Psychology Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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The word psychology takes its meaning from the Greek psyche, which means soul or mind . Thus, in full, the word refers to the study of mind . In a more precise sense, psychology is a scientific discipline dedicated to the objective study of the functions, motivations and processes of the human mind. The general aim of the practice is to arrive at a sufficient level of understanding to make explanations and predictions of human behaviour possible. In the case of a diagnosed mental ailment, the aim is to establish an effective method of treatment. What s involved While once derided as a pseudo-science, the field of psychology now enjoys an eminent position within academic learning. This is because it uses rational, logical procedures to explore the previously inexplicable realm of emotional impulse. It is also a comprehensive field with an extraordinary range of applications. Consider, for instance, the huge influence it has exerted on such diverse areas as education (Developmental Psychology), performance (Sports Psychology) and crime (Forensic Psychology). Due to the many distinct branches of psychological study, most part-time and evening courses in Psychology tend to serve as gateway introductions to the fundamentals of the subject. Students on such courses can expect to cover general aspects of social, experimental and cognitive psychology. One such example is Trinity College Dublin s Psychology: The Science of Behaviour and Mind, which offers tuition in elements as wide ranging as: how babies learn to talk, stress and heart disease, brain imaging, how experience changes the brain, people and organisations, bonding/attachment in childhood, dealing with emotional difficulties, perceiving our world, therapeutic methods, criminological psychology and forensic investigation, and understanding schizophrenia. Why study it In periods of economic difficulty it is common for people to experience a sense of severe distress. This can affect all groups and ages to a debilitating degree. In such a climate, a greater level of awareness and understanding are crucially important both in clinical treatment and in general social interactions. While the aforementioned impact of Psychology on other fields of endeavour has seen it become a popular study choice, part of its allure also lies in the sense of insight and empathy it offers its students qualities that are desirable not only in professional practitioners, but for those in a variety of other health care professions such as counselling or social work. Psychological insight is also vital to the work of criminal investigators, motivational trainers, sports psychologists and advertisers. What comes next As referred to above, some training in Psychology can prove to be valuable to a host of seemingly disparate professions. For those who discover an aptitude for the subject, there is also the option to advance their level of expertise through further study. At a glance Areas of study include Forensic, Neuro, Clinical, Developmental and Organisational Psychology. A variety of professions require the insights of psychological study counselling, child care, health care, social work, advertising and marketing, business and sport. Course duration and costs vary. Introductory Psychology courses may run for as little as ten weeks; diploma-level courses are more extensive and in-depth.

Frank Bolger

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