Branches of Psychology

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branches of psychology

Known as the study of the human mind and behaviour, Psychology aims to explore the cognitive, conative, subconscious, conscious and implicit or explicit aspects of human behaviour. Being an area of study which has its roots in almost every other discipline, there are several branches of Psychology which are unique combinations of different subjects such as Education, Science, Crime, Health, Development etc. For those who wish to establish a career in psychology, these interdisciplinary specialisations offer numerous psychology courses to choose from. Through this blog, we will unravel some of the prominent branches of Psychology and how they strive to understand human behaviour in all its multifarious aspects!

Also Read: BA Psychology

10 Branches of Psychology

Here are the main 10 branches of psychology:

  1. Clinical Psychology
  2. Abnormal Psychology
  3. Educational Psychology 
  4. Cognitive Psychology 
  5. Behavioural Psychology
  6. Forensic Psychology
  7. Occupational/Industrial Psychology
  8. Developmental Psychology
  9. Medical/Health Psychology
  10. Biopsychology

Branches of Psychology – Courses & Eligibility

Here are the major eligibility criteria for different courses of psychology:

Eligibility Criteria for BA Psychology 

Varsities across the world have set some basic conditions that candidates need to fulfil before getting a place in the course. Enlisted below are the requirements to study BA Psychology: 

  • Applicants must have completed their class 12th from a recognized board of examination. Transcripts of the same will be required at the time of application. 
  • Candidates must possess a valid score on any of the following language proficiency tests – IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc. 
  • Students need to have subject proficiency exam scores as well. Usually, the SAT and ACT are widely accepted by most universities. 

Eligibility Criteria for BSc Psychology

Applicants interested in pursuing BSc Psychology in India have to fulfil the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Applicants should have cleared 10+ 2 from the recognized board
  2. Applicants must secure a minimum of 50% inboards
  3. Applicant’s age should be at least of 17 years 

Also Read: MA Psychology

Clinical Psychology

Using the intricate concepts of science, Clinical Psychology studies mental disorders and aims to implement various therapeutic methods to help the concerned patient efficiently tackle them. It understands, predicts and relieves the psychological problems of the patients using scientific psycho-therapeutic methods. Clinical psychologist observes the emotional, behavioural as well as biological aspects of the human body and thus utilise psychotherapy to assist their patients in dealing with their mental issues.

Abnormal Psychology

Concerned with Psychopathology and abnormal behaviour, this branch of psychology encompasses the study of a wide range of mental and psychological disorders such as OCD, depression, personality disorders, etc. It is amongst the prominent clinical branches of psychology and focuses on abnormal human behaviour which is different from the normal curve of human behaviour and thus results in various implications on the individual’s mind.

Educational Psychology 

Educational Psychology simply refers to the scientific study of how people learn and retain new information. This prominent branch of Psychology usually deals with the issues that an individual faces while learning something and also studies the unsystematic behavioural pattern of adolescents. Educational psychologists work on formulating efficient learning methods to help students and teachers work together in an interactive and engaging learning environment.

Cognitive Psychology 

Cognitive Psychology is one of the most famous branches of psychology and involves the detailed study of the thought-processing of the human mind from its thinking abilities and memories to problem-solving skills. It aims to understand how people think, remember, communicate, perceive, learn, etc. Clinical psychologists generally examine how the human brain processes information and thus assist people in sharpening their memory retention and problem-solving skills. 

Behavioural Psychology

Based on the idea of how all types of behaviours are acquired through conditioning, Behavioural Psychology centrally assesses how different types of conditioning can lead to varied results in behaviours. It was one of the popular branches of Psychology extensively applied in the initial phase of the 20th century and is used as a mainstay in therapies, education and various other areas.

Forensic Psychology

The interdisciplinary amalgamation of psychology with criminology and law enforcement and regulations is known as Forensic Psychology. Also regarded as Legal Psychology, it involves the assessment of a crime scene, conducting research on what happened and how as well as analyzing evidence, interviewing witnesses and coming up with inferences to present in the court. Forensic Psychologists use the applications of cognitive sciences within the criminal justice system. 

Occupational/Industrial Psychology

One of the most popular branches of Psychology, Industrial Psychology deals with resolving organizational issues that occur in a workplace environment. Often employees face certain issues which can lead to inefficiency or lack of motivation, thus, Occupational/Industrial Psychologists help organizations in finding better ways to implement greater efficiency and employee retention.

Also Read: NCERT Psychology Class 12 Syllabus 

Developmental Psychology

Every human being goes through a variety of physical as well as psychological changes over their life span. The area which involves the study of different types of changes in a human mind and body through various stages is known as Developmental Psychology. The major focus of this branch of Psychology is on the innate mental abilities of the human mind and how their corresponding environment affects their development and growth. Individuals from all walks of life from infants, children, and teenagers to adults and the elderly are examined in terms of the growth and development of their psychological and emotional bent of mind.

Medical/Health Psychology

A notable one amongst the vast range of branches of psychology, Health Psychology is concerned with how social conditions and environment impact the health and wellness of an individual. Health Psychologists are often misinterpreted as Physicians but a Medical Physician looks into the biological cause of a disease whereas a Medical Psychologist delves deeper into exploring the different psychological factors that are influencing the health of their patient.


As a highly interdisciplinary specialization, Biopsychology explores the impact of thought processes, feelings and behaviours on the brain, neurons and nervous systems. As an emerging sub-field amongst the different branches of Psychology, it is extensively connected with various other disciplines like Biology, Neuroscience, Physiology, Experimental Psychology, and Cognitive Psychology, to name a few.

Also Read: Psychology Class 11 CBSE Syllabus

Types of Psychology

Apart from the aforementioned branches of psychology, take a look at some other prominent ones:

  • Neuropsychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Animal Psychology
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Comparative Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • School Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Para Psychology
  • Military Psychology
  • Political Psychology
  • Positive Psychology
  • Humanistic Psychology
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Engineering Psychology
  • Media Psychology

Branches of Psychology PDF

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Relevant Reads:

Clinical Psychology CoursesBachelor of Occupational Therapy
How to Become a Psychotherapist?Courses after 12th PCB
PhD in PsychologyCareer in Psychology


What are the branches of psychology?

Cognitive, forensic, social, and developmental psychology are all types of psychology. A person suffering from a mental health disorder may benefit from evaluation and therapy by a psychologist. A psychologist may provide treatment that emphasises behavioural adjustments.

How many major branches of psychology are there?

There are several branches, disciplines, and forms of psychology; nonetheless, most people believe there are at least 15 primary branches of psychology.

What are two main branches of psychology?

Basic science and applied psychology are the two major branches of psychology. The field of basic science is concerned with expanding fundamental knowledge and theoretical understanding of psychological processes.

Hopefully, this blog assisted you in exploring the varied branches of psychology. Aspiring to pursue a degree in Psychology? Book an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu experts and we will guide you in choosing the right course and university as well as help you throughout the admission process to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted!

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