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Introduction to Psychology: The History and Science of Psychology

Monash University via FutureLearn


Learn about the origins of modern psychology and improve your science skills

Discover the roots of contemporary psychology and enhance your scientific skills

Modern psychology is a well-established science, but what are its origins?

On this course, you’ll explore how psychology became the multi disciplinary field it is today. You’ll consider psychology’s divergence from philosophy, before moving onto the study of the science’s most important figures.

Gain soft skills you can use throughout your career

Finding out how psychology has evolved and gaining an understanding of the basic scientific method will provide you with a skills-set you can apply across all areas of your working life.

Explore behavioural, cognitive and clinical psychology

This course covers a variety of psychology science topics, including the science of psychology, the origins of psychology, early behavioural psychology, cognitive psychology and clinical psychology.

Together, these topics will give you a broad overview of the fundamentals of the science, and you can identify areas where you’d like to specialise in future.

Gain a foundation in modern psychology

. Once you’ve mastered the basics of what makes psychology such a fascinating science, you’ll move on to identify and learn about key figures in the development of behaviourism, structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis and cognitivism.

Towards the end of this course, you’ll also learn about the core theoretical frameworks upon which contemporary psychology is based.

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.


  • The science of psychology
    • Getting started
    • Psychology as a science
    • The origins of psychology
    • End of week review, and preview
  • Approaches and theories
    • Welcome to the week
    • Behaviourism and cognitive psychology
    • Clinical psychology
    • End of course

Taught by

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy


4.2 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 330 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Psychology: The History and Science of Psychology

  • Anonymous
    Interesting content. Well explained. The mentors were helpful and knowledgeable. The information was presented in a way that helped me understand psychology better. Now I am determined to continue with more study in this area. I am looking into courses at Monash University.
  • Anonymous
    I did not have much passion for psychology before taking this course but now my thinking has become different especially about physiological psychology and I have become eager for more knowledge about this field. Thank you very much for working hard to draw attention to these fields and studies.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent! A wide range of topics are covered in a very clear outline. The course is both enjoyable and a great start for anyone looking at studying psychology without being shallow.
  • Anonymous
    Very clear and understandable whilst dealing with subject that I am unfamiliar with. Thank you the professionalism in bringing this course to Futurelearn.
  • Anonymous
    This course is nothing more than reading a poorly written textbook with minimum guidance. There is more value in the comments posted by fellow students in the forums and these are not verified by FutureLearn. I believe that the course should be removed until a better university provider can be found (I would recommend at least one - University of Chester in England). It would also be a much more useful course if spread over more than two weeks so that the material could be broken down further and time spent on considering the many and varied points raised in the subject.
    I speak as one who spent three years in the 1990s studying psychology as half of a combined degree.
    Joyce Ireland
  • Anonymous
    Is very interesting! I can do at my own time. Although is like someone care to do a resume of the topic, and we read. But it misses something to understand well some of the topics, and because I did in the weekend I can't have the feedback of the mentors. Well, the good thing I felt it is like an introduction and now is up to me to investigate more deeply or even realize if I want to study for real. Thank you for the opportunity!!
  • Anonymous
    It was a very interesting, very thought-provoking course, and much more in depth then I expected. The fact that I took the course when the mentors were active, really helped improve my thinking process based on their replies, and also my peers replies helped a lot, and also gave me the courage to further explore how I thought I understood what I was learning.
  • Profile image for Luis Ribeiro
    Luis Ribeiro
    The course has good but concise/straight forward information, which is okay for an introductory online course. There's a lot of reading and very few videos; a minus, in my opinion, since I seem to pay more attention/internalize more information when I watch video classes as opposed to reading. The tutors are active and provide good answers and clarifications.
  • Anonymous
    Indeed I find it among one of the interesting courses that I have come across through this platform. The instructors were on point, materials backed with illustrations to give a clearer picture of what's been analysed is much appreciated. Thumbs up
  • Anonymous
    I am enjoying the course as a follow up to the Introduction of the History and Science of Psychology. Hopefully I will have a better understanding and will be able to do some further reading after completion of the course.
  • Profile image for Halimo Fahimo
    Halimo Fahimo
    it is a good course as an introduction to psychology, but where you expect to see a long lecture, you find it short, and the opposite is true
  • Yonghesun
    The course help me know that how psychology was generated.And i also has learned a scientific way to test something is right or wrong!
  • Anonymous
    Good course, powerful theories that are totally believable. Suitable for most people that are not yet at the top of the learning tree for Psychology.
  • Anonymous
    It gives you a general understanding of psychology. Great content and useful information provided through a variety of interesting topics.

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