Division of Social Sciences
Department of Psychology
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Psychology
Minor in Psychology (with effect from AY2007-08)
Master of Social Sciences by research
Ph.D. by research
Master of Psychology (Clinical) Program
What is it about
The objective of the Psychology programme at the B.A. level is to provide a comprehensive basic academic grounding in psychology. The programme aims to equip students with knowledge in the key areas of psychology (such as human biological processes, developmental processes, social processes, cognitive processes, mental health and adjustment of individuals) as well as an understanding of the applications of psychology. It also develops skills for undertaking studies of behaviour, including statistical skills and the use of computers for data analyses.
Among the central topics and questions that the programme considers are
- Biological Psychology - What are the biological bases of our behaviours?
- Cognitive Psychology - How do we know about the world and ourselves?
- Abnormal Psychology - What are the nature and causes of abnormal behaviour?
- Developmental Psychology - What happens as we grow from birth through childhood into adulthood and then into old age?
- Social Psychology - How does interaction with others and groups influence our behaviour?
- Empirical Methods - How can we obtain data about psychologically interesting phenomena and how should these data be analysed and reported?
The programme seeks to provide sufficient rigour and coverage so that students can either take on psychology-related vocations or pursue graduate training in psychology when they graduate. Toward this end students undertake laboratory/practical work and are encouraged to enquire through empirical study rather than simply to through reading or classroom instruction.
Master of Social Sciences and Ph.D. by research programmes are offered by the department. We have a wide scope of research areas for prospective candidates including
- Cardiovascular psychophysiology
- Genetic and psychosocial factors in coronary heart disease
- Cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory
- Selective attention
- Visual perception
- Biological bases of schizophrenia and depression
- Interpersonal and group relations
- Cross-linguistic comparisons of literacy development
- Bilingual language development in young children
- Adolescent social development
- Parents' stress and adaptation to paediatric illness in Singapore
These research areas tend to focus around several labs to which students may be attached in order to develop their research interests and expertise:
- Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Lab
- Functional Brain Imaging Lab
- Memory & Speech Lab
- Psycholinguistics Lab
- Perception and Attention Lab
Prospective candidates with a good honours degree in psychology can apply for graduate training and they can undertake research work under the supervision of an assigned academic staff. Several scholarships are available for outstanding scholars for both Masters and Doctoral candidates.
Psychology is an empirical discipline and the Department places heavy emphasis on developing students' empirical skills. In 2003, the Department introduced a new type of module-the laboratory module-for the specific purpose of equipping students with the necessary know-how to conduct psychological studies in specific fields (such as cognitive psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology). The laboratory modules are offered at the more advanced level and class size is deliberately kept small to ensure that students get the necessary attention and exposure in learning particular empirical techniques.
Virtually all employment settings involve interaction with others. As such an understanding of how the mind functions and of interpersonal relationships can be an advantage. Psychology graduates from the Department are employed in a variety of settings where such psychological skills and understanding can be put to good use - often in management /leadership roles.
Those who go on to do Honours in Psychology are sought after in employment settings where their potential as future professional psychologists is of particular interest to employers. Psychologists in Singapore are employed in various settings which include MINDEF, MCYS, MOE, MOH, ITE, SPRING Singapore, a number of voluntary social service organizations, as well as in consultancy firms and research organizations.