Balanced experience: Dr Ke says the university instils important skills in students which employers value.
PSYCHOLOGY is the science of behaviour and the mind.
It uses a variety of scientific methods to explore key areas, for instance, the influence of biology on behaviour; the ways in which we develop from early infancy to adulthood and the way we interact with each other.
All of these approaches enable theories to be developed and tested within psychology, says Dr Ke Guek Nee who is Associate Professor and Associate Head of the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.
As Malaysia has developed a keen interest and awareness of the importance of mental health and resilience, the demand for psychology graduates for various positions in the country’s government sector, industries and non-governmenatl organisations (NGOs) has been strong.
Heriot-Watt University has a history of excellence dating back to the 1800s. Most notably, the university is recognised for its professionally relevant programmes, which have led to a host of accolades, including being ranked fifth in the United Kingdom and second in Scotland for industry income by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16.
Additionally, the National Student Survey 2015 ranked Heriot-Watt 28th in the UK with nearly nine out of 10 of the university’s final year full time degree students saying that they are satisfied with their education experience.
The university has expanded its reach and now operates out of five campuses: three in the UK, one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia offers a variety of programmes at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels in fields which include psychology.
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia offers the Bachelor of Science in Psychology as well as the Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Management programmes. The former covers main areas of the discipline, which include social, forensic and developmental psychology, while the latter incorporates a 70:30 ratio of psychology and management components.
“We do our best to instil important skills, which we believe employers value such as analytical and conceptual skills, report and essay writing as well as interpersonal skills among others,” said Dr Ke.
What’s more, students are given the option to do an industrial attachment during their summer break where they will be assigned an academic-industry supervisor.
“These industrial attachments expose psychology students to a real life work setting.
“The experiences and knowledge gained from industry are valuable for students in order to determine their career paths and specialisations for postgraduate study,” said Dr Ke.
The university also takes measures to provide students with a balanced university experience, as can be seen with its recent launch of its Psychology Society Day.
“Psychology activities and workshops such as on the Hypnosis and Psychology of Coaching were conducted in conjunction with this launch. “Heriot-Watt’s Psychology Society is run by our psychology students, and a number of activities are being lined up to enhance their university experience,” Dr Ke added.