Psychology is the science of how humans think. It explores classic theories of thought and the design of studies to better understand the minds of individuals and groups. The field is subject to rigorous hypothesising, scrutiny and falsification in an effort to gain valid results like other sciences. Its use of extensive qualitative methods earn it the label of social science.
Early theories of psychology have been traced from Ancient Egypt to the philosopher Thales of Ancient Greece in 550 BCE. Plato’s seminal work ‘Republic’ is one of the most influential of its time, touting theories of how people think well before the discipline we know today arose. It wasn’t until Descartes and the renaissance thinkers before the infant field began taking the shape we know today.
Modern students of psychology have inherited an ancient discipline. They may advance their field beyond the wildest imaginings of thinkers centuries ago through science and research.
Postgraduate psychology is for students wishing to understand the mechanics of thought. Why do we respond to this stimulus but not this one? Is there a connection between this behaviour and that lifestyle? There are innumerable theoretical and practical problems to be tackled, making it ideal for scientific pioneers and practitioners alike.
There are numerous study paths available to postgraduate psychology students, ranging from certificates to PhDs.
Psychology taken at the graduate certificate level is often quite specific, taking six months to complete if undergone full time. Courses like the Graduate Certificate in Coaching Psychology from the University of Sydney or Graduate Certificate of Behaviour Support Teaching from Macquarie Universityserve specific, practical purposes. This makes them ideal for anyone with specific psychology careers in mind.
The Graduate Diploma in Psychology takes a year to complete if engaged with full time, or two years if taken part time. They often require an undergraduate degree in psychology to begin, in addition to a sound academic record (credit average). Institutions like Deakin University offer courses with these requirements that allow graduates to become registered provisional psychologists.
Master level psychology degrees tend to focus on coursework and improved qualifications, but in some circumstances a research master degree can be taken. RMIT offer this option to students wishing to make contributions to the field, whereas institutions like Bond University allow students to take the clinical route and become professionals. No matter the path, these programs tend to take two years if undergone full time.
PhD level psychology courses are available at institutions like James Cook University, allowing graduate students to hone their knowledge of the field. These degrees tend to take four years if undergone full time and are for those seeking extensive specialist knowledge and furthering their field.
Psychology graduates are well equipped to understand and remedy the negative influences in a client’s life that lead them to addiction. Postgraduate psychology students can use their hard-earned knowledge at companies like Rehabilitation Specialists to improve the lives of recovering addicts through the use of science and emotional intelligence.
Behaviour analysis is useful in a variety of fields ranging from law enforcement to advertising. Higher level education in psychology equips graduates with a keen ability to interpret the behaviour of criminals, the mentally ill, consumers and more. The Association for Behaviour Analysis Internationaldoes exactly this, working in both research and practical roles.
Graduates employed here will find themselves dedicated to applying the scientific method to crime. Their extensive knowledge of behaviours and cognition make them uniquely qualified to anticipate crimes. They can find employment in the public service at courts, tribunals and as an invaluable resource for the police.