Which areas of Psychology should I specialise in?

There are five broad areas in Psychology – Biological, Cognitive, Social, Developmental, Abnormal and Applied Psychology. You should expose yourself to all areas before committing yourself to any of them. You could explore by attending lab tours, where research assistants (RA) introduces you to their area of research. Alternatively, you could join as an RA yourself. Keep a look-out for recruitment emails from professors. Having a good grade and interest in that field helps. Some areas of specialisations in Psychology include Clinical, Industrial and Organisational, Educational, Counselling and Forensic Psychology. You should attend our academic and career talks to find out which career path interests you! 

What are the pre-requisites to major in Psychology?

  • Matriculated students of the College of Humanities and Sciences or the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Minimum grade of C6 in GCE ‘O’ level Mathematics or equivalent.
  • Minimum grade of B- for PL1101E and PL2131 modules.
  • Cohort 2021 onwards: There are no pre-requisites to major in Psychology.

How do I plan my timetable as a Psychology major?

To fulfil your university requirements for graduation in 4 years (assuming single major with Honours), undergraduates are encouraged to do 5 modules per semester from year 1 to 3 and 4 modules per semester in Year 4. Most undergraduates are able to handle this amount of workload comfortably. We try to mix memory-heavy modules together with the less memory-taxing ones.

You may take a look at Module Reviews to have a rough gauge of the workload. Alternatively, you may find out more from your Psychology seniors. To prevent clashes in your timetable, you may use NUSMods to facilitate your planning.

What are ways to lighten my workload?

We may take 3 PL modules, together with 2 electives (non-PL modules, so as to buffer the heavy reading load from PL modules. Students are encouraged to take elective modules to extend their learning beyond their faculty and major(s). Most elective modules tend to be more introductory-based and thus more likely to be less content-intensive. Even if you are not cut out for such modules and may not score well, there is always the S/U option that you may exercise for non-FASS modules and certain FASS modules, up to 12 MCs, so that they do not jeopardize your CAP.

We may take PL3236 Abnormal Psychology and PL2132 Research and Statistical Methods II in the same semester. The rationale is because the former requires lots of memorization, while the latter focuses more on the application. Thus, taking these two modules together will make it less memory-taxing. (But do note that PL modules generally require a lot of memory work so be prepared.)

Our advice is to plan your 4-year timetable early, i.e. what modules you plan to take in each semester. Some modules have pre-requisites that you need to fulfil before taking them, so you have to make sure that you fulfil the pre-requisites in earlier semesters. Some modules may only be available in certain semesters only, thus planning ahead of time will allow you to successfully obtain the modules you are interested in, instead of panicking at the last minute.

You can find a sample study plan of a 4-year timetable here.

(Disclaimer: Your actual timetable may vary according to your preferences and the availability of modules each semester.)

Can I take PL modules during special terms?

Yes, you may take PL modules during special terms. However, PL modules may not be available in every special term. Remember to check the list of modules available in advance. For more information on Special Term in NUS, click here.

Got more questions?

Feel free to Contact Us and send in your questions!