Studying Psychology in Times of Crises & Beyond—Here’s How JGU is Prepared to Change the Narrative

The deep impact of human psychology has become more relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic. The topic of psychology has often remained a stigma, reserved behind closed doors, if at all. Today, as people count the days in lockdown, quarantine, abiding by social distancing norms to stay safe and healthy, the signs of struggle are telling on mental health and wellbeing.

As we adapt to the “new normal”, some have spent this time to grow constructively, and many others have faced the harsh slew of adversities brought on by the pandemic. Loss of jobs, economic hardships, stress, anxiety, depression, and so on, have added to concerns regarding the psychological wellbeing of people across the globe.

At home in India, the scenario has long-since needed urgent support. According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are merely seven psychologists for every 10 million Indians. For a country with a. population of over 1.3 billion, there is a major dearth of psychologists, counsellors and other mental health professionals. A massive boost of qualified professionals is needed to bridge this gap and contribute to human wellbeing.

While many students are opting to study psychology now, many more must be inspired. A degree in psychology can equip young people to make a difference. It can also be a gateway for personal growth, and a ticket to a host of promising careers beyond psychology.

In this backdrop, in response to a growing demand and a need to expose young people to the vast potential of the discipline, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat has established its tenth and new school, Jindal School of Psychology & Counseling (JSPC) as India’s first transdisciplinary psychology school. JSPC will introduce a four-year B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology in 2021.

What can you do with a degree in psychology?

Understanding our thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours is intrinsic to human nature. The multidisciplinary curriculum at JSPC will explore the human mind and behaviour through courses like Psychology and Mental Health, Human Cognition, Biopsychology, Psychology at Work, Psychology of Individual Differences, Cultural and Indigenous Psychology, Social Psychology, and more.

Careers as clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, human resource professionals specialised in industrial-organisational psychology, to roles in education, research, social work, and beyond can be very challenging and rewarding. In fact, a degree in psychology doesn’t limit graduates to careers in psychology. This versatile subject builds dynamic, transferable skills like problem-solving, logical reasoning, good communication and empathy, that can help you enter domains as far and wide as marketing or advertising, to politics, journalism and more.

Beyond its professional scope, the study of psychology brings you closer to understanding yourself, and making sense of the world around you. It can help you grow and nurture a nuanced outlook to perceive life. For students who are curious to explore this fascinating field, JSPC offers a distinctive edge. Here’s why.

Interdisciplinary exposure to support holistic learning

An education in psychology can lend a deeper understanding of various phenomena across disciplines. At the same time, exposure to other subjects can further enrich the prism of learning. For instance, interpreting voter behaviour in politics, understanding patterns of racial or gender discrimination in the workplace, developing marketing strategies by evaluating consumer psychology and so much more—exploring such connections through a multidisciplinary curriculum can open one’s eyes to a host of perspectives.

Students of JSPC will be part of the larger university set-up at JGU, and can choose from 100+ electives listed across 10 schools. Blurring the boundaries between disciplines, holistic learning takes place at the intersection of perspectives from schools of Law, Liberal Arts, Business, International Affairs, Government & Public Policy, Banking & Finance, Journalism & Communication, Art & Architecture, and Environment & Sustainability.

Opportunity to learn & innovate at research centres & well-equipped labs

Psychology is as much a science as it is an art. The seeds of this scientific temper were sown at JGU with the establishment of the Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences (JIBS) in 2014. JIBS is dedicated to understanding human behaviour through rigorous research and innovation. Eminent faculty and internationally-acclaimed researchers have engaged in producing multidisciplinary work of social psychological, bio-psychological and legal-psychological significance.

This vibrant research culture is an inspiring learning environment for young students to be a part of. B.A. (Hons.) Psychology students will also be able to partake in activities across the four research centres, contribute to various publications, and attend psychology conferences, seminars, talks and workshops.

Access to cutting-edge equipment and techniques employed in psychology will further help students of JSPC to gain a strong scientific footing. They will be able to work in the well-equipped psycho physiological lab called the ‘Brain Behaviour Laboratory’ featuring digital and manual human performance assessments, as well as a Forensic Science Laboratory. Students will also be trained in statistical methods used in psychological research.

International & national collaborations for study, research, internships & placements

The opportunity for international exposure is a mainstay at JGU. Extensive mobility options are attractive to students who wish to broaden their horizons. Students can choose from a wide basket of short-term study abroad, semester exchange programmes, and dual degrees with leading international institutions as JSPC fosters global collaborations.

They can make use of JSPC’s tie-ups with the Academic Council on the United Nations System, World Wide Fund for Nature, International Society of Criminology, Tilburg University and University of Melbourne, among others. The final year will give options for a semester abroad, hands-on research projects, a dissertation and skill-based training.

World-class faculty & a global curriculum set the gold-standard in India

The chance to learn from leaders in the domain is a major reason for students to choose top universities like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge or Yale. They offer some of the most coveted programmes in psychology. As JGU makes history as the youngest university in the world to break into the QS World University Rankings 2020 and the QS Young University Rankings 2020 (under 50 years of age)—JGU lives up to its global counterparts. Students can learn from a diverse pool of faculty drawn from leading national and international universities with extensive expertise and professional experience, and an industry-informed curriculum crafted at par with global standards.

Be part of a new chapter in a young discipline that is carving its space in a challenging, changing modern context

As far as disciplines of science go, psychology is relatively young. It was in Germany of 1879 that Wilhelm Wundt established the very first laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. Wundt, famously regarded as the “father of modern psychology”, began to study human consciousness through experimental methods—and the rest is history.

Hallmarks of the discipline have emerged over the years and remained popular among all—and significant in many ways. Be it Sigmund Freud’s dramatic legacy through the psychoanalysis of dreams or “Freudian slips”, which are common references today; Ivan Pavlov’s dog, the beloved icon of the theory of “classical conditioning”; or Abraham Maslow’s well-known pyramid representation of the “hierarchy of needs” which has been equally quoted in serious studies as much as in viral memes. These concepts just as easily resonate in the minds of high school psychology students as in others. Psychology is an exciting and challenging subject that can pique everyone’s interest.

Now, as we grapple with the changing dynamics of this new normal, the need to understand, cope with, empathise, and conquer the many consequences of the pandemic, is mounting a tremendous challenge. More young people will be called upon to rise to the challenges of understanding and contributing towards issues of psychology and counseling.

The growing pains of this young science have indeed been apparent in a world that has been hesitant to discuss the delicate matters of the human mind and behaviour. Yet the past few decades have witnessed major strides towards the acceptance of mental health issues, psychological disorders and beyond, faced by individuals and societies across the world.

If  you find yourself asking big questions about life—how we think, what makes us act the way we do, why we feel the way we do—this is a course that could help you find some answers. JSPC is equipped to prepare a new generation of thought leaders in the fields of psychology and counseling. The B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology at JSPC is a future-oriented programme carefully designed for the needs of today’s students, and the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow’s world.

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