The Department of Psychology was established in the University of Nigeria in 1964 under the guidance of Professor Carl Frost of Michigan University, United States of America. It is the first degree-awarding Department of Psychology established in Nigeria and produced its first set of graduates in 1967. The first Head of Department was Mr. J. Anowi, who has been succeeded by others, including the current Head of Department, Dr. L. I. Ugwu. The Department is staffed with highly endowed academic staff and has produced a lot of graduates who are making outstanding impact in the development of the Nigerian society and elsewhere.
Philosophy and Objectives
The Department is strongly oriented to: •
Scientifically studying the behaviour of humankind in order to provide information that would enrich the understanding and prediction of human actions, feelings and thought. It also seeks to enable people to understand and relate with each other very efficiently and effectively.
• In training of students, the Department emphasizes the interrelations of biological, psychological and socio-cultural influences on observed behavioural events. It seeks to provide students with very strong foundation in principles, methods and philosophy of psychological investigation of human and animal behaviour.
• It also offers students professional training and experience in various areas that enable its graduates to establish successful careers as psychologists in research and applied fields such as in medicine, education, industry, commerce, military and paramilitary organizations, social mobilization, human development, administration, correctional and rehabilitation services, and other human behaviour contexts that require adjustment to the various socio-psychological challenges and problems which the social, economic and technological changes in the world are generating.
The Department runs academic programmes leading to the following qualifications: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) honours degree, Postgraduate Diploma (PGD), Master of Science (M.Sc) honours degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). The B.Sc programme is a four-year full-time programme in general psychology, while the PGD programme is a one-year full-time and part-time programme also in general psychology. The M.Sc and Ph.D programmes are both full-time and part-time with minimum of 12 calendar months and 24 calendar months for M.Sc and Ph.D, respectively, and lead to specializations in particular fields in psychology. Combined honours of Psychology with such disciplines as Sociology and Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Religion, and Philosophy are also available in the B.Sc programme.
The stress areas are as follows:
Statistical and methodological issues
Physiological and comparative psychology
Personality and assessment
Theories and systems
In addition to the minimum entry requirements of the University of Nigeria, candidates for admission into the B.Sc programme are required to have credit in English language as well as general biology, human biology or health science, and at least pass in mathematics or statistics at the Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) or ordinary level General Certificate of Education (GCE) organized by West African Examination Council (WAEC) or National Examination Council (NECO). Candidates seeking direct entry should, in addition to the above requirements, have at least pass in advanced level GCE or its equivalent in any two (2) of the following subjects: Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Business, Management, Geography, History and English Literature, or a Diploma approved by the University of Nigeria. UME (University Matriculation Examination) candidates, in addition to O’level requirements, are required to take Biology in UME Examination.
Candidates for PGD programme are required to be graduates of the University of Nigeria or other recognized University or Polytechnic who posses honours degrees of Higher National Diploma (HND) in addition to credit pass or above in biology or health sciences and mathematics in SSCE or GCE or its equivalent. The programme is specifically designed to give professionals opportunity to acquire knowledge in appropriate fields of psychology for the advancement of their professional practice.
Candidates for M.Sc programme are required to be graduates of the University of Nigeria or other recognized University who have obtained at least the bachelor degree with at least second class honours or its equivalent in psychology, or the postgraduate diploma in psychology with at least credit pass. Candidates who posses qualifications different from above may be considered.
Candidates for the Ph.D programme are required to be graduates of the University of Nigeria or other recognized Universities, who have obtained a Master’s honours degree with a minimum of 3.50 grade point –average (GPA) on a 5-point scale or 3.00 GPA on a 4-point scale. M.Sc/Ph.D programmes are experimental, industrial/organizational, social, developmental, counseling, clinical, school and forensic psychology.
Foreign candidates who posses equivalent of the above described qualifications are considered.
The Department conducts regular lectures, seminars and practicals in psychological experiments for its students. It also organizes industrial and clinical visits for its students as part of its programme to equip its students with adequate professional skills and expose them to on-the-spot assessment of human performance in formal settings. Such visits involve manufacturing and processing industries, hospitals, and training institutions. It also sends its students on internship to various organizations, hospitals and academic institution for supervised practice of professional psychology.
The Department also collaborates with Departments in the University of Nigeria to organize and implement programmes that are designed to have positive impact on the lives of members of the University community and the larger society. In 2006, it collaborated with the Security Department of the University of Nigeria to organize a national conference on strategies for security and crime management in Nigerian University campuses, which discussed such issues as behaviour characteristics of persons at risk of crime and crime prevention.
Professionalism in psychology requires an intensive training at the postgraduate level in an area of specialty where requisite skills in specific areas of employment are acquired. This notwithstanding, bachelor degree holders in psychology have been employed and found very useful in industrial and business organizations, general hospitals and medical colleges, government ministries and parastatals, schools and higher educational institutions, the military, police, prisons an other correctional institutions, and other bodies with managerial personnel needs.
Postgraduate training in psychology exposes the psychologists to many employment opportunities on a professional level in such areas as:
a. managerial positions in business and industries;
b. clinics, psychiatric and general hospitals, and medical schools and colleges;
c. universities, polytechnics and colleges of educations, research institutions;
d. all tiers of the education system;
e. various security and intelligence organizations, including the military, the police and the prisons;
f. Government services (local and foreign), agencies and parastatals; international agencies
g. non-governmental organizations (NGO’s);
h. sports; etc.