general psychology online course

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Team College Learners

This psychology 101 free online course with certificate provides a general introduction to psychology, covering all the major research areas in the field. The objective of the course is to help students develop an appreciation of the scientific nature of psychology as a discipline, and to give them some understanding of the ways that psychologists study behavior and mental processes.

This psychology online courses will provide you with an overview of some of the most important themes and research in modern psychology, a rigorous experimental science that relies on empirical evidence. We will also explore how social scientists approach the study of human experience, inviting you to open a window onto this fascinating field. You’ll learn about the key points, issues and debates underlying psychology as a discipline, and how they relate to broader philosophical questions in science and the human sciences.

Free online psychology courses appeal to psychology students seeking a deeper understanding of a specialty area or topic outside regular classroom learning. Prospective psychology majors who want to test the waters before committing to a degree program or learn psychology basics also enroll in these classes. While free online psychology courses usually do not confer credit, they provide access to knowledge and information.

Most courses use self-paced learning through video lectures, assignments, quizzes, and exams. Courses often include online discussions and reading materials. The list below offers free online psychology courses exploring many different topics.

Adolescent Health and Development

Students interested in developmental psychology online courses can explore aspects of adolescence through JHSPH OpenCourseWare offered by Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Content delivery includes lecture slides and MP3 recordings, readings, online discussions, a midterm exam, and a final paper that addresses a public health problem faced by adolescents. The eight-week curriculum covers adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, family dynamics, juvenile violence, and mental and physical health issues.

Buddhism and Modern Psychology

Coursera offers this Princeton University class based on the Dalai Lama’s premise of the compatibility of Buddhism and science. The course introduces Western students to Buddhist thought regarding the human mind and the role of meditation. Learners should expect to spend 18 hours studying and completing assignments on their own schedules. Course content delivery combines videos, readings, and quizzes on the concept of the self, and Buddhist and Darwinian enlightenment.

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

Students searching for child psychology courses online can learn about the effects of childhood trauma on brain development and health through TED-Ed. The TED Talk discusses how childhood abuse and neglect can also result in a threefold increase in the risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease later in life. Online comprehension questions take place after the presentation. Related TED Talks cover how stress affects the brain and the psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Introduction to Psychology

This free online psychology course for beginners covers all the basics in an independent-study format. Offered by MIT OpenCourseWare, learners proceed at their own pace through video lectures, lecture notes, and reading assignments. Students test their knowledge with multiple-choice/short answer questions, along with exams and solution keys. Topics include the bases of cognition, emotion, learning, memory, and perception.

Introduction to Psychology as a Science 3 – Normal and Abnormal Behavior

Class Central’s listing of this complex normal and abnormal psychology online course includes six weeks of pre-recorded Coursera video lectures from Georgia Institute of Technology. Students watch them on their own schedules, complete assignments and quizzes, and participate in online discussions. Offered free of charge, unless learners want to purchase a certificate, course content covers psychological theories of personality, how other people influence our behavior and cognition, and diagnosis and treatment of disorders.

Introduction to Psychology: Developmental Psychology

Class Central lists this developmental psychology online course from Monash University through Coursera. Students learn about the physical, cognitive, and social stages of development to consider the transitions between the phases and associated psychological changes.

The two-week, 12-hour course delivery includes videos, articles, peer reviews, and quizzes, along with an optional paid certificate of achievement. Upon completion, students can use developmental psychology terms, describe various research designs, and compare and contrast theories.

Managing Stress and Overcoming Anxiety

For those with limited time, the University of Oxford Podcasts offers a 40-minute video discussing why and how some people remain mentally healthy under times of stress, while others encounter anxiety. Viewers learn about employing seven stress- and anxiety-management tools, along with the science behind them. The video culminates with a question-and-answer panel session with faculty from Oxford’s experimental psychology department. This video introduces a series of podcasts offered by the department.

Positive Psychology

Offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through Coursera, this course covers positive psychology, such as gratitude, kindness, and meditation. The nine-hour curriculum features videos, readings, and quizzes that explore the positive emotions and outcomes of positivity, the delicate art of pursuing happiness, and concepts in positivity resonance. Each student can purchase a course certificate to post on social media or include on their resume

Psychological Disorders

Through a 10-minute YouTube video that features an instructor and animated graphics, Crash Course outlines defining psychological disorders, considering historical and current perspectives on mental illness, using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and recognizing the constant evolution of DSM to incorporate new thinking. Rather than an in-depth examination of psychological disorders, the short and accessible video introduces the subject and sparks interest in learning more.