Study psychology abroad

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Find your perfect psychology programs abroad

Find psychology programs you love that match your needs and aspirations, where you stand a high chance of acceptance.

Psychology degrees abroad

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and how it influences our behavior. It helps us better understand what makes us tick, and is one of the most popular university subjects to study at home and abroad.

Choosing to study psychology abroad can open up a huge number of opportunities, and there are plenty of great psychology degree programs available all over the world for international students to choose from.

You can study psychology at undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels, and in most cases you will need to study at graduate level in order to become a qualified psychologist.

Why study psychology abroad

Successfully completing a psychology degree will not only give you great career prospects, but it will also enhance your understanding of the people and world around you. Psychology is the perfect subject for those with an inquisitive mind, and a passion for helping people.

Choosing to study psychology abroad opens you up the opportunity of studying a much wider range of programs, and will give your studies an international perspective that can give you an edge in your future career.

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Psychology program structure

Most psychology degrees are made up of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Some programs also offer a year work placement which let you apply the theory you’ve learned in a working environment. This hands-on experience can help you when it comes to choosing your future career and is a good addition to your CV.

Exactly what you study, and the depth of detail will depend on the degree level you are studying.

The course structure and scope of studying psychology abroad will also vary depending on the country and university you’re studying in. However, common themes and modules you’ll see in a psychology program curriculum include:

  • Foundations of psychology

    This will include a focus on the four main areas of psychology: biological, cognitive, developmental and social psychology. These areas are often studied in more detail in the second or third years of your degree.

  • Research methods

    These will cover the quantitative and qualitative research methods you’ll need in order to complete your research project.

  • Conceptual and historical issues

    This covers how psychology theory has changed over time and what factors will affect its development in the future.

  • Individual differences

    This looks at why people have different personalities, how we can measure intelligence and how we treat mental disorders. This is often linked to social psychology.

  • Optional modules

    Depending on the university, you can usually choose some of the modules you study so you can specialize in an area you enjoy. These could include things like forensic psychology, neuropsychiatry or addiction.

  • Research project

    Most psychology degrees will include a year-long research project in the final year of your studies. This will make up a significant part of your final assessment.

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Where to study psychology abroad

An important factor to remember when deciding where to study psychology is where you want to work after graduating. It will be easier to work as a practicing psychologist in the country you are studying in, provided you can get the correct work visa because you will be accredited in that country.

For example, in the UK, your degree will need to be accredited by the BPS (British Psychological Society) to practice. However, you can still work in the UK if your undergraduate and postgraduate education took place abroad, but you will need to contact the BPS and meet certain criteria and potentially do some additional studies.

Consider how long you want to study before you start work. If you want to practice as a psychologist in the US or UK, you’ll need a doctorate, however, in some countries you only need a master’s degree. This means studying and working in these countries would offer a much shorter pathway to your chosen career.

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Best universities to study psychology

The best university for you to study psychology will offer a program that matches your interests and ambitions and be in a country you want to live in for at least three years.

Take a close look at the program curriculum in detail, and think about what the course offers. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want to study a degree that includes work placement or internship?
  • Do I want a course that offers more practical learning?
  • How long do I want to study?

There are a large number of universities that offer psychology degrees, so take your time to make the right decision. It’s also important to think about what the university offers outside of the classroom.

Psychology study abroad programs

Psychology degrees abroad are offered at several different levels. At undergraduate level you can study a bachelor’s as a BA or BSc. There may be slight differences between the two, for example a BSc may have a stronger focus on scientific study and research, but generally, the curriculums are the same. They usually take three or four years to complete depending on the country you are studying in.

As a graduate, you can study for a master’s as an MA, MS or MSci. An MSci is offered as a four year undergraduate program with an integrated master’s level qualification. Studying a separate master’s after your undergraduate degree will usually take between one and two years.

You can also study for a PhD in psychology, and it’s often necessary to do this if you want to practice as a psychologist. These programs will be largely research based, and can take two or three years to complete.

Entry requirements to study psychology abroad

The specific entry requirements for each psychology course will depend on the country and university you’re applying to, however there are some requirements you’ll always need to meet:

  • Completion of secondary education in your home country
  • A clear interest in, and passion for, psychology
  • Satisfactory English language proficiency test scores
  • A bachelor’s degree, usually in psychology or a related field, to study at postgraduate level

Check the requirements for your chosen program carefully before you apply, to see what grades you’ll need. The application process will also be unique to the country, university and program you’re applying to, but you can see the general study abroad application requirements here.

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Future psychology careers

One of the most attractive things about a degree in psychology is that it opens you up to a huge number of potential new careers - it’s not just for practicing psychologists.

It can give you loads of transferable skills that most employers value, so you’ll have plenty of options after graduation.

Here are some of the most common careers that psychology graduates go into:

  • Psychologist (you can also specialize in a specific area, e.g. clinical, educational, forensic psychology etc.)
  • Counseling
  • Advice work (e.g. careers adviser)
  • Police officer
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Probation officer

Remember that to become a practicing psychologist you will usually need at least a master’s degree, and often a doctorate. However, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is still a valuable asset that many employers look at favorably.

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