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Jun 2015 by PCI College

Studying Psychology in the 21st Century

Dr Derek Dorris, PCI College Head of Psychology writes about how the study of psychology and it's application has become an integral part of our understanding of the modern world and in how we can get the best out of our minds, and those of others.

Psychology has changed and grown as a discipline since its inception chiefly because of research findings and intellectual argument but also as a means of keeping up with the world. As an example of the latter, as formal education began to receive more attention, psychologists were among those who the educators turned to, to identify the most efficient teaching methods and, from there, Education Psychology was born. As sports became increasingly commercialised and winning more incentivised, psychologists were again looked to, to give athletes' an edge on their competitors. Thus, psychology grew to help those with little more than a basic understanding of psychological matters to get the best out of their minds and those of others.

However, in the modern age of technology, where shared knowledge is more relevant than at any time in our history and where more and more of our lives are being transacted through social media, psychology faces a new challenge. Simply put, students now know more about the mind before they even set foot in a classroom not simply by virtue of greater availability of information (though that is critical) but because our networks of acquaintances have expanded in reach from local (where a good understanding of oneself often allows for a sufficient understanding of others) to global (where interaction often involves holding a single conversation with several people across a multitude of cultures, societies, and time zones). As such, there are increasing pressures on us to be able to predict a wide variety of people's behaviour, thoughts, likes, dislikes, customs, sensitivities, practices, and overall personalities across several contexts whether they be social, professional, familial, etc. Although psychology is certainly a subject with the answers to these questions, it's not often taught in the manner that would answer them.

At PCI College we champion Applied Psychology not simply as an adjunct to core learning but as integral to that core. Each module is taught with the real world explicitly in mind, so that our experiences become the framework for learning. From this approach, students will find it easier not only to understand the information they are presented with, but to use that knowledge to better inform their interactions with others across personal and professional domains - to become more efficient operators in the more interactive world of the 21st Century.

When we first introduced the Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology course in 2013, one of the key objectives was to provide a programme that would allow students who already hold a degree in a discipline other than psychology, to prepare for entry to university Higher Diploma, and eventual accreditation with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). As I outlined in that article, the course therefore is “designed to give students a NFQ Level 8 introductory course in psychology specifically tailored to make students more competitive H.Dip candidates. Furthermore, as many H.Dip students are nervous about missing the first year of the undergraduate course they are being incorporated into (and in some cases frustrated that the undergraduate students who they will be directly competing with after graduation have had an extra year of introductory grounding in the subject), our course is intended to give aspiring H.Dip students a course that is equivalent in quality, content, and focus to a first year introductory course in any of the major universities”.

Whether your choice is to study psychology to benefit your current career, or with a view to further higher level study, you will receive a cutting-edge grounding in psychology, from a unified perspective wherein the various subjects are tied together with conceptual, empirical, and practical examples.

 

Dr Derek Dorris, B.A., Masters (M.Litt.), PhD in Psychology(June 2015)

Head of Psychology, PCI College

 

As part of the 'Introducing Psychology' lecture series, Dr Dorris will give a free lecture on Thursday 24th September 2015, 6.30-8.00pm.  The topic is 'Where Fiction Meets Reality: The Importance of Applied Psychology in Our Everyday Lives' and the one hour lecture will be followed by an Open Evening for anyone with an interest in part-time psychology courses. Click here for full details and to register for the free lectures

 

You can also see Derek's article 'Introducing Psychology at PCI College' here on our blog or see more details about our psychology courses here.

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