Psychology by modern definition is the study of the mind. Such studies have proven to be of use over the centuries, not only as an academic profession but also as an applied science.
Today Psychology is one of the most popular fields of study in the West. Both In America and Europe; a much sort out field and a lucrative career awaits them, owing to the demand for psychologists in both America & Europe.
These popular continuing trends have been observed in the west for the past 5-10 years, and they show no sign of waning. In another part of the globe, in particular South Asia, which includes Sri Lanka, Psychology is building up in popularity. Many an individual is gaining awareness of the insights that are obtained via the scientific study of the mind and further individuals are beginning to realize, that studying psychology does not solely lead to a narrow option of being a psychologist alone. An individual who pursues an undergraduate degree in psychology has many a career path as an option including those of Marketing, Advertising, Education, Child care, Mental health, Forensics, Management, Human Resources, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science and many more. In Sri Lanka there are so many opportunities for individuals with a background in psychology in the government, private and specially NGO sector considering the mental health, post war effects & reconciliation programs. Thus an individual studying psychology may specialize in many a field, providing him or her a noble, career potent profession here in SL or abroad.
It is in the light of the above Colombo Institute of Research & Psychology (CIRP) hopes to provide students with a pathway to a B.Sc Degree in Psychology . The Higher National Diploma in Psychology offered by CIRP is aimed at providing an in-depth knowledge of psychology required at the undergraduate level. The HND program consists of 3 levels and each level includes 10 modules that should be completed in 6 months. Thus completing the HND takes 18 months in total and students take 30 modules during this period. Among the 30 modules, 18 are compulsory and based on general psychology topics such as Social, cognitive, behavioural, biological and psychodynamic approaches. The rest of the 12 modules are electives and student have the freedom of selecting these from a list of 40 electives based on their preferred sub- disciplines in psychology such as Child psychology, Abnormal & Clinical psychology, Organizational psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology & Counselling Psychology. Many students select their electives based on the field of psychology they like to specialize in.
Upon completion of all 3 levels of HND, students are eligible to enter the final year of the B.Sc. degree program in Psychology offered by the University of Hertfordshire (UH). UH is one of the top modern universities in England and their psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychology Society. CIRP students have the opportunity of completing the degree within 2 ½ years, 6 months earlier than others . The HND is equal to the first two years of the B.Sc. program and it costs only 250 000 rupees compared to 6 mil that it would cost them for tution fees alone if they studied it at UH. HND covers the two year syllabus of B.Sc. as we do not have long summer vacations in SL.
In par with CIRP’s commitment to academic excellence, they have selected several highly qualified and reputed academics and professionals in the field of psychology to teach and guide their students. The faculty is headed by Dr. Janet LeValley, an American psychologist and an experienced academic with decades of experience in several international universities as the Dean and the head of psychology department. There are 7 permanent faculty members with M.Sc. & above academic qualifications in different sub disciplines in psychology and around 20 visiting lecturers with Ph.D & M.Sc level qualifications. Visiting lecturers include senior lecturers from areas such as research methodology, statistics & educational psychology and professionals in the field of psychology such as practicing clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, who are able train students in skills & techniques required in psychology.
Apart from the theoretical modules this course has its Skill development program aimed at improving critical analysis, creativity, research interests, academic skill development and personality development of students to turn out a graduate who not only is academically competent but is also a professional in his discipline.
CIRP being the only private institute with a counselling laboratory is able to provide students with experimental facilities and simulations required in the curriculum. Institute has its library, e library, multi media library, study rooms and modern student lounge.
Apart from the HND, CIRP also offers a range of diploma programs in many sub disciplines in psychology aimed at individuals in others fields and professions, who are willing to benefit from knowledge & skills in psychology. Credits earned from these programs could be transferred to the HND and then to the degree program if they decide to continue their studies in psychology later on.