Introduction to Psychology: The History and Science of Psychology

Investigate the history and science of psychology while mastering the basic principles of the scientific method.

Introduction to Psychology: The History and Science of Psychology

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 6 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Digital upgrade Free

Learn about the origins of modern psychology and improve your science skills

Contemporary psychology is a well established scientific field, but where did it start?

On this course, you’ll explore the origins of psychology. Starting with the breakaway from philosophy, you’ll investigate the early schools of thought, look into some of the key individuals who shaped the field, and then discover how it emerged as the discipline we know it today.

You’ll also examine what it means for a discipline to be a science, find out how modern psychology evolved, and then master the basic principles of the scientific method that you can apply in your academic or professional career.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsMATTHEW MUNDY: What is psychology? When did we first start studying the human mind and its functions to find out how it shapes our behaviour? Hi I'm Matthew Mundy and I'm the Director of Education at the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University in Australia. In this course, you'll explore the ‘History and Science of Psychology’. You'll learn about its origins starting with the break away from philosophy, through to the early schools of thought and then its emergence as the well regarded scientific discipline that we know today. You'll also learn about some of the early pioneers and key individuals who shaped the discipline along the way. Is psychology a science?

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsIn this course, you'll find out firsthand what it means for a discipline to be a science, and to have the opportunity to master the basic principles of the scientific method that you can then apply in your academic and professional career. This introductory course is designed for everyone, regardless of experience or background. No prior study of psychology is required or expected. So if you want to learn more about the history and science of psychology, by a School of Psychological Sciences that is ranked among the best in the world. Then I encourage you to join us in this course.

What topics will you cover?

  • The science of psychology
  • The origins of psychology
  • Early behavioural psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Clinical psychology

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Assess the principles by which psychology is considered a science.
  • Investigate the central tenets of the major theoretical frameworks that have shaped the modern discipline of psychology.
  • Identify the pioneers of psychology associated with structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, cognitivism, and psychoanalysis.

Who is the course for?

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.

Who will you learn with?

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy

I am Associate Professor and Director of Education for the School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Australia. My research is in the cognitive neuroscience of memory and perception.

Who developed the course?

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established1958
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • World rankingTop 80Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

What's included?

Monash University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible