Study Psychology in Singapore

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Psychology Studies in Singapore

Are you a psychology student who has always dreamed of studying abroad in a foreign country?  Have you considered the beautiful country of Singapore as a potential study abroad destination?  Although not your typical student exchange locale, Singapore offers a number of advantages for students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Singapore, officially known as the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia.  The nation is situated off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of the equator.  The territory of Singapore consists of the lozenge-shaped main island, commonly referred to as Singapore Island in English and Pulau Ujong in Malay, and more than 60 significantly smaller islets. Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south. The country is highly urbanized, with very little of its original vegetation remaining, due mostly to the fact that the country's territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation. 

Singapore’s government is organized as a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government.  The country is home to just over five million, of which approximately two million are foreign-born, including thousands of international business people who come to Singapore to work in its large financial district.  While Singapore is very ethnically and culturally diverse, ethnic Asians make up a dominant majority of the population: 75 percent of the population is Chinese, with significant minorities of Malays, Indians, and Eurasians. There are four official languages in Singapore, English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, and the country promotes multiculturalism through a range of official policies.

Singapore is one of the world's key commercial hubs, boasting the fourth-largest financial center in the world and one of the globe’s five busiest ports.  The country’s internationally-based and diversified economy depends heavily on the trade sector, especially manufacturing, which represented 26 percent of Singapore's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013.  In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third-highest per capita income in the world.  The nation also places highly in international rankings with regard to healthcare, government transparency, economic competitiveness, and education.

Psychology Education in Singapore

Singapore boasts an excellent system of higher education and is home to several renowned institutions of higher learning, most of which offer Psychology as a major area of study.  At these institutions, students can pursue both undergraduate and graduate programs in Psychology, leading to Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees, respectively.

The study of the human mind and human behavior, Psychology is a subject that has involved many schools of thought throughout history, including:
  • Structuralism.  The belief that there is a connection between sensation, emotion and behavior.
  • Functionalism.  The idea that the human brain is much like a computer, designed to carry out specific functions.
  • Psychoanalysis.  Developed and created by the renowned psychologist Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is defined as the rigorous probing of an individual’s personal problems, motives, goals and attitudes as a way to heal the mind.
  • Behaviorism.  The belief that all human behavior is learned from one’s surrounding context and environment.
  • Humanism.  A recent school of thought, Humanism emphasizes the importance of values, intentions and meaning in the individual.
  • Cognitivism.  This school of thought emphasizes that the study of psychology should be concerned with an individual’s internal representations of the world and with the internal or functional organization of the mind.
Upon earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, those students looking to practice the discipline professionally must enroll in a Master’s of Science degree program, where they will focus their education on a particular sub-field of Psychology—sub-fields which may include:
  • Abnormal Psychology.  The study of abnormal behavior, this specialty area of psychology is focused on the research and treatment of a variety of mental and emotional disorders and is linked to psychotherapy and clinical psychology.
  • Biological Psychology.  This specialty area focuses on how biological processes influence the mind and behavior.
  • Cognitive Psychology.  Cognitive Psychology is the study of human thought processes and cognition.  Cognitive Psychologists study areas such as attention, perception, memory, problem-solving, decision-making, and language acquisition.
  • Forensic Psychology.  This specialty is an applied field of psychology that stresses the use of psychological research and principles in the legal and criminal justice system.
  • School Psychology.  Those who want to work with children within the educational system, typically focus their studies in this area of psychology.
Other specialty areas within the psychology discipline include industrial psychology, organizational psychology, personality psychology, comparative psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology.

Why Study Abroad in Singapore

As you can see, the education students can expect to receive while studying in Singapore is quite extensive and comprehensive.  Additionally, the country features a number of interesting sites and attractions to explore—things to do and see when students get a break from the rigors of the classroom.  Some of these sites and attractions include:

Clark Quay

This delightful riverside development is packed full of bustling bars and restaurants, boutique shops and pumping nightclubs, attracting a steady stream of tourists alongside Singapore’s partying locals. Clark Quay’s location takes full advantage of the picturesque body of water that emerges from the city’s main river, with alfresco-style dining to be had in an endless number of eateries set around the water’s edge. Head under the futuristic, jelly-like roof and you’ll find some great shopping options as well as a plentiful supply of bars, making this a real bar-hoppers’ heaven.

China Town

Chinatown is another emblematic Singapore icon; great for shopping (many swear by it as the cheapest souvenirs location in town.), authentic Chinese dining and late night revelry.  There are countless restaurants and hawker food vendors to choose from. Visitors can learn more about the area’s history from the Chinatown Heritage Center on Pagoda Street. Its main focus is on the Chinese immigrants who lived a hard life and were the main group of people who founded Singapore. Other attractions include Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest temple in Singapore, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Eu Yan Sang Chinese Medical Hall and the Maxwell Road Food Center.

Universal Studios

No trip to Singapore would be complete without a trip to Universal Studios Singapore, the first amusement park of its kind to open in Southeast Asia.  Though not all rides and attractions are 100 percent complete and ready for service, the park does offer more than 20 exciting attractions in six themed zones including the Lost World, Ancient Egypt, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far, Far Away—a tribute to the cartoon movie character known as Shrek.  With regard to the rides offered here, two are water themed and five are thrilling roller coasters, two of which hold the title as being the world's tallest “dueling” roller coasters. Families with small children can also make the most of the kids’ roller coaster and the classic merry-go-round as well.

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