Complete Guide to Diploma in Psychology in Malaysia
Psychology is the academic and applied science study of the human mind and behaviour which include all aspects of human thoughts including our conscious and unconscious experience. A psychologist is considered as a social, behavioural or cognitive scientist who wants to understand the human mental functions. They seek to comprehend individuals or groups of individuals, how they affect one another and how their surrounding environment affect them. Psychology also includes philosophy and biological processes that affects human cognition, social function and medicine.
The study of psychology explores the concepts of perception, intelligence, behaviour cognition, emotion, motivation, personality and interpersonal relationships. The studies are done through empirical and deductive methods which includes research, observation, survey and statistics. The knowledge gained from the fields of psychology can be used in other discipline to benefit society such as business, marketing, advertising, product design and entertainment. Psychology is also an important part of the healthcare industry especially in clinical therapy and counselling to help healthcare professionals understand the patients. Some psychologists also assist in law, especially in forensic investigations and crime cases.
A diploma in psychology in Malaysia takes 2 years to be completed while some universities might offer the course for 2.5 years which includes the training and internship semesters. Students will be taught all the necessary knowledge and scientific skills to transition from academic to the career world. Students who studies psychology diploma can choose which field they want to specialise in either directly or indirectly related to psychology.
Fields of Psychology
Psychology can be applied to almost any discipline that revolves around humans. Below are some of the most well-known fields within psychology.
||Deals with abnormal behaviour and psychopathology where mental health professionals like clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors help their patients by diagnosing them and treating their mental disorders which typically includes anxiety and depression.
||A combination of psychology and biology that focuses on how the human brain, neurons and nervous systems affects people’s thoughts, behaviours and feelings. This field uses the knowledge in experimental psychology, neuroscience and physiology to understand how brain injuries and diseases can affect human behaviour.
||Responsible for the study, analysis and diagnosis of mental, social and emotional developments of children from birth until adolescence.
||Concerns with mental illness and psychiatric problems which involves medical treatment and therapy. Professionals in this field may need additional qualifications.
||One of the largest fields in psychology. It focuses on treating patients or clients who suffer from mental distress and other psychological symptoms like stress and depression and help them improve their social and emotional health as well as issues with family, work, marriage, relationship and others.
||Concerns with the psychology of the education and academic fields such as how people learn, how the brain functions when receiving new information and how memories are formed. Psychologists in this field are also specialised in engaging students with learning disabilities, special giftedness and individual differences.
||Utilises scientific methods and established theories to do new research on human mind and behaviour. Experimental psychologists often work in research settings within universities, colleges, research institutions, government entities and private businesses.
||Applied psychology in the field of law. The psychologist in this field has various types of jobs including providing psychological analysis and expertise to provide testimony and recommendation during crime cases as well as deducing the criminals’ motives and actions.
||Also known as I/O Psychology, the psychologists in this field work to promote productivity and efficiency at the workplace while at the same time care for the employees wellbeing and mental health state.
||Applied psychology in the field of sports and focuses on the psychology influence in sports, athletic performance, exercise and other physical activities. The psychologists help athletes improve their performance, motivation and health throughout their entire career or lifespan.
The knowledge and skills in psychology can also be applied to non-psychology fields such as marketing, advertising, entertainment and communication. Psychologists in such fields are concerned with human mind, behaviour and perception and how businesses can use this to their advantage.
How is Psychology Structured?
How long is the duration of a Psychology Diploma?
A diploma in psychology in Malaysia takes 2 years to complete. Some universities offer the course for up to 3 years including training and internship semester.
What will you study in a Psychology Diploma?
Psychology is an art as much as it is a science subject. Students will be taught about human mind functions and behaviour. Biological subjects such as anatomy and mental diseases. Humanities subjects like social studies and cultural relations. Students can also select focus modules which are specialized subjects such as Childhood Education, Learning Disabilities and Family & Society among others. The following are some of the modules students will take during the course:
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Business & Marketing Communication
- Cognitive Psychology
- Consumer Behaviour
- Counselling Theory, Methods & Techniques
- Life Span Development
- Marketing Principles
- Organisational Behaviour
- Organisational Psychology
- Research Methods
- Social Psychology
Why should you study the Diploma in Psychology?
- Jobs are in demand: As awareness for mental health is increasing, more and more people need the service of psychologists. Individuals are more conscious about their mental capacity, stress level and depression level, so they look for help to improve their lifestyle and health. Most companies are also seeking help from psychologists to improve the workers’ proficiency and health. Psychologists are also needed in other fields such as business development, human resource, marketing, communication and advertising to help understand how the human perception work and use it to the company’s advantage. Those with a diploma in psychology in Malaysia can always find jobs almost anywhere.
- Great salary: Psychology is one of the well-paid jobs in Malaysia as the profession is developing in this country. Those with a diploma in Psychology in Malaysia have the potential to hold some of the highest paid positions. Fresh graduates make up to RM42,000 a year whereas professionals in the same fields can make up to RM168,000 a year. Clinical psychologists are even paid hourly to tend to patients for up to RM250 per hour.
- Make a positive difference: As a psychologist, your job will bring significant difference to people’s life. You are able to help someone improve their health and lifestyle. You can direct a student to a brighter path in life, or help an employee choose a better career option. You can bring new innovation to marketing, media and communication. More importantly, if you are a part of a psychology research team, your work will be used to study humanity for years to come.
Is Psychology your ideal choice?
This diploma is definitely for you if…
- You want to understand yourself by understanding other people. As you learn more about brain development, emotions, feelings, cultural impact and society, you might be able to understand yourself more by having a deeper understanding of the main factors that impact your own life.
- You want to gain useful skills in research methods and scientific principles. By having the essential understanding of psychology research methods, you can understand many established and past experiments that were done within the fields. Your skills, such as statistical, analytical and deduction skills, can also be transferred to other fields such as media and marketing.
- You wish to improve the health and lifestyle of those around you, particularly those with mental illness and depression. As a psychologist, you have the opportunity to help those with mental health problems overcome the difficulties that they face in life.
This diploma might be for you if…
- You want to develop important skills such as communication and critical thinking. Studying psychology requires you to have a full understanding of the people around you. This includes their emotions and body language. You will become a better communicator as you understand the person that you will be talking to. You will also be taught to think critically to solve problems pertaining to the clients’ health or lifestyle.
- You want to be highly employable. The skills, either scientific or soft skills, are highly desirable in other fields. Even though there are many exciting fields to choose from in psychology, you have an even wider career range which includes business, media, marketing and advertising to name a few. Your understanding of human behaviour combines with the skills you gain during the course will make you a very employable person.
This diploma might not be for you if…
- You hate mathematics. When you study psychology, you are not just learning about human mind and behaviour, you also learn about science. This includes doing surveys, mathematical calculations and statistics. It will help you analyse data, create spreadsheets and graphs to further explain your research findings and, at the same time, help the public understand psychology too.
- You prefer not to interact with people. A career in psychology requires you to interact with people frequently. In fact, it is the duty of the psychologist to connect with people, figure out their problem and help them recover. Your research will be about human. Even if you work in other fields such as advertising and business, you will have to have a full understanding of the people around you and your target audience. Your work will be heavily revolved around people and if you are not comfortable communicating with people, then this course might not be for you.
This diploma is certainly not for you if…
- You have no patience, particularly when dealing with people’s problems. An aspect of being a psychologist is that you want to help people resolve their problems and improve their health and lifestyle. You will spend countless hours talking to people, hear their problems, communicate effectively and figure out solutions for them. Some clients or patients will stick with you for months or even years until their problems disappear. Your research, which includes surveys and interviewing others, may take up months and years as well. If you don’t have the patience to deal with other people, their lives and their problems, then this course is not for you.
Career options with a Psychology Diploma
With a diploma in psychology in Malaysia, you can explore the many career options within the psychology discipline such as:
- Child Psychologist
- Clinical Psychologist
- Experimental Psychologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Occupational Psychologist
- Sports Psychologist
- Social Worker
However, do note that some of these career options may require you to study up to Degree, Master or PhD level before you can pursue them. You may also be interested to use your knowledge and skills in psychology in other fields such as:
- Business Consulting
- Human Resource
- Media Research
- Public Relations
- Sales & Marketing
Entry requirements for this programme
- SPM: Minimum 3 credits including mathematics and science
- O Level: Minimum 3 credits including mathematics and science
(entry requirements may differ between universities)