Students in the Psychology major will learn about classic findings and major theories, while actively engaged in expanding our understanding of human behaviour through hands on empirical work. The psychology major is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory courses, research attachments, and independent study opportunities.
All Psychology majors are required to take 54 or more modular credits (MCs) within the programme. At least 20 of the 44 course-based MCs must be taken at Yale-NUS, and an additional 10 MCs come from the capstone project. All MCs counted towards the major must be taken for a letter grade. Students considering graduate school in order to undertake a career in psychology are strongly advised to take more than the minimum number of courses required for the major. These students should consult with their Head of Study or major advisor as early as possible to plan their course of study.
The required courses include:
- Understanding Behaviour and Cognition (YSS2201)
- Statistics and Research Methods for Psychology (YSS2216)
- At least one laboratory course
- Six additional courses (“Psychology electives”)
A checklist form of these requirements can be found here.
Understanding Behaviour and Cognition provides a general overview of the field of psychology, and it serves as a gateway to more advanced courses in the programme. Such courses include those concerned with how humans develop as individuals and social beings, the nature of our relationships, how our brains process information, the ways in which behaviour can become disordered, and the techniques that can improve mental health. Although there are no formal specialisations in the Psychology major, students can craft their own areas of concentration while also sampling broadly.
In addition to coursework about theory and practice, the programme provides a foundation in experimental design, analysis, and presentation. Statistics and Research Methods for Psychology builds on the general principles and approaches from Quantitative Reasoning, focusing on the specific modes of inquiry for research with human participants. These ideas and methods are then further developed in laboratory courses, where they are applied to specific psychological contexts.
The Psychology major culminates in a year-long capstone experience. Students work closely with one or more faculty members within psychology or related disciplines, conducting original research with the goal of adding to our understanding of a specific psychological effect. Although empirical work is strongly encouraged, other approaches to the capstone will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The capstone in Psychology does not include a formal course, but the cohort of majors does meet approximately 4-6 times per semester to present ideas, discuss findings, and troubleshoot challenges.
Students may minor in Psychology by taking Understanding Behaviour and Cognition, Statistics and Research Methods For Psychology, and at least three additional courses in the programme.