So You Want to Study Psychology?

“I want to study Psychology…”
“Because I want to read others’ minds.”

A big clap – this is the typical answer respond to people who think that they want to study Psychology. But do you ever understand what is all about the word “Psychology” before you want to study Psychology?

From the first day I was attending the class, I was asked to just remember one thing – “Psychology is the scientific study about human behaviours and their mental processes”, there is nothing about reading people’s mind, but to analyse, interpret and UNDERSTAND them. So, when you understand why people behave in certain ways, the thoughts or reasons when he/she is doing this and his/her current feelings at that particular moment, it is the time you know you are studying “Psychology”!

When a new semester begins, I will enter my first semester in Third Year of Psychology programme. Studying Psychology in UCSI University instead of other institutions out there could be one of the best decisions I have ever made! Despite the facts that the strategic location and numbers of scholarship provided by the university itself, it has other reasons to make me unregretful about studying Psychology in UCSI University.

The Department
The Psychology Department is categorised into the Faculty of Social Science and Liberal Arts in UCSI University. It shares the same office with other departments in the Faculty at the university’s Block G Level 8. This is the location where we usually meet our lecturers for consultation and other academic matters. 

The Staffs and Students
Currently, the Psychology Department consists of 7 lecturers with both males and females. The lecturers are from different ethnicity, nationalities and diverse cultural backgrounds. Besides that, most of the lecturers in the Department hold a PhD title and they have years of experiences in carry out research and publication of journals. The lecturers are also enthusiastic and passionate in teaching the students with their knowledge and experiences.

You would ask, the small number of lecturers could be a disadvantage, but the Department can handle well with the current number of students – in which it is also relatively a small number of students, if compared to other courses such as Business and Engineering in the university. Therefore, this situation becomes an advantage where the small class size enable the positive engagement between the lecturers and the students.

Based on my personal experience, a small capacity in the class can actually benefit both the lecturers and the students. During my First Year, I have attended a class where it had only 9 students who were taking the particular subject. Surprisingly, the lecturing and learning process was as smooth as you can imagine, and the class was so much fun to me! This is because the lecturer can put more efforts in delivering the knowledge to a small number of students (how to make only 9 students to feel the class is actually as fun as a big class?) and to take more time for the explanations (less students, less questions). Other than that, the lecturer can build a rapport relationship with students easily that has increased the positive impact for lecturer-student relationships. Of course, there is one more bonus – the assignment could be easier than attending a big class! This is because the lecturer can keep track on each student’s progression more efficiently thus to provide assistances whenever we encounter problems in doing the assignment. Not only that, with such minimal number of students, the difficulty level of the assignments somehow will be lowered to fit the students’ numbers.

The Subjects
Across the 9 semesters, there are a total credit of 122 to be accomplished before you can graduate. The subjects provided by the Psychology Department in UCSI University are comprehensive and well-developed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills. Besides, different from the other higher institutions, UCSI regulates the rule which students are required to take internship in each of their academic year (subjects to different courses/programmes). Therefore, the Psychology programme provides the students a balanced course exposure and three Cooperative Placements through workplace experiences.

The subjects offered by the Psychology programme are listed below (does not include extra-curricular and MPU subjects), with each comprise of 3 to 4 credit hours:

Year 1:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Positive Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Statistics for Psychology
  • Electives subject (choose 3): 
    • Critical Issues in Contemporary World
    • Future Directions, Future Casting
    • Persuasive Speech
    • Thinking and Being
  • Religions in Malaysia
  • University Life
  • Cooperative Placement 1 (Internship)

Year 2:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Counselling Theories and Techniques
  • Educational Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Personality Theories
  • Psychological Research Method 1
  • Psychological Research Method 2
  • Psychology Testing and Assessment
  • Electives subject (choose 3): 
    • Expressive Therapy
    • Family and Marriage
    • Human Sexuality
    • Juvenile Delinquency
    • Media Psychology and Technology
    • Sport Psychology
  • Cooperative Placement 2 (Internship)

Year 3:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Ethics and Professional Issues in Psychology
  • Entrepreneurial Psychology
  • Industrial and Organisational Psychology
  • Philosophical Issues in Psychology
  • Professional Development in Psychology
  • Independent Project 1 
  • Independent Project 2 
  • Cooperative Placement 3 (Internship)

The Assessment
The percentage of assessment for Psychology programme is 60% of coursework and 40% of written examination. In coursework, there are mid-term examination, tests or quiz, video or written based group assignment, individual assignments and presentations that students are required to accomplish in order to achieve the coursework percentage. Other than that, there are also some special assessments that can provide students a taste of practical values in the social and community services. Based on my experience, I have participated in a graded counselling session role-play with my course mates in Counselling Theories and Techniques class and executed a psychological intervention to one of the university’s sport teams in Sport Psychology class.  

The Career Opportunities
It is a broad career prospect for those who pursue in the field of Psychology. The major employment areas for Psychology graduates includes health and medical centres, special educations, business and marketing research, commercial advertising, human resources development, event planning and management, organisation and corporate consultant, public services, volunteering, social working and so on. With further learning and training in this field, Psychology graduates can also enter challenging careers in both industry and academic such as clinical psychologist, professional counsellor, therapist, researcher and lecturer.

Other than that, the Department has established a few collaborations with different NGOs, psychological centres and special needs centres. Students are encouraged to do volunteering or internship with these collaborators. Therefore, it could be one of the career opportunities in which the Psychology graduates can go for.  

The Association
The Psychology Student Association which aims to serve and enhance Psychology students’ experience and knowledge when studying in the university. Namely, this Association is an exclusive student society which only comprise of Psychology students in UCSI University. The Association works closely with the Department to provide Psychology students a series of events, workshops, seminars and fieldtrips that enable students to gain more exposure in the field of Psychology. Generally, the Association has some annual events such as Psychology Night, Autism Day, Psychology Week and Annual General Meeting that allow students to participate. Not to mention, I myself is one of the committee members in the board of Association, so here is an exclusive news: the Psychology Week will be held in the upcoming semester, so stay tuned for the further details!

Overall, I have good experiences to pursue my Psychology degree in UCSI University. I am not only gaining knowledge and skills that is beneficial for my future career, but I am pleased to know my lecturers and course mates too. There is only a year left before I finish my degree, I would definitely enjoy and appreciate every single day I spend for studying Psychology in this university!

Note: Other than degree programme, the Psychology Department also offer a master programme specialised in Child Psychology. For further details about the programmes offered, please visit