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29 Free Psychology Courses to Study the Mind

Written by Bobby Brady
8 minute read
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Achieving a state of “flow”. Encouraging a growth mindset. Removing triggers for mindless eating. Guarding against confirmation bias. Nudging behaviors through thoughtful design. These concepts, and many others like it, are entering our public awareness, backed by recent research in psychology.

As a field, psychology has been progressing rapidly, aided by advances in neuroscience and collaboration with other fields (economics, technology, design, etc.). In 2002, the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences went to psychologist Daniel Kahneman for his work depicting human biases, and an outpouring of popular books. The interesting thing is that there have been interesting research findings for a long time, but it seems the public has developed a renewed interest in the subject (maybe in part due to recent economic crises and the collapse of assumptions based on ‘rational actors’).

Whatever the reason, there are now more resources to learn about psychology than every–take a look at the courses below and get your psychology on!

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Note that not all of these courses are available now, but if not, add the course to MOOC Tracker and we will notify you when it becomes available. Courses marked as Archived can only be audited and some features, such as the discussion forums, may not be available.

Introductory Psychology

Introduction to Psychology
University of Toronto via Coursera
This course is all about you … your mind, your behavior, and what underlies them both. It will be a fast paced tour of the most important experiments in psychology, one that is intended to fascinate, inform, and provoke deep thought.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (4 ratings) | Next Session : 12th Nov, 2018 (Archived)

Introduction to Psychology: (PSYC 1310)
East Tennessee State University via OpenBUCS
An introduction to the basic concepts, principles, and theories of the science of psychology. Topics included are biological and developmental processes, perception and awareness, learning and thinking, motivation and emotion, personality and individuality, adjustment and mental health, and social behavior.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

Introduction to Psychology
San Jose State University via Udacity
Introduction to Psychology is a journey through all of the major psychological concepts and principles. The knowledge gained from this course will allow students to critically evaluate psychological research and have a more in-depth understanding of human thought and behavior.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

PSYCH101x: Introduction to Psychology
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School via edX
This course is an introduction to psychology, based on classic theory and the latest empirical research, which reviews the basic theory, methods, and research findings of scientific psychology with a strong focus on positive psychology.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

Introduction to Psychology as a Science
Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera
Learn about how psychology has developed a body of knowledge about behavior and mind through the use of scientific methods. All areas of psychology will be covered.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (1 rating) | Next Session : 13th Jan, 2014

Core Psychology

What is a Mind?
University of Cape Town via FutureLearn
Explore the most pertinent scientific and philosophical concepts for understanding our own minds with this free online course
Go To Class | Next Session : 17th Sep, 2018

ePSYx: Trends in e-Psychology
KU Leuven University via edX
Learn about e-based promotion of physical, mental and social health, focusing on e-cigarettes, e-mental health applications and e-mediation as case-examples.
Go To Class | Next Session : 27th Nov, 2018

Why We Need Psychology
University of London International Programmes via Coursera
For adults with an interest in the study of human behaviour – especially those who have often considered studying psychology but who have yet to begin.
Go To Class | Next Session : NA

Foundations of Psychology
RMIT University via Open2Study
Start learning how psychologists comprehend and study human nature and its disorders.
Go To Class | ★★★★☆ (3 ratings) | Next Session : 18th Nov, 2018

The Mind is Flat: the Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology
The University of Warwick via FutureLearn
Make better personal and professional decisions and consider the psychological dimension to key ethical and political choices.
Go To Class | ★★☆☆☆ (1 rating) | Next Session : 7th Nov, 2016

Winning with Psychology

Sports Psychology – The Winning Mindset
IOC Athlete MOOC via Independent
An athlete’s mindset prior to competition has a major influence on the final outcome. Dr Cliff Mallet offers practical strategies that will ensure you approach your next performance with a winning mindset.
Go To Class | Next Session : 1st Aug, 2014

Accountable Talk®: Conversation that Works
University of Pittsburgh via Coursera
Designed for teachers and learners in every setting – in school and out, in formal learning environments or at home – this course is an introduction to the theory and practice of well-structured talk that builds the mind.
Go To Class | Next Session : 8th Sep, 2013

Understanding and Detecting Deception
The University of Oklahoma via Janux
This course is an interdisciplinary study of the methods of human deception detection from the perspectives of law enforcement, national security and intelligence analysis, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, and communication.
Go To Class | Next Session : 13th Jan, 2014

GSE1.1x: Unlocking the Immunity to Change: A New Approach to Personal Improvement
Harvard University via edX
Apply a new psychological theory about personal change to an improvement goal of your own throughout the entire course.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (6 ratings) | Next Session : 16th Sep, 2014

Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life
The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn
Understanding the nature and value of play through the course of our lives, across cultures and communities.
Go To Class | Next Session : 1st Oct, 2018

Psychology & Our Emotions

GG101x: The Science of Happiness
University of California, Berkeley via edX
The first MOOC to teach positive psychology. Learn science-based principles and practices for a happy, meaningful life.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (8 ratings) | Next Session : 21st Aug, 2018

A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
Indian School of Business via Coursera
Do you ever wonder why you aren’t as happy and fulfilled as you should be, given everything you have? Or maybe you are already as happy as happy can be, but are just curious about the latest findings from the science of happiness.
Go To Class | Next Session : 19th Nov, 2018

Success – Achieve Success with Emotional Intelligence
Taylor’s University via OpenLearning
Success and happiness are what most of us chase for most of our lifetimes. Interestingly, however, little is taught in schools about how to achieve success beyond the academic measures.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (1 rating) | Next Session : Self paced

Positive Psychology
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Coursera
This course discusses research findings in the field of positive psychology, conducted by Barbara Fredrickson and her colleagues. It also features practical applications of this science that you can put to use immediately to help you live a full and meaningful life.
Go To Class | ★☆☆☆☆ (1 rating) | Next Session : 19th Nov, 2018

Developmental Psychology

The Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People
University of Edinburgh via Coursera
The course will cover the basic guiding principles of the Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People and illustrate how theories of psychological development can be applied in understanding children and young people’s mental health and well being within a wider societal and cultural context.
Go To Class | Next Session : 18th May, 2015

Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing
University of London International Programmes via Coursera
This course is for teachers to learn why some children have so much difficulty with reading and writing, often called ‘dyslexia’, and to learn more about best practice in teaching literacy to all, in light of recent scientific discoveries.
Go To Class | Next Session : 26th Nov, 2018

Social Psychology and Behaviour

Introduction to Human Behavioral Genetics
University of Minnesota via Coursera
Behavioral genetic methodologies from twin and adoption studies through DNA analysis will be described and applied to address longstanding questions about the origins of individual differences in behavioral traits.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (4 ratings) | Next Session : 12th Nov, 2018

A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior
Duke University via Coursera
Behavioral economics couples scientific research on the psychology of decision making with economic theory to better understand what motivates financial decisions. In A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior, you will learn about some of the many ways in which we behave in less than rational ways, and how we might overcome our shortcomings.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (537 ratings) | Next Session : 11th Mar, 2014

Social Psychology
Wesleyan University via Coursera
Ever wonder why people do what they do? This course offers some answers based on the latest research from social psychology.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (34 ratings) | Next Session : 19th Nov, 2018 (Archived)

Science of Relationships
Colorado State University via CourseSites
Have you ever wondered what makes your significant other tick? Why you’re attracted to the people you are? How to best nurture a relationship? Or how to get through a breakup? Dive deeper into the science of relationships with social psychology expert.
Go To Class | Next Session : 5th Nov, 2019

Mental Wellness

Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture
University of Liverpool via FutureLearn
Learn how a psychological understanding of our emotions and behaviour gives us new ways to improve mental health and well-being.
Go To Class | Next Session : 13th Aug, 2018

Psychological First Aid
Johns Hopkins University via Coursera
Learn to provide psychological first aid to people in an emergency by employing the RAPID model: Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition.
Go To Class | Next Session : 12th Nov, 2018

Criminal Psychology

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation
The Open University via FutureLearn
Discover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and prevent miscarriages of justice.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (4 ratings) | Next Session : 25th Mar, 2019

Crime101x: The Psychology of Criminal Justice
University of Queensland via edX
Learn how behavioural science can improve our criminal justice system.
Go To Class | ★★★★★ (3 ratings) | Next Session : 15th Jan, 2019

Image Src: “Volunteer Duty” Psychology Testing by Tim Sheerman-Chase