Why We Need Psychology

For adults with an interest in the study of human behaviour – especially those who have often considered studying psychology but who have yet to begin.


Course at a Glance


About the Course

PLEASE NOTE: due to an unforeseen delay in the launch of the University of London International Programmes' undergraduate Psychology programme, on which our Why We Need Psychology Coursera MOOC is based, we will not be able to launch this MOOC as planned in 2013.  

We will announce a confirmed launch date as soon as we can: if you are already registered for this course, you will be notified once a new date has been announced; if you have yet to register, feel free to click the ‘add to watchlist’ button above this message to receive a notification.

This course will introduce students to the discipline of psychology: in particular to the main schools of thought employed to explain human behaviour and to the potential applications of psychology in practice. 

Recommended Background

This is an open access course that assumes no previous knowledge of psychology. 

Suggested Readings

For those students who would like to undertake some initial background reading, the following text is recommended:  

Holt, A., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M., Passer, M.W. and Smith. R.E. (2012). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour, 2nd Ed. Maidenhead, UK: McGraw-Hill.

Course Format

This course includes 6 sessions. The first will introduce a complex, challenging ‘real life’ problem and explore the range of potential explanations. The following sessions will consider how five of the main schools of psychology might support our understanding.

In each session students will be guided through a range of study activities: they will watch short video tutorials, undertake independent reading, take part in learning activities and complete short assignments. There will be opportunities to engage online with other students. Each session will require students to undertake up to 10 hours study.


Where can I find out about more information regarding this subject and the University of London programmes?

 The content of this course is drawn from the extensive world renowned portfolio of flexible study programmes offered through the University of London International Programmes.  These programmes result from a collaboration between the University of London International Academy and 12 Colleges of the University of London.  Established in 1858, the International Programmes is the world’s oldest provider of flexible learning. Today there are 52,000 students in 180 countries studying  through the University of London International Programmes, for more than 100 qualifications at degree, higher education diploma and certificate level.  The University also works with a network of independent teaching centres worldwide, all of which provide teaching, tutoring and pastoral care. For more information please follow visit  http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/coursera