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Why study psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. But why study psychology? We look at some of the most popular reasons people choose to study psychology and how, if you also choose to study the subject, it can impact and change your life.

By Grant Longstaff. Published 8 August 2023. Last edited 15 November 2023.

Better understand ourselves and others

One of the benefits of studying psychology is that it can offer a captivating insight into why people think and act the way they do. We are intricate, complicated beings and will never truly know what others think. However, psychology allows us to better understand the complex thoughts and feelings which influence others. Similarly, by studying psychology we can also recognise patterns in our own thinking and behaviour, which ultimately means we can better understand ourselves.


Develop social skills

A thorough knowledge of what motivates people can help develop our social skills. Studying psychology can greatly improve our communication with others. Students will develop their active listening skills, making them more perceptive and compassionate. You’ll also discover how open questions, the language you use, and emotional regulation, in yourself and others, can shape your interactions. The more effective you are at communicating, the stronger your relationships will become.


Promotes wellbeing

According to the mental health charity Mind, around 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and 1 in 6 of us will report experiencing a common mental health problem – such as anxiety or depression – in any given week. If you study psychology you’ll learn to recognise patterns in thought and behaviour and the impact they can have on our wellbeing. With this knowledge, you can identify the challenges you face, pinpoint the triggers, and have a wealth of practical resources to draw upon to help yourself and others through difficult times. Of course, it may not replace the need for professional help or medical treatment, but even recognising the signs could identify the need for support earlier.


Career options

One of the more practical reasons to study psychology is the number of career options open to graduates. To begin there are several different psychology jobs people may choose to move into such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, or sports psychology. Many of these roles may require further education, often a master’s degree (we offer the MSc Psychology (Conversion) for those who already have an undergraduate degree in a different subject) or a doctorate.

However, not everyone who studies psychology becomes a psychologist. The skills you’ll gain studying for a psychology degree are wide ranging and desirable to many employers. Graduates may move into healthcare, the arts, education and training, law, marketing, or business.


Routes in Psychology

There are many different routes you can take within psychology- for example you can venture into the world of counselling, clinical, educational or sports psychology. The research specialisms of our lecturers span cognitive and behavioural, health, forensic and occupational psychology, and when studying with us you will have the opportunity to explore their unique journeys through the field of psychology during your course. Additionally, you can select the modules that are the most relevant to your career goals and gain academic and employability support throughout your course.


Develop transferable skills

Becoming a psychologist isn’t your only option if you choose to study psychology. The skills you’ll gain whilst studying for a psychology degree are vast and desirable to many employers. Graduates have the opportunity to move into healthcare, the arts, education and training, law, marketing, or business.

As psychology research and trends rapidly evolve, students are required to have strong analytical and research skills. Additionally, students will develop excellent communication, teamwork and organisation skills through their varied study activities and assessments, including independent research, essays, group projects and presentations. The incredible range of transferable skills that are gained when studying psychology leaves graduates well equipped to enter a choice of different career paths.


Psychology is everywhere

With graduates working in numerous sectors it stands to reason psychology, in some form or another, is everywhere. As a psychology student, you’ll soon discover the subject impacts all walks of life, and psychological research and experimentation continue to shape the world around us. We’ve already discussed how it can improve our health and wellbeing. Companies use psychology to inform customer trends and marketing strategies. It can influence how learning takes place in school classrooms and business training rooms. You’ll even find psychology in gaming, artificial intelligence, and computer science. Known as cyberpsychology, the British Psychological Society (BPS) explains, “the relevance of human-computer interaction (HCI) research will only increase…[and] technology's effects on the human psyche will continue to significantly shape both our interactions with each other and our perceptions of the world”.


Wherever your future lies, there is no doubt an element of psychology will exist. If you want to better understand yourself and others, society, and the world around us, psychology could be the perfect path for you.


Find out more about our BSc (Hons) Psychology or MSc Psychology (Conversion) courses and start your journey today.