BA Honours with a Major in Psychology

Programme Description

The BA Honours with a Major in Psychology is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline. The courses offered will take students on a journey in which they will engage with the complexities of human behavior and experience. Psychology is simultaneously theoretical and applied. It is also characterized by the use of diverse methods to investigate a wide range of questions about the nature of human mind and self. During the three years of the program students will learn about aspects of human beings that seem universal, those that make us unique and the manner in which these are shaped as we grow up in families and cultures interacting with other human beings. This will be coupled with hands on experience through practicum designed to teach experimentation, psychological testing and preparing a case study. Teaching will be largely in interactive mode. Films and popular narratives will be used to illustrate significant aspects of courses. Students will also participate in dynamic classroom exercises such as peer learning, group tasks, role plays etc. to enhance the learning process.

 The BA Honours with a Major in Psychology is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline. The courses offered will take students on a journey in which they will engage with the complexities of human behaviour and experience. Psychology is simultaneously theoretical and applied. It is also characterized by the use of diverse methods to investigate a wide range of questions about the nature of human mind and self. During the three years of the program students will learn about aspects of human beings that seem universal, those that make us unique and the manner in which these are shaped as we grow up in families and cultures interacting with other human beings. This will be coupled with hands on experience through practicum designed to teach experimentation, psychological testing and preparing a case study. Teaching will be largely in interactive mode. Films and popular narratives will be used to illustrate significant aspects of courses. Students will also participate in dynamic classroom exercises such as peer learning, group tasks, role plays etc. to enhance the learning process.

The core courses familiarize students with the history and methods of Psychology. Along with this they will learn about cognition, childhood, neuropsychology, social and abnormal psychology. A course on applying Psychology to India will also be taught. The optional courses are more interdisciplinary and show the applicability of psychological understandings in the areas of counselling, organizational behaviour etc. An elective dissertation in the final semester will provide students with a rare opportunity to research an area of their interest.

Graduates with Major in Psychology from AUD who wish to study further would have the necessary conceptual orientation. In addition, various approaches and skills taught here would enable them to reconsider stereotypical mode of thinking and create openness to experience. The course would be valuable to students interested in mass media, advertising, education, child development, counselling, and organizational psychology. It would enable students to work in varied fields where they are required to engage with human beings in different contexts.

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered through a total number of 96 credits over six semesters. Almost all the courses offered in BA Psychology are 4 credits course. The programme consists of two types of courses: Compulsory and Elective. Students must complete the 12 core courses required for them to qualify for a Major in Psychology. Apart from these 48 credits, they may also complete up to 16 additional credits in Psychology through the electives on offer. Students are encouraged to participate in field trips and excursions. They explore cinema and visual culture and undertake projects that enhance critical thinking and develop analytical skills. The elective courses pertain to more specialised areas of application. The course comprises tutorial and lab sessions, field trips, workshops and seminars etc.

Short Descriptions of Courses:

SUS1PS701: Understanding Personality
This course introduces students to the issue of personality: what makes each of us different and unique? At the same time, how does this link to our collective realities? The course introduces students into the varied approaches to the understanding of psychology and the methods of personality assessment. Some questions explored through the course include, are all aspects of personality in our awareness? How do the person and the social context interact? What makes some people more aggressive and others helpful? What is the relationship between personality and distress?

SUS1PS702: Human Cognition
This course introduces students to the area of human cognition: what are the ways in which we come to know ourselves and the world in which we live through sensation and perception. Questions such as how does the human mind develop, how do we perceive and remember, how is intelligence understood, how does culture influence what we know will be taken up. The course will cover the historical development of the field of cognitive psychology, approaches to cognition, and contemporary issues in thought and memory.

SUS1PS703: History of Psychology
This course provides a basic introduction to the development of the discipline from the mid 19th century when it emerged as separate from physiology and philosophy to the present. The course presents the history of psychology through the systems that emerged in multiple attempts to give meaning to a new emerging discipline. Throughout the course there will be an attempt to understand the forces involved in each systematic construction of Psychology, the relationship of the system to definitions of science and the significant contributions and limits of the system.

SUS1PS704: Social Psychology
This course opens up questions around psychology as a social process and asks how the “actual, imagined or implied” presence of others affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviour and how we, in turn, also influence others. We will ask why we see one social group or people belonging to one group in one way and another group or its people, differently. We will ask why we see one social group or people belonging to one group in one way and another group or its people differently. What attracts us to some people and not others? Why do we often think one way and act another, in other words, does behaviour validate the attitudes people think they have? Are we naturally aggressive or are we naturally helpful or is our behaviour determined

SUS1PS705: Statistics
This paper introduces the students to the basic and foundational concepts of how data are classified, organized, measured, and analyzed. While doing any quantitative research and experiments in psychology, preliminary concepts of statistics and its operations are necessary to understand, analyze and interpret data. The paper will focus on some of the basics of Statistics such as introduction to statistics, central tendency (mean, median and mode), normal curve, correlation, testing hypothesis about single means (z and t), graphical representation of frequency distributions such as histogram, frequency polygon, bar diagram, pie chart etc.

SUS1PS706: Methods in Psychology
This is an innovative course that introduces students to the issues of research and the methods of data generation through some works in Psychology. Students will read work that has employed diverse methods including laboratory and field experiments, observation, case study, correlational studies and qualitative research. Issues of sample selection, the determination of variables and designs will be discussed through the studies we chose. The course will help to understand the multiple ways of doing psychology, to see the relationship between the questions asked and the methods followed and the impossibility of determining any one method to grasp the entire complexity of humans.

SUS1PS707: Understanding Childhood
The human develops through multiple complex processes starting even before birth. Studying the lives of children throws light on the processes and contexts within which these transformations take place. The course introduces students to critical reflection of constructs and issues around children, childhood and families in historical and socio-cultural contexts. The course will study of the narratives of children’s lives not as victims but also as those who possess agency to remake the spaces they cohabit with emphasis on the socialization of children in India would be examined. This section draws upon the theoretical work of Bronfenbrenner, Vygotsky, Erikson and Bowlby. One primary requirement of the human self is moral regulation. The course introduces students to the theories of Kohlberg and Gilligan as they present alternative stories of the development of morality. A final section of the course familiarizes students with the rights of children and childhood at the margins.

SUS1PS708: Experiments in Psychology
Experiments in Psychology is a course focused on one type of data collection method through conducting experiments on live subjects in order to understand human functioning better. Some of the distinctive features of Psychological experiments include validation of explanatory theories, ascertaining functional relationship and assessing the substantive effectiveness of manipulation by using controls. The course attempts to render preliminary exposure to students to laboratory and field experiments as a means to gather facts about human behaviours that link inductive and deductive principles.

SUS1PS709: Neuropsychology through Clinical Cases: Possibilities and Limits
This paper will ground the complex psychological experiences and expressions of the human in the processes of the brain and the neural network. The paper shall give the student an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the brain and the neural network and show through analysis of clinical cases how they are related to psychological states like learning, sleeping, dreaming, communication and emotion.

SUS1PS710: Understanding Abnormality
In this course students will be familiarized with the conceptual tools required for understanding the complex world of mental illness and distress. Debates on the conceptualization, classification and diagnosis of abnormality will be followed by case studies through which the clinical picture of some disorders will be illustrated. The course will then look at the causes usually cited and therapies commonly deployed to alleviate the distress of the mentally ill. The pedagogy of the course will include reading short stories and film screenings. Throughout the course the attempt will be to acknowledge the continuity between states of normality and abnormality. Yet, students will also learn to recognize when distress reaches levels that require special attention.

SUS1PS711: Case Study
The study of the unique individual forms one of the bedrocks of contemporary psychology. This course will help students learn the processes of psychological measurement, interviewing, observation and case study taking. Each student will select an individual of their choice and administer one intelligence test structured personality test and a semi projective technique to the same person. Following up the tests with an interview and some observational work, students will compile all of the above to form a case study. It is hoped that this course will add to the students’ repertoire of skills required to engage with an individual life.

SUS1PS712: Psychology for India
The paper, premised on the limits of a universal psychology, attempts to circumscribe what passes off as the discipline of psychology into a culturally located form: located in a primarily western European context. It questions the relevance of a psychology emanating primarily from west/Europe to non-western and non-European cultures, experiences and psyches and attempts to look for resources for a culturally sensitive psychology.

SUS1PS713: Psychological Testing
The course will provide students with the skill to measure individual differences on a number of variables using standardized material. After studying this course students should be able to use the available instruments to determine intelligence, creativity, personality variables amongst others. Students will also be acquainted with the preliminary aspects of psychometrics and the discussion around the construct they are learning to measure.

SUS1PS733: Organizational Behaviour (Elective)
The course will benefit students both with major in Psychology as well as those from other disciplines who would like to understand how individual, groups and structure works in organizations. There are various organizations which vary in terms of their vision, mission and goals. But individual, group and structure remains the basic building blocks of those organizations. So, in depth understanding of those basic building blocks and exploring the various elements which affects them is crucial for the organizations survival, effectiveness and efficiency. This course would empower students with greater appreciation of Organizational Behaviour and shape the future organizations with various innovations and creative ideas. Modules include motivation, decision making, leadership, communication, organizational culture, power and politics in organizations etc.

SUS1PS734: Dissertation (Elective)
In keeping with the empirical tradition in Psychology, the dissertation will allow a few of the students to further these capacities by exploring a research question with a small sample, reading appropriate research around the question and formulating a set of responses to the question on the basis of readings, understanding and literature review. Each dissertation student is assigned with a supervisor to guide, monitor, and analyse the progress of student’s dissertation work from developing the dissertation topic to the writing of final dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up their interest area from pure psychology to interdisciplinary areas under the supervision of the dissertation supervisor. Towards the end of the semester, students submit their written dissertation work which carries a 70% weightage and 30% for viva.

SUS1PS731: Psychology in Action (Elective)
This course introduces the student about the various applications of psychology in our everyday life. The course includes different modules such as application of psychology in mass media, sports, education, environment, health, stress management and also understanding the mind of terrorists. The course is delivered through different interaction modes such as documentary films, photographs, movies, newspapers, magazines, journals, social networking, group discussion, presentation etc. Students are encouraged to bring in their own experiences and share with the class on various areas that would be beneficial for young psychologist to explore and understand the real as well as the virtual world. Students may take up small projects based on their interest area that are related to the class modules. They can work together as a team to explore and apply psychological theories in practical life.

SUS1PS732: Counselling Psychology (Elective)
This is envisaged as a course taught in the workshop mode. Crisis, trauma and distress seem to be almost universal to human experience. This course will teach aspects of the counselling process beginning with the first contact with a client to the point of termination of the counselling relationship. Students who take this course will be encouraged to reflect upon their interest in the field. What are the personal qualities that enhance the capacity for counselling and which characteristics might impede the work of a counsellor? Ethical issues in counselling will also be discussed in the context of India.

  • 2nd and 4th semester students to choose 2 out of 3 courses (Experiments in Psychology/Psychological Testing/Case Study).

Eligibility

10 + 2 with 50% marks from a recognised board. Relaxation of 5% will be given to candidates belonging to SC, ST and Physically Disabled (PD) Categories. Meeting the eligibility criteria will not ensure a seat. The admission will be strictly on the basis of merit. However, eligibility is a must for consideration of admission.

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