Why Do Psychology Graduates Pursue Their Masters Degrees?

Published by Afterschool.my on Aug 20, 2023, 10:23 pm

In today's rapidly evolving world, the once-taboo subject of Psychology has shed its previous stigma. It has now become a widely discussed and openly debated topic, particularly due to the increasing prevalence of mental health awareness across various media platforms. As this field continues to rise, more and more individuals are interested in learning Psychology, viewing it as a noble pursuit—aiding individuals in conquering their mental well-being challenges.

However, the journey for Psychology students is not always a straightforward one. A growing number of psychology students are discovering that a degree alone might not suffice in propelling them toward their desired career paths. To understand more about this, we chatted with the University of Cyberjaya’s Masters' student, Afina Zawani to dive into the reasons underpinning this perspective and explore how pursuing a Master's programme at a university like UOC can effectively address these limitations.

The Realities of Having a Psychology Degree

“The reality in Malaysia is that if you do a degree in Psychology, it's not enough; every Psychology graduate will tell you the same thing,” says Afina, who is currently undertaking a Master’s in Psychology at UOC. 

She explains that many psychology graduates desire to take on heavier cases in counselling different types of individuals. However, with only a degree, the furthest that you can do is to become an assistant researcher or work in a kids centre, or HR department. You are not able to carry out heavier roles and cases.

With the added qualification of a Master's degree, psychology graduates can carry out a clinical psychologist’s role: seeing patients one-to-one, providing some psychotherapy, creating intervention plans, and conducting assessments for an official diagnosis of patients.

Factors to consider when taking a Masters in Psychology programme 

When choosing a postgraduate program, it is essential to carefully consider the factors that are most important to you to ensure that the program is a good fit for your career goals.

One of the most important factors to consider is the program's accreditation status. The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) is the national accreditation body for higher education institutions in Malaysia. A program that is accredited by MQA has met the agency's rigorous standards for quality and academic excellence.

Aside from ensuring that your programme is MQA certified, there are a few other factors that you need to consider. For Afina, ensuring that she can be part of the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP) is crucial, because that means she’s able to practise legally as a Clinical Psychologist with a licence. “When I was planning to take up a master's, there were a few questions that I asked myself. One of my questions is whether after I graduate from this programme, I will be able to register with the Malaysian Society of clinical psychology itself. That is why I decided to get into UOC because their Master’s in Clinical Psychology program can checklist all the criteria required for you to enter into the MSCP, and gain membership of the association,” highlights Afina. 

Moreover, a university's hands-on practical exposure is essential for Master's students. The essence of psychology lies in its application to real-life scenarios. Thus, prospective students must evaluate the extent to which a university offers opportunities to expand knowledge and expertise by engaging with diverse cases within authentic settings.

UOC's reputation as a top medical school with complete facilities was also a deciding factor for Afina. “Since UOC has its clinic here for students to do their internal practicum, it provides us the opportunity to see people from different ages and races who seek psychotherapy and assessments from us.”

As studies progress into the fourth and fifth semesters, students are required to do their external practicums, where they offer a unique chance to interface with clients from different regions like Sabah, Kelantan, and Penang. A diverse range of experiences can help students develop their skills and perspectives, giving them a deeper understanding of psychology’s many branches.

UOC: The Ideal Study Hub for All

Being a university student is about more than just classroom learning. It's also about the connections you make, the environment you're in, and the accessibility of resources. At UOC, you'll get to experience all of that and more.

Afina has something to say about her positive experience during orientation. "Usually, orientations are only for undergraduate students, but the university also hosts orientations for Master's students. The student council organised games for everyone to participate, a great way to break the ice and make connections with students from different degree levels. University is a place where you can make friends regardless of age or race. It's a place to build connections, and I had a great experience during orientation.” 

The 25-year-old also mentioned that the campus has become more active since the pandemic, with club and society booths scattered around campus and carnivals held occasionally.

Cyberjaya is a great place for students who enjoy a more suburban modern lifestyle. The city offers a relaxed and modernised environment, giving off a less busy atmosphere than other major cities in Malaysia. With UOC nestled within this serene city, students can enjoy a chill atmosphere, away from the bustling city life. Tamarind Square is a popular spot for students to relax and socialize, with its many aesthetically pleasing cafes and urban-like setting. BookXcess is a popular bookstore in Tamarind Square where students can often be seen working on their studies. Cyberjaya is also a foodie's paradise, with many restaurants and cafes to choose from. There is also a large park called Taman Tasik Cyberjaya where students can participate in recreational activities such as jogging, cycling, or badminton.

Students who are concerned about accessibility will be pleased to learn that UOC is well-served by public transportation. Two bus stops are located within walking distance of the university, and buses arrive every 30 minutes. The Arc and Mutiara Ville, where many students choose to live, is also a short walk away and can be reached by bus.

Given UOC's geographical convenience, quality education, and outstanding reputation, it is no wonder that the university is an ideal choice for medical students who are looking for a comprehensive education that will prepare them for a bright future with wide career prospects.

If you're interested to get a Masters programme at the University of Cyberjaya, you can enquire our education councellors to enroll in the programme. Just click on the banner below to start!

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