this understanding can help us address and solve many of the problems in society. Psychology is essential for treating mental disorders, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and optimising the way the mind functions with memory and emotion.
As a science, psychology is dedicated to the study of human behaviour through observation, measurement, and testing, in order to form conclusions that are based on sound scientific methodology. Its vocational nature means that studying Psychology at any level allows students to see the direct outcomes of the work they are doing, which can be fascinating and hugely rewarding. It is both a thriving academic discipline and a vital professional practice, and students who study Psychology will also learn proper research techniques and how apply quantitative and qualitative means to solve problems or explain observations.
Careers in Psychology
Psychologists can be found working in almost every field of the public and private sectors, so graduates can afford to choose from an array of settings and specialities. Employers include clinics and hospitals, schools and colleges, commercial and non-profit organisations, forensic departments, prisons, law courts, and the army to name a few. Furthermore, big businesses recognise that psychologists prove to be a valuable asset in the field of public relations. Work can be found in areas such as advertising, public relations, management consultancy, human resources, recruitment, training and development, industrial relations, market research, business and retail management.
Broadly speaking, the profession can be divided into a number of different fields:
- Clinical Psychology – This deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of serious psychological problems.
- Organisational Psychology – Involves working in public, commercial and industrial settings, and involves job analysis, career planning and training support.
- Forensic Psychology – Forensic Psychologists work in legal settings alongside the police force, courts, prisons, and child protection.
- Clinical Neuropsychology – a branch of clinical psychology dealing with brain damage.
- Counselling Psychology – Psychologist help adults, children and families to resolve solve personal and domestic problems.
- Educational Psychology – Psychologists play an important role in helping teachers, parents and students to maximise their learning in educational environments.
This subject can provide a rich and rewarding career, and job prospects are very good in the UK.
Mayfair Consultants offer at home, one-on-one tuition to pupils living across London, including those working at GCSE, AS and A-Levels and those taking undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in the subject (i.e. BA, MA/MSc, PhD). Our fully-qualified Psychology tutors are highly skilled and experienced, with many holding postgraduate degrees in the subject.
If you’d like arrange private lessons or have any questions about our tuition services please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.
https://www.jstor.org/subject/psychology – Jstor requires an account and gives access to academic journals
https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/publications – Experimental Psychological Journals
http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/apl/ – American Psychological Association
http://human-nature.com – Human Nature Review
http://www.ejop.org/index.php/ejop – Europe’s Journal of Psychology
http://www.easp.eu – European Association of Social Psychology
http://www.psychologicalscience.org – Association for Psychological Science
http://beta.bps.org.uk – The British Psychologist’s Society
http://www.bps.org.uk/careers-portal – BPS Careers page
cognet.mit.edu/ – MIT portal for the brain sciences. Registration (free) gives you added service
psychcentral.com/ – Online Resource Central, a comprehensive index of links to online resources
www.psychcrawler.com/ – the APA’s internet directory of quality psychological internet content
www.psychologynet.org/ – commercial portal to psychology resources
www.psychnet-uk.com/ – comprehensive UK gateway to information
psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/ – directory of links to support students
www.psy-log.com/ – gateway indexing web pages on the subject of psychoanalysis
http://www.mensa.org.uk High IQ Society
http://www.pearsonclinical.co.uk/Psychology/Psychology.aspx Pearson Psychological Assessments
http://www.aqa.org.uk/resources/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology/teach/list-of-free-resources AQA Psychology resources
http://www.psychlotron.org.uk Resources for GCSE and A Level.
http://www.simplypsychology.org Simply Psychological Resources
http://www.associationforpsychologyteachers.com/links.html Association for Psychology Teachers