Psychology courses: best psychology courses online

The Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation found that in 2017, just under 300 million people worldwide suffered from anxiety and about 160 million from major depressive disorder.[1] Not to mention all the other dysfunctions that many people experience, especially now when the pandemic has suddenly changed the way we’re used to living.

Now, while studying psychology won’t help you drastically change these numbers, it can help you make sense of the world around you, understand yourself and others, and become part of a positive change. With these online psychology courses, you’ll gain priceless knowledge and skills that you’ll be able to apply not only in your professional but also daily life.

In this article, you’ll find 7 best options for online psychology courses on top e-learning platforms such as Udacity, edX, Coursera, and Udemy. All of the courses are suitable for beginners because they cover the fundamentals of that subject.

Best Online Psychology Courses

I looked at many psychology courses on various platforms and picked the best options in terms of subjects, number of students, rating, and duration. They cover a big variety of skills such as psychological first aid, fundamentals of psychology, Buddhism and modern psychology, emotional intelligence at work, applied psychology, and more.

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If you ask me, psychology is one of the most fascinating subjects to study. Also, it’s very versatile! 

Studying psychology doesn't mean you have to become a psychologist or work in a related field. No matter what's your occupation or what your degree is, you can learn a lot through taking these courses

By studying psychology you gain transferable skills that can be applied in:

  • Daily Life

It contributes to the well-being of your body and mind, by making you a healthier person overall. You’re better equipped to deal with anxiety and other negative feelings because you understand them more.

  • Business/Workplace

You can select, support, motivate and train the workforce appropriately, and connect with colleagues easier. [2] Psychology skills help design better products, workspaces, and healthier relationships among employees. Overall, it leads to better productivity, efficiency, a satisfied workforce, and thus - happy customers.

  • Personal Relationships

Understanding yourself and others allows for easier communication, you don’t take things so personally and you’re a lot more open and clear in your intentions. This, in turn, reduces unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings that often are caused by a lack of effective communication.

  • Anywhere else

Psychology is an inseparable part of our lives, so the more you know how and why we behave and think the way we do, the better decisions you can make.

Besides, taking online psychology courses comes with a unique perk.

It’s the supreme coupons! They can save you tons of money, as you get full access to selected courses with up to 100% OFF. I’ll include available offers in the descriptions of courses with paid certificates.

Feel free to visit the latest coupon page and check out the best 2021 online learning deals available right now. Why limit yourself to only one course when there are so many good ones available?

Top E-learning Platforms

You can find all the courses on the most popular e-learning platforms right now. To learn more about them, read extensive reviews by experts and users of each platform by clicking on the links below:

Overall, the most important thing to know is that all of the courses are provided by well-known universities and they all have attracted thousands of students, as well as many positive reviews

Udacity Review Logo
Pros
  • Simplistic design (no unnecessary information)
  • High-quality courses (even the free ones)
  • Variety of features
Main Features
  • Nanodegree programs
  • Suitable for enterprises
  • Paid certificates of completion
Udemy Logo
Pros
  • Huge variety of courses
  • Easy to navigate
  • No technical issues
Main Features
  • Huge variety of courses
  • 30-day refund policy
  • Free certificates of completion
Udacity Review Logo
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Offers quality content
  • Very transparent with their pricing
Main Features
  • Free certificates of completion
  • Focused on data science skills
  • Flexible learning timetable

Why Take Psychology Courses Online?

It’s an amazing opportunity to be taught by instructors from well-known universities at a relatively low price or in some cases, for free! Think about it: if you actually went to enroll in a university-level course in a private school in your area, it would definitely cost a lot more. Besides:

#1 It's convenient

#2 You learn at your own pace

#3 Online courses take less time to complete

#4 Skills for life

Of course, if you want to pursue a career in the field of psychology, taking a course online may not secure you a job as a psychologist. However, online psychology courses are a great place to start if you're interested in the subject and want to know more about it. Say you decide to get a psychology degree - by the time you enroll, you'll already have a solid foundation on which to build your skills.

Also, online psychology courses you'll read about today cover skills such as emotional intelligence at work, the science of happiness, and emotional first aid - these are the skills that you'll be able to apply to everyday life!

All right, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to the best psychology courses online!

Intro to Psychology Course (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: udacity intro to psychology

  • Platform: Udacity
  • Offered by: San Jose State University
  • Duration: 〜 4 months
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: NO
  • Level: Beginner 
  • Where to apply? Here

Want to get a head start in psychology? If you’re curious about human behavior and human nature but are completely new to this field, I recommend one of the best free psychology courses online - Udacity’s Intro to Psychology. Anyone who is interested in psychology can access this course by San Jose University on-demand. So, if you’re an eager student, feel free to start it right now!

This course explores the fundamental concepts and principles of psychology, so you don’t need to have any previous knowledge. If you’re not sure whether the course has what you’re looking for, take a look at the syllabus below.

Topics covered:

  • Research Methods
  • The biology of behavior
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Psychological Development
  • Consciousness
  • Depressants, Hallucinogens, and Opioids
  • Memory

...and more! Through video lessons and interactive quizzes, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of human thought and behavior, and you’ll learn to evaluate psychological research.

Intro to Psychology Course is not only for psychology students! It’s also an interesting course to take if you just want to learn something new. Well, as long as you’re actually interested in the subject of course.

I say this because everything you learn in this course can help to understand the world around you just a little bit better, and because we’re all humans (I hope so, anyway!), so you’ll essentially be learning some cool stuff about your own mind and behavior. All in all, whether you’re an aspiring psychologist, an athlete, or a mother of two (or none of these) - you'll gain something useful.

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The Science of Happiness Course (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: edx science of happiness

  • Platform: edX
  • Offered by: University of California, Berkeley
  • Duration: 〜 11 weeks (4-5 hours/week)
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: YES (paid)
  • Level: Beginner 
  • Where to apply? Here

Excuse me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it true that we looove feeling happy? I know I do! One way or another, this is what many of us seek in our day-to-day life but sometimes find it hard to achieve (there are always the lucky ones). 

Well, thanks to science, now we know some interesting stuff about happiness. Through learning about it (how does it work? what even is it in the first place?) we can finally start living in a way that strengthens that culture of happiness.

The Science of Happiness Course by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center is the first MOOC to teach the ground-breaking science of positive psychology, and it’s now available for free! Personally, it’s one of my favorite free online psychology courses. It’s for everyone. You don’t need any previous knowledge in psychology to enroll, and you’ll learn things for life!

All the online psychology courses on edX, including this one, offer a certificate of completion. Although you do have to purchase it. So you can access all the teaching material for free, and then pay for the certificate if you decide to receive one. It's as simple as that! 

If you need the certificate (but don’t feel like paying the whole price), you can always use edX coupons. Click here to find the best deals available right now for selected courses on edX and save up to 50%!

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Topics covered:

  • What happiness really means and why it matters to you
  • How to increase your own happiness and foster happiness in others
  • Why social connections, kindness, and community are key to happiness
  • Which mental habits are most conducive to happiness and how mindfulness can help

As you see, the topics are relevant to pretty much anyone, so I highly recommend taking this course whatever field of psychology you’re interested in. You’ll learn not only to nurture happiness inside yourself but also in others!

By the way, it offers support - there is Greater Good Science Center Facebook page and also BerkeleyX: GG101x The Science of Happiness Facebook group, where you can get involved in discussion with other students. 

In fact, discussion is an effective tool to help you learn! “It enables us to make links of what we are learning to our personal thoughts and experiences as well as read other perceptions and thoughts.[6]

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Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work Course (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: edx empathy and emotional intelligence at work

  • Platform: edX
  • Offered by: University of California, Berkeley
  • Duration: 〜 4 weeks (1-2 hours/week)
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: YES (paid)
  • Level: Beginner
  • Where to apply? Here

In a study that examined workers in a cigarette factory in China, EI was found to predict employee performance.[3]

Another study found that partners in a multinational consulting firm who scored higher than the median on an EI measure produced $1.2 million more in business than the other partners did.[4]

This course is for anyone who wants to build social and emotional skills to promote the wellbeing of a workplace and the relationships that are positive. Whether you’re an employee, a manager, a business owner, or aspiring entrepreneurship, I would really recommend taking this course if you want to build a strong and healthy organizational structure.

Topics covered:

  • Discover the psychological and biological roots of empathy, trust, and cooperation
  • Understand how the skills of emotional and social intelligence support organizational happiness and productivity
  • Develop research-based strategies for strengthening empathy and resolving conflicts constructively
  • Learn how to lead with social intelligence

This is one of the free online psychology courses with full access to the course apart from the certificate.

If you want to receive a certificate, you have to purchase it, just like with other edX online psychology courses. Remember, you can always use edX coupons to get some really good deals. It’s hard not to feel tempted when you can get up to 50% OFF.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work Course is taught by experts like Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D. 

Honestly, if you think about how much time people spend at their workplace, it is absolutely crucial to make it a safe and comfortable environment. Happy employees will be (most likely) better at their work, which means a healthier business overall and happy customers!

Do you know why?

Because luckily, happiness is contagious! And of course, because happy employees are more productive, they’re less likely to quit their jobs, and they put more effort into their work, which leads to better results.

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Psychological First Aid Course (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: coursera psychological first aid

  • Platform: Coursera
  • Offered by: Johns Hopkins University
  • Duration: 〜 6 hours to complete
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: YES (paid)
  • Level: Beginner
  • Where to apply? Here

Most of us know what first aid is and many of us have learned how to apply it. What about psychological first aid though? What is it?

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is a set of techniques designed to help someone reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to help them cope with a situation at hand.

Why is it important?

Just imagine for a second how many people experience some sort of a traumatic event at some point in their lives. 

Here’s something to help your imagination:

“An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD.”[5]

As you see, traumatic experiences really aren't that uncommon. Learning what to do when they happen, will make you a better, more connected friend and employee. 

Topics covered:

  • Reflective Listening/Rapport
  • Assessment and Prioritization (RAPID)
  • Intervention and Disposition
  • Self-Care and Wrap-Up
  • Pricing

You can access all of the material in this course for free. You’ll only have to pay if you decide to purchase the certificate that proves your skills. In fact, the certificate for this course costs $49 USD (at full price).

However, you can actually get it at a much lower price with Coursera coupons, which you’ll find on this website. Or, simply click on the coupon below.

Coursera Deal Active Right Now:

After completing this course, you’ll be able to deal with stressful and even traumatic situations better and to help others at times of crisis. The RAPID model you’ll study can be applied in various settings, including the workplace, the military, faith-based organizations, mass disaster venues, critical events, e.g. dealing with the psychological aftermath of accidents, robberies, suicide, homicide, or any other traumatic event you can think of.

All the teaching material in this course comes with subtitles: Arabic, French, Ukrainian, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Greek, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, English, Spanish.

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Introduction to Developmental, Social & Clinical Psychology XSeries (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: edx xseries developmental social clinical psychology

  • Platform: edX
  • Offered by: the University of Queensland
  • Duration: 〜 7 months (1-2 hours/week)
  • Price: Check the description below
  • Certificate: YES 
  • Level: Beginner 
  • Where to apply? Here

Have you ever wondered why do we behave the way we do? How do humans develop and change over time? What are psychological disorders and why are they so complex? These are just some of the fascinating subjects that you can explore in this edX psychology series.

Like Intro to Psychology on Udacity, this is an introductory program too. This means you can enroll even if you haven’t studied psychology before. Newbies, welcome!

Although Intro to Psychology Course and this program cover some similar topics, they are structured differently. This XSeries is a 7-month long program that includes 4 different online psychology courses with certificates, each focused on one big subject.

This is an in-depth program with a lot of useful information packed into each course. So if you want my tip, I’d say take your time to really study and learn step by step. Don’t try to rush it! Also, engaging with the content through forums and quizzes can help you retain all that new stuff inside your brain!

All right, so let’s go through each course and see what they have to offer.

Single Courses in this Program:

Psychology courses: edx introduction to social psychology

All about humans as social creatures: our beliefs about self and others, our behavior in social settings, our influence on each other, ways of thinking and interacting with fellow beings.

Psychology courses: edx introduction to developmental psychology

Psychology of human development: how do babies see the world? How does a human learn to interact with this alien world during the first years of its life? How does attachment work? How do all these things change and develop throughout humans’ lives? 

Answer these questions and more as you study different stages of human language, social, cognitive, and moral development.

Psychology courses: edx introduction to clinical psychology

An intriguing subject - the human mind and the dysfunction of our brains. How can we improve the lives of those who suffer from that  In other words - clinical psychology. You’ll look at and study various mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and more.

Psychology courses: edx introduction to pscyhological research methods

Psychological research is a tool that helps to understand the way humans function and answer questions related to the human mind based on evidence. This course analyses different research methods, how they are conducted, how to interpret and evaluate them, and how to report the research findings clearly.

Xseries Program Pricing

The whole program costs between $350 and 390, depending on whether it’s on sale or not. Individual courses are free, but if you need a certificate you have to purchase it. The good news is, there are coupons available for selected courses on edX.

Here’s the offer that’s available right now:

Edx Deal Active Right Now:

Can I take single courses?

Yes, this program is made up of 4 individual online psychology courses with certificates that can be taken separately.

So, if there's one or more courses that caught your attention and not the whole program, simply click on the name of the course above and you’ll be able to enroll right away

All the courses include teaching material in the form of videos, activities, and quizzes. Even though completing this program doesn’t provide the credentials you’d receive after completing a whole degree, it definitely will give you a solid foundation in topics like developmental, social, clinical psychology, and research methods.

EdX offers many psychology courses online. Click here to find out what else they have to offer.

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Diploma in Modern Applied Psychology (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: udemy diploma in modern applied pscyhology

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Offered by: Kain Ramsay and The Academy of Modern Applied Psychology
  • Duration: 〜 50.5 hours on-demand video
  • Price: check the description below
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Beginner
  • Where to apply? Here

With 17,016 students, this is one of the best-selling online psychology courses right now. Provided by the Academy of Modern Applied Psychology and taught by Kain Ramsy, it includes 50.5 hours on-demand video, 3 articles, 221 downloadable resources, and lifetime access to all of these materials (well, as long as the internet’s around). 

What is applied psychology?

Although applied psychology is a very broad discipline, we can say that this concept refers to the practical aspect of psychology. Unlike applied psychology, psychological science, in general, is not necessarily concerned with intervention but rather studies behavior and mental processes.

Dimploma in Modern Applied Psychology is essentially a training course that covers seven disciplines of human psychology and helps you understand the ways in which you can support others and contribute to positive change.

Skills you’ll gain:

  • Recognize the motivation behind all forms of human behavior
  • Develop your potential to self-reflect accurately and usefully
  • Make better decisions that align with your goals and priorities
  • Mace accurate predictions about how people think and behave
  • Reason like a philosopher and interpret life events
  • Learn from your past to make wiser and more rational decisions
  • Sharpen reasoning skills and capacity to think critically
  • Identify what factors influence personality and social behavior
  • Connect with other people in a genuine way
  • React appropriately to the life experiences

What's really good about this course is that with full lifetime access to all the material, you also get exclusive access to the private discussion group. As I mentioned before, having peers to discuss new ideas with can really help you learn more effectively. I highly recommend joining the group, it will make the whole studying process a lot more engaging and fun!

Udemy Pricing

Okay, so when it comes to prices on Udemy, some students feel it can be a bit confusing. This is mainly because course prices often change, going from $193 to $19, for exactly the same course!

Since Udemy courses are provided by private instructors themselves, they are the ones who decide on what price to charge for their course. However, the platform often announces sales, which is when prices drop by up to 90%! It’s hard to know when that happens, but I can tell you it happens quite frequently.

In any case, you don’t ever have to pay the full price for the course, because you can always make use of Udemy’s coupons and get up to 100% OFF selected courses. If you ask me, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Here’s what’s available right now:

Udemy Deal Active Right Now:

Given the popularity of online courses, who knows when the prices are gonna go up?

One of the best things about taking psychology courses on Udemy is how convenient the platform is. You can literally access it from anywhere at any given time. You don’t even need a computer to do it, Udemy is available on mobile phones and on TV. 

This particular course must be one of the most convenient psychology courses online because it’s also available in MP3 format if you want to study on the go. This means you can learn while having breakfast, walking your pet, traveling, or driving (that is, of course, if you're a multitasking kind of person).

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Buddhism and Modern Psychology Course (Enroll Here)

Psychology courses: coursera buddhism and modern psychology

  • Platform: Coursera
  • Offered by: Princeton University
  • Duration: 〜 16 hours to complete
  • Price: FREE
  • Certificate: NO
  • Level: Beginner
  • Where to apply? Here

Perhaps a slightly less conventional course - Buddhism and Modern Psychology is for anyone who is interested in this ancient eastern philosophy and how it’s connected to modern psychology.

Are ancient descriptions of the human mind and the human condition relevant in the modern-day? What’s the difference between religious Buddhism and Secular Buddhism? How does meditation work? Does the Self Exist? Join this course to gain some insight into these issues and more.

Here’s how some students describe the course:

“This was the perfect balance between science, spirituality, and that which we do not really know.”

“Buddhism and Modern Psychology takes to an existential and inspiring adventure.”

“Buddhism and modern psychology, is an excellent introductory course towards a broader vision of the value and benefits of Buddhist meditation techniques, as it allows a clear understanding of the principles and logic behind them from a scientific point of view.”

Seems to me that this is a course worth taking!

Topics covered:

  • The Buddhist Diagnosis
  • The Buddhist Prescription
  • Does Your Self Exist?
  • A New Model of the Mind
  • Mental Modules and Meditation
  • What is Enlightenment?

Want to hear some good news? ALL of the material in this course is free. Hours of teaching videos, readings and a couple of quizzes are all at your disposal. You can enroll right now and immediately access all the lectures. It’s awesome because even if you’re not sure whether you really want to take this course, you can enroll and browse every single topic for free. If you decide you don’t want to take it in the end, that’s fine!

Subtitles: Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, English, Spanish, Hungarian.

Start the course NOW

Conclusions

Congratulations, you’re now well-informed to finally choose the course to enroll in. I know this is a lot of information to digest, so I’ll summarize the main points for you.

These are the best psychology courses and programs available right now on top e-learning platforms Udacity, edX, Coursera, and Udemy:

Online psychology courses with certificates are available on all the e-learning platforms, however, not all of the courses on the list offer them. For example, Intro to Psychology and Buddhism and Modern Psychology Courses don’t offer verified certificates.

Most of the courses are relatively short, Diploma in Modern Psychology and Introduction to Developmental, Social & Clinical Psychology XSeries being the most lengthy options.

All of the courses can be accessed for free without a certificate. If you require one, you’ll have to purchase it. For huge discounts, check out these coupons. You can also find relevant offers in the description of each course.

Coursera’s Buddhism Modern Psychology and Psychological First Aid courses have subtitles in many different languages, which is something that non-native English speakers may appreciate and something that other courses don’t have.

All in all, the courses on this list cover a wide variety of skills and topics so make sure you read the syllabus carefully and choose the course that suits your needs best.

Remember, psychology skills are not just for those who want to pursue a career in psychology. It’s for anyone who wants to understand the self and the world better, start making better decisions, and to lead a more fulfilling life.

“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.” – Ellen J. Langer


Scientific References

1. American Psychological Association: Helping Businesses and Organizations

2. MHA National: the State of Mental Health in America 2021

3. Kenneth Law, Chi-Sum Wong, et al. "The Construct and Criterion Related Validity of Emotional Intelligence and Its Potential Utility for Management Studies"

4. Cary Cherniss "Emotional Intelligence: What it is and Why it Matters"

5. Sidran Institute: Traumatic Stress Disorder Fact Sheet

6. Nega Debela, "Using Discussions to Promote Critical Thinking in an Online Environment"

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FAQ

What are the best online psychology courses?

Here's a list of the best online psychology courses in 2021:

These are all quality courses in various subjects provided by accredited universities on top e-learning platforms like Udacity, edX, Coursera, and Udemy. All of the courses on this list have thousands of students, positive reviews (4.7 stars and more), and are taught by experts in their field.

Is it worth taking psychology courses online?

Taking one of these online psychology courses will teach some incredibly valuable skills that you can apply to daily life. Also, they can serve as a solid foundation if you decide to work in a related field. Having said that, online courses won't secure you a job in the industry, however, they will provide you with quality knowledge that can improve your and others' wellbeing and advance your career.

How do you choose which online course sites to review?

We pick online learning platforms according to their market size, popularity, and, most importantly, our users’ request or general interest to read genuine MOOC reviews about certain online learning platforms.

How much research do you do before writing your e-learning reviews?

Our dedicated MOOC experts carry out research for weeks – only then can they say their evaluations for different aspects are final and complete. Even though it takes a lot of time, this is the only way we can guarantee that all the essential features of online learning platforms are tried and tested, and the verdict is based on real data.

Which aspect is the most important when choosing the best online learning platforms?

It wouldn’t be right to pick just one aspect out of the selection: priorities depend on each individual person, their values, wishes, and goals. A feature that’s important to one person can be utterly irrelevant to the other. Anyhow, all users would agree that good quality of the learning material is a must for online learning platforms.

How is this e-learning review platform different from others?

Every MOOC-reviewing platform is unique and has its own goals and values. Our e-learning reviews are 100% genuine and written after performing a careful analysis. That is the goal that a lot of e-learning review sites lack, so we consider it to be our superpower!