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Top 10 courses for careers in psychology

Discover the best psychology courses to advance your career. Whether in forensic psychology, cognitive psychology, or sports psychology, we have courses to help you land your dream psychology job.

Courses for psychology career

By Jamie Kontis

Psychology has always been one of the most popular subjects in higher education. But now more than ever, the appetite for hiring psychologists in the professional world is expanding. If you’re curious about a career in the industry, we’ve highlighted some of the best psychology courses to help you get ahead. 

Why choose a psychology career? 

The need for psychologists is rising.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States projects a strong upward trend in job demand until at least 2030. While the Labour Market Information Portal of Australia predicts a national growth in the next five years of over 20% in psychology jobs.

The UK tows the same trajectory, with the government pledging an investment of £500 million into mental health services. This comes after the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK reported from their survey of NHS staff a dire shortage of mental health professionals at a time of overwhelming demand.

In short, mental health matters more than ever. More people today are aware of the importance of mental wellbeing. More people today welcome the prospect of seeking help. And more people today require mental health support in this post-COVID world.

Public Health England’s COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Surveillance Report found that the nation’s psychological wellbeing has been severely affected by the pandemic. Never before has it been more pressing for psychologists to find prominence in the workforce.

>> Explore our collection of online psychology degrees

Which industries use psychology? 

Fortunately, an awareness of mental health issues has reached many different industries. As such, psychology is taking root in new territory beyond the health industry.

Employment of school psychologists is increasing, for one. No doubt, we can attribute this to a sprouting awareness, in recent years, of the link between mental health and learning.

Similarly, businesses are more frequently employing industrial-organisational psychologists. In many companies, their job is vital to boost office morale, improve productivity and help select and retain the right employees.

The emerging field of sports psychology is also growing by the day. Professional sports teams now often defer to the expertise of psychologists on issues of mental fitness. The role is pivotal nowadays to extract elite performance from athletes. 

The scope for careers in psychology has never been wider. And the job opportunities have never been greater.

The top 10 courses for a career in psychology

Whether you’re already a psychology graduate looking to advance your career in a more specific domain or a beginner looking to make a career change, an online course can help you learn new skills and develop your existing ones.

Below, we’ve chosen ten of our highest-rated and most varied courses to help you achieve your ambitions in psychology. 

Introduction to Psychology by Monash University

Where better to begin our tour of courses than with an introduction to the broad landscape of psychology? Monash University is one of the world’s leading research institutions, and this course sees their experts guide you through the fundamental principles of psychology.

The course shows you how these principles can be applied across a range of industries, such as teaching, counselling, marketing, and more. You’ll also learn the history of the discipline, get a taste of behavioural, clinical and cognitive psychology, and discover if a future in psychology is truly for you. 

Coaching Skills: Sports Coaching and Leadership by Deakin University

Deakin University offers a perfect course for those with a background in psychology looking to specialise in sports leadership or for those who seek to further their coaching career by learning the science behind improving mental fitness. 

You will explore key concepts in sports psychology with renowned coach and sports scientist Paddy Upton, gaining knowledge of strategies to help athletes reach their potential and of how to create a positive team environment as a leader. The skills you learn on this course can help you integrate psychology into any leadership role you may occupy or boost your career in sports psychology.

Behavioural Science: Influencing Behaviour and Designing Decisions by FutureLearn

Accommodating psychology into a corporate context is a growing trend in the workplace. Throughout this course, led by behavioural scientist Paul Dolan, you will explore cutting-edge behavioural research. You will learn about decision-making, how to create a successful organisational environment with social psychology, and how to leverage the principles of behavioural psychology to understand the needs of customers and employees. 

The course will give you the skills to apply key insights from behavioural science to organisational challenges, setting you on the right path to work as a psychologist in the business world or to implement psychological tactics effectively and improve your office culture. 

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation by The Open University

A real learner favourite. On the course, your cognitive skills will be tested as you try to solve crimes using nothing but videos of real witnesses. You’ll learn the dangers of relying purely on testimony in a criminal investigation and discover how psychology is vital in obtaining evidence from an eyewitness testimony.

The course can be enjoyed by anyone, but is tailored to those with an interest in forensic investigation and is a terrific introduction to the subject if you’re thinking of pursuing a career in criminal psychology. 

Forensic Mental Health and Criminal Justice by Project39A and Monash University

The Delhi-based criminal justice initiative Project39A and Monash University have partnered to design a unique course for current practitioners or students looking for a more specialised career in psychology within the sphere of law. Here, you will dive deeply into the important intersection of mental health and criminal law. 

You’ll explore the relevance of the accused’s mental health and its bearing on access to justice, fitness to stand trial and the defence of insanity. You’ll also gain access to a compendium of knowledge that synthesises law, forensic science and psychology to deal with legal cases that involve mental health evaluations, such as psychiatry assessments. 

What is a Mind? by University of Cape Town

Considering a more academic career in psychology? The University of Cape Town has created an introductory course that asks you to ponder the more philosophical, scientific and historical questions about the nature of the mind. It asks you to reflect on consciousness and what it means to be a mind. 

This interdisciplinary study of psychology seeks to make a covenant between traditionally antagonistic approaches to understanding the mind. You’ll be given every angle of the debate and a clear perspective on if academic psychology is a job prospect for you. 

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science by University of York

Particularly useful if you intend to study psychology at university and pursue a career in the field, this introduction to cognitive psychology shows  you how psychologists work and run practical experiments. It’s also been crafted by the University of York, one of the UK’s leading Russell Group universities. 

Cognitive psychology comes alive as an experimental science throughout your course. You’ll explore how the mind works by thinking like a psychologist and conducting real experiments, having fun while learning about the processes that underlie reasoning, thinking and mental imagery. 

Understanding Epilepsy and its Neuropsychology by University of Padova

Made for current healthcare professionals and postgraduate students who wish to grow their knowledge or refine their careers into a specialisation, this advanced course traverses the neuropsychology of epilepsy. 

By the course’s end, you’ll have understood  the nature of epilepsy, the tests used for its medical diagnosis, and the techniques employed to evaluate different aspects of the disorder. You will also learn how to support someone suffering a seizure.

Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture by University of Liverpool

In this highly-rated course, you’ll learn from experts at the University of Liverpool about how a psychological understanding of our emotions can uncover the answers to improving our mental health. 

The course will guide you through a clinical psychologist’s processes of assessing a client and making a mental health diagnosis. You’ll also analyse the many different perspectives on whether mental health problems are caused by nature or nurture. For the budding clinical psychologists out there, this is the course for you. 

Mental Skills Training for Sport and Health by Manchester Metropolitan University

To wrap up our list of the best psychology courses, we present to you this excellent introduction to sports psychology. Manchester Metropolitan University’s course teaches how psychological knowledge, scientific research, and mental skills training techniques are applied to enhance athletic performance. 

Whether you seek a career in sports psychology, health psychology or coaching, this course is a great launchpad for you. By the end, you’ll understand the relationship between the brain and the body in sport, and you’ll learn the key psychological attributes that facilitate sporting success. 

Start your psychology career today

Career opportunities in psychology are rising across a great range of industries. Whatever your area of interest, explore our complete collection of psychology courses and make a difference with the career you’ve always wanted.

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