Psychology-related fAQs

Which areas of Psychology should I specialise in?

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology is not just about clinical therapy, there are actually five broad areas in Psychology – Biological, Cognitive, Social, Developmental and Abnormal & Applied Psychology. In your time in NUS, you will be able to learn about all these areas in greater detail, so you will graduate as a generalist who understands all major facets of Psychology.

What are the job prospects for a Psychology major?

Psychology majors can choose to specialise in certain areas of psychology in postgraduate studies, such as clinical psychology, industrial & organisational psychology and educational psychology. Knowledge from psychology can also be adapted for use in various fields, such as human resources, marketing and consulting. In general, psychologists can often do many kinds of jobs, but if you do not plan to specialise in a certain subfield of psychology, taking Psychology with a minor or 2nd major in another more technical field (eg. data science, economics) is advisable to gain sufficient skills for a wider variety of jobs. Thus, Psychology is a good major for someone who either already knows which area of Psychology they are most interested in specialising in, or is unsure of what to do in future and prefers to take a more generalist degree.

Check out this page from the NUS Psychology Department for a description of different Psychology-specific career prospects.

What is the difference between a clinical psychologist & psychiatrist?

Clinical Psychologists in Singapore are similar to psychiatrists in that they provide treatment for individuals with mental health conditions or illnesses, but psychiatrists can prescribe medication to clients as they are qualified doctors who specialise in psychiatry. Clinical Psychologists must take a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and/or PHD or PsyD. in Clinical Psychology to provide services mostly centered around talking therapy.

What is the difference between Psychology, Sociology, Social Work?

The simplest distinction between Psychology and Sociology is that Psychology more commonly focuses on individuals and their behaviour, while Sociology focuses on wider social systems. One may confuse the work done in the field of Social Psychology to that of Sociology, but Social Psychology is the study of how individuals relate to and try to function within broader society, whereas Sociology looks at the ways entire groups function within society.

Social Work is a more practical field focused on improving the lives of those in need, and applies concepts from Sociology and Psychology to craft the best interventions for their clients.

NUS Psychology Programme FAQs

What are the pre-requisites to major in Psychology?

Cohort 2021 onwards: There are no pre-requisites to major in Psychology. Anyone who is interested in Psychology may apply for the introduction module (PL1101E Introduction to Psychology) to figure out if you would like to pursue Psychology as your primary major!

What are the graduation requirements for a Psychology Honours Programme?

For the latest information on the graduation requirements, check out this website from the NUS Psychology department. You can also find out from here the general curriculum that you will learn from the Psychology undergraduate programme.

What is the advantage of studying Psychology at NUS?

With the addition of the Common Curriculum which is compulsory for all NUS CHS (College of Humanities & Sciences) students have to take, NUS is priming their educational pedagogy on building generalists who can provide interdisciplinary skillsets into the workforce, meaning that there is much more opportunities and time for students to plan and choose their future career paths. Furthermore, NUS Psychology emphasises research skillsets heavily so that students can enter the workforce with adequate research and problem solving skills. Therefore, there is a focus on learning Psychology statistics well in NUS.

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 an average of 5 modules per semester from year 1 to 4. Undergraduates may choose to overload (doing 6 modules in a semester) to clear their university requirements faster if they believe that they can cope with the workload. We try to mix memory-heavy modules together with the less memory-taxing ones.

You may take a look at our Psychology 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, almost all students use the website NUSMods to plan their timetable for the semester.

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!