The Truth about Doing a Psychology Degree in Singapore | Read Before You Study Psychology

So you know the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist in Singapore. But is psychology really for you?

In this article, I share important bits of information you need to know before you study psychology at university in Singapore.

An undergraduate degree is just the start

First up, you need to know that an undergraduate degree is not enough for you to become a registered psychologist.

It’s going to be a long journey where you have to complete an undergraduate degree, an honours year where you’ve completed a research thesis and then a masters in applied psychology.

Masters programs are highly competitive due to the extremely limited vacancies, so you might end up having to try a few times before getting accepted.

And that’s just to meet the education requirements.

You’ll also have to clock 1000 practicum hours and a few other things before you can get registered and listed in the Singapore Registry of Psychologists.

So if you’re thinking of making a career switch, do factor in the course durations as well.

Psychologist salaries in Singapore

Next up, let’s talk about salaries.

A quick glance at MyCareersFuture shows that most of the job vacancies for Psychologists want someone with a Masters degree and 2 years of experience doing clinical assessments.

Yet the salary range is mostly only between $3000-$5000.

You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the salary is worth the extra time and money spent to get the qualifications and meet registration requirements.

What you’ll study

Now that the people looking to psychology as a way to make easy money are gone, let’s talk about the subject itself.

Undergraduate psychology is broad and holistic

Undergraduate psychology degrees are really broad and holistic. You only specialize at the masters level where you might want to go into organisational, clinical, counselling or maybe forensic psychology.

But that’s a double edged sword. You’ll learn a wide range of topics, but you’re like a jack of all trades and master of none.

For example, you might cover biology related topics like neuroscience which focuses on the more physical side of the mind like the biological and chemical processes. But you won’t go as in depth as a neuroscience major or medical student.

You’ll also have to study statistics as a psychology student but you won’t be going as in depth as an economics or physics student.

Why is statistics necessary in Psychology?

On the topic of statistics, psychology is taught as a science at university. At least at those universities that will help you meet the registration requirements.

Without statistics, it wouldn’t be possible for psychologists to evaluate hypotheses and make conclusions about how people think or behave.

But statistics is not just important for those producing research, it’s also useful for those consuming research.

In many fields today, continuous learning is essential. In fact, a big part of being an expert in any field, not just psychology is the ability to self-study and continuously learn as you age into your profession.

An understanding of statistics allows you to independently evaluate the claims or conclusions being made by whatever research you’re reading.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what to expect. If you’d like to know more, I post quite a bit on psychology and education on my TikTok @the_uncle_chan.

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