Scope of Psychology in Pakistan [Detailed Guide]

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What is the need of studying Psychology? When having an in-depth analysis of the field of Psychology, we come to know how beneficial and impactful it is in our lives. We’re not only talking about its importance in academia, but how it purely contributes to building and grooming one’s personality, helps get mentally stable, and understand the world around us. 

Once students pass HSC, they opt for a degree in the respective field of their interest. Choosing the right degree to continue with your studies is extremely important as your entire career will be based on this decision. Here is a detailed guide to help you understand the scope of Psychology in Pakistan and why students wish to get enrolled in this domain. 

What is Psychology?

Before jumping towards the scope of Psychology in Pakistan, it’s crucial to understand what psychology is and why is it important.   

When we search for the literal meaning of Psychology, every article, book, and magazine defines psychology as “the study of human mind and behavior”. While this is quite true, there is still so much more we need to know. 

Psychology includes a deeper understanding of how social pressures, biological impacts, and environmental factors affect people’s thinking, feelings, and activities. It helps an individual get an insight into his own as well as other’s actions. It is mainly concerned with:

  • Mental disorders – their diagnosis and treatment 
  • Altering one’s socially unacceptable behavior 
  • Problem-solving and decision making
  • Changing negative thinking and perceptions
  • Improving the overall quality of life 

Why is Psychology Important?  

There are plenty of reasons why Psychology is important in today’s world, one and the foremost being that it helps you understand how the human mind works. With the in-depth knowledge of the development and functioning of the brain, you are better able to comprehend and survive in different situations of life. 

Psychology is important

Apart from helping an individual mentally, psychology leads to a healthy, successful, and luxurious life. In order to survive in a highly competitive society, our mental health usually gets affected the most, for which they need for psychologists is excessively increasing. We can also notice the increasing scope of psychology in Pakistan as people are now becoming more aware of mental health and are paying considerable importance to it.  

Sub-branches of Psychology

Since human behavior is varied, the subfields of psychology keep growing and evolving. Each domain of psychology focuses on a particular area of study concerned with a specific topic. Generally, psychologists specialize in a particular field of interest to pursue their careers. These are some major branches of Psychology: 

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cross-cultural Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Personality Psychology

Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist

Several students don’t know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist, due to which they sometimes get themselves enrolled in the wrong field. Therefore, it’s quite important to differentiate when choosing either of the two fields. Although both the domains are almost the same, here’s how we can distinguish them:

  • Psychiatrists prescribe medicines to treat a particular condition, whereas psychologists make use of different therapies (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, etc.) as a treatment method. 
  • Psychiatrists diagnose, manage, and treat serious and complex conditions, whereas psychologists provide psychotherapy (talk therapy) to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Psychiatrists are medical doctors with 11 years of training, whereas psychologists are not doctors but should have 6 years of university training and supervised experience. 

Which career path is the best for you?

If you want to become a successful mental health therapist, then choosing the field f your interest is crucial. If you’re interested in conducting research, psychotherapy, and administering different psychological tests, then studying psychology will be your best choice. 

However, if you want to treat severe conditions and are willing to prescribe medications to help people cope with their mental health, then psychiatry might be your right call. Nevertheless, you can also opt for a career as a licensed social worker or counselor if you are not willing to invest six to eight years in training. These social workers and counselors also offer mental health services based on their experience and training.       

Psychology Programs in Pakistan

Educational institutes in Pakistan offer Psychology programs in three main levels:

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Post-graduate

You can choose Psychology in intermediate as a FA student, but this isn’t common in Pakistan. Students prefer choosing FSc (Faculty of Science) for 11th and 12th grades. However, you can continue your further studies in Psychology at graduation level (BA or BS). 

Graduation in Psychology (BS or BA)

BS in Psychology is a 4-year study program that mostly consists of 36 courses offered by your institution in Pakistan. While, BA in Psychology is a 2-year program that also includes subjects other than Psychology such as Mathematics, English, Islamiat, etc. 

Students opting for a BS in Psychology degree take more lab tasks, statistics, and psychology majors than other general subjects. Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology may also focus more on applied Psychology courses, research methods, and report writings. However, a bachelor’s of arts degree focuses more on liberal arts.   

There is a wide range of job opportunities available for the graduates of Psychology in Pakistan. 

Masters in Psychology 

BA psychology students can continue their studies by applying for an MA in Psychology at any university in Pakistan. Students who chose a BS in Psychology can enroll themselves in M.Phil in their desired field of Psychology. 

Job opportunities for master’s degree holders are far more opulent than the bachelor’s level. Due to this reason, it is the most popular option for earning a handsome salary each month. 

Scope of Psychology in Pakistan

Psychology scope in Pakistan is increasing immensely with the growing need for improving one’s mental health and overall personality. Traditionally, a psychologist was believed to be an expert that only treats complete mentally disabled individuals. 

But today, people are becoming more aware of the importance of mental health and are therefore trying to reach and seek help from a psychologist for a variety of purposes in Pakistan. A few disorders and problems that need psychological treatment include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Observation and assessment of criminals
  • Phobias
  • Child therapies regarding education, behavior, attention, etc

As we are becoming more brand-conscious, social media addict, and isolated, we are more prone to developing severe mental health issues. For this purpose, the need for a psychologist is increasing intensely and the scope of psychology is becoming vast day by day in Pakistan. 

My Personal Experience

Being a Psychology student, I’ve seen this field growing so fast that I was unable to believe it. There was a time when the Department of Psychology closed in my university as there was the least number of students getting enrolled in this domain. But today, the number of students taking admission is so high that they have to divide the students into different sections. 

For instance, being the third batch after the reopening of the department, we are a group of just 9 classmates. But right after 6 months, 150+ students got enrolled in Psychology, and the number keeps increasing every year. Surprising! Right?

Job Opportunities for Psychologists in Pakistan

Psychology degree holders have a diverse variety of job opportunities in areas such as: 

  • Research Laboratories
  • Child protection centers 
  • Prisons
  • Welfare organizations
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Community mental health centers
  • Detention centers
  • Educational institutions
  • Organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Pakistan Army

These can be public or private sectors. Here is a rundown of all the available job opportunities for psychology graduates in Pakistan: 

1. Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists are professionals that are concerned with improving the emotional, personal, and mental disorders of an individual. They work at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or own a personal clinic. They observe the client, diagnose a disorder, and formulate a treatment program as per the client’s psychological needs. 

Clinical Psychology is one of the most in-demand and growing fields of Psychology today in Pakistan. Increased social pressure, isolation, and mechanization result in different psychological problems. Consequently, people seek a mental health expert to treat their mental disorders.       

2. Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologist

Scope of Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychology is another popular field of Psychology and has a vast scope in Pakistan. Educational Psychologists help teachers, students, and administration staff to improve the teaching-learning process. They gauge the failings of institutions, students’ behavior and intellectual power, teaching strategies, and other sources that hinder the process of education. 

With the help of their training and knowledge of child development, educational psychologists evaluate the challenges students face in the learning environment. They aware, enlighten, and train the institutions to develop an environment that enhances learning. They suggest teaching approaches, modify behavior, and help in curriculum development to make the teaching-learning process more effective. 

3. Career Counselor 

Career Counselor 

A career counselor helps people make their career choice. Whether an individual just entered the professional world or desires to change his/her job, they can seek guidance from a career counselor. 

Career Counselor

Career counselors go through a deep and complete history of previous employment (if any), personality, education, interests, and skills which they obtain from a thorough interview or intellectual assessment of the client. This information then helps the counselor to suggest the most relevant job opportunities or education options to the interest of the client. 

The psychologist is not only responsible for suggesting the most appropriate and profitable job options but also works with the clients to help them search for the right job and advice resources that help them strengthen the skills required for the job.    

4. Criminal Psychologist

Criminal Psychologist

Criminal psychology is the study of the mind and behavior of criminals. It is used to evaluate why do people commit crimes. Criminal psychologists gauge criminals to evaluate the chances of recidivism (how likely is the criminal to repeat the crime in the future) or they guess about the actions the criminal might have taken once he’s done with committing the crime. 

Criminal Psychologist

A criminal psychologist is unlikely to visit the crime scenes with the police. He spends most of his time in the office with case files and records, trying to analyze the possible suspect. Additionally, criminal psychologists ask relevant questions during the investigation or provide appropriate guidance to conduct the investigation properly. 

Furthermore, they assess the criminals’ minds and behavior through various psychological tests. They may also provide psychotherapy to criminals to help them overcome their criminal behavior and recover so they become an active and productive member of society.

5. Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychologist aims to understand and explain the growth, consistency, modifications throughout life. They study how feelings, behavior, and thinking patterns change within a person. 

Most theories on developmental psychology are related to growth and development during childhood since it is the time when most changes occur in a person’s life. They study and help individuals reach their maximum potential.  

Psychologist Salary in Pakistan

Educational Psychologist30,000 – 100,000
Clinical Psychologist70,000 – 200,000
Career Counselor30,000 – 70,000
Criminal Psychologist26,000 – 50,000
Developmental Psychologist60,000 – 200,000 

The salary of a psychologist varies depending on his experience and expertise in the respective field. 

Top 5 Psychology Universities in Pakistan

S.noUniversity NameDurationSemester FeesRequired Percentage
1Punjab University Lahore4 years31,75060%
2Institute of Professional Psychology – Bahria University4 years67,20050%
3University of Peshawar4 years71,00045%
4University of Karachi4 years20,40080%
5Virtual University 4 years 21,80045%

Major Psychology Subjects 

BS Psychology enables a person to understand and develop research skills, psychological strategies, and psychological theories which are the core requirements of this field. It is mainly concerned with topics like: 

  • Childhood psychology 
  • Human development 
  • Mind and behavior 
  • Cognitive psychology 
  • Abnormal psychology 
  • Emotion and motivation 
  • Social psychology 
  • Neuropsychology 
  • Adolescent psychology
  • Environmental psychology

However, subjects compulsory for a psychology student includes:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Health Psychology
  • Personality and individual differences
  • Survey research and design in Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Are you Eligible?

To get admission for BS Psychology in any university in Pakistan, you must complete 12 years of education (intermediate). You must have at least an 80% score in intermediate for government university and a 45% – 50% score for a private university.     

Before you leave! 

Psychology includes a deeper understanding of how social pressures, biological impacts, and environmental factors affect people’s thinking, feelings, and activities. It helps an individual get an insight into his own as well as others’ actions. 

Psychology scope in Pakistan is increasing immensely with the growing need for improving one’s mental health and overall personality.