10 Best Psychology Courses, Classes & Certs Online [2021]

Everyone uses psychology in daily life, whether when talking to family, friends or arguing with partner, or teaching discipline to children. However, most of us do not realize the psychology behind our choices and behavious. Studying Psychology, even through online medium, can help you discover the beauty of the human mind and how complex it can be. It can develop your understanding of the working of conscious and unconscious functions that affect your mood, behavior and actions. Having a deeper understanding of human behavior can be helpful to develop educational and social programs, develop ergonomics, understand child development, and even inform public policy.

There are various sub-areas of Psychology:

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Industrial Psychology
  • Spiritual Psychology

If any of these fields interest you, you should consider taking a psychology course online. It can teach you the popular Psychology theories and concepts without the need to undertake a formal college education. An online Psychology class will help you explore different aspects of human behavior. Another major benefit of learning psychology through an online Psychology course or certification is that you get to study at your own pace, anytime, and from anywhere, and at the same time you can share your experience with like-minded people online and also increase your employability.

Psychologists can work in many different careers. Some of these careers are research-based, while others are about working closely with people to learn about them. A few common places where psychologists work are hospitals, universities, clinics, governments, schools, and businesses. However, there are several other careers where psychologists can practice their skills.

Our team of experts has compiled a list of best online Psychology courses, certifications and classes that you can take this year. The list explores many different topics and subareas of psychology. It includes both free psychology courses as well as paid psychology certificate programs.

Online Courses by University of Toronto The human mind is a great subject to study and explore. This Coursera Psychology course highlights the most interesting experiments within the field of psychology, and discusses what these studies mean for our understanding of the human mind and human behavior.

This course has more than 350,000 student enrollments. It explores the human brain and its cognitive abilities such as memory, learning, attention, perception and consciousness mechanism. It gives insights into how our surroundings can influence our decisions, and also highlights several different aspects of human behavior. Apart from this, it also provides information about the Science of Psychology and the important concepts of Clinical Psychology. Various forms of mental illnesses and their treatments are also discussed.

Humans do amazing things every day without appreciating or knowing them. After completing this course, students will have a much better understanding of the things and appreciation of who they are and how things around them work. So, you can take this course to learn the fundamentals of psychology and change how you think about yourself and others.

Key Highlights

  • Learn the foundational concepts of Psychology
  • Understand human behavior and the impact of the surroundings on it
  • Understand the mechanism of awareness and sensation
  • Explore how memories are expressed and the theories of amnesia and false memories
  • Discuss various mental health issues and the respective therapy in Clinical Psychology

Duration : 23 hours
Rating : 4.9
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Online Courses by Princeton University Buddhism and Modern Psychology by Princeton University is a great Psychology course offered at Coursera with more than 537K students already enrolled. The course explores how meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind fare in light of evolutionary psychology.

It is a practical course that helps to examine Buddhism according to psychological studies. It gives you in-depth knowledge about the theories related to basic Buddhist claims about the human mind. Comprising of eight weekly modules, the course discusses the following topics:

  • Religious Buddhism and Secular Buddhism
  • The first two noble truths of Buddhism
  • The Eightfold path
  • Mindfulness meditation and the brain
  • Modern psychology and the self
  • Mental modules and meditation
  • Self Control
  • Buddhist and Darwinian Enlightenment
  • Essentialism and Emptiness

The course comes with practical videos, rich learning content, graded exercises, instructor feedback, and much more. It is absolutely free to enroll. However, you won’t be able to get any certificate for this course after finishing the curriculum.

Key Highlights

  • One of the best free online Psychology courses available on Coursera
  • Introduction to the Secular and Religious Buddhism as well as an understanding of the feelings and illusions
  • Understand the eightfold path, mindfulness meditation and the brain, meditation, as well as other aspects of the Buddhist prescription
  • Explore some of the counterintuitive doctrines like the self doesn’t exist, how professed reality can be some kind of sense illusory
  • Understand the enlightenment by learning important aspects of Buddhism like emptiness, essentialism, and a naturalistic religion

Duration : 16 hours
Rating : 4.8
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Online Courses by University of Queensland Developmental, Social & Clinical Psychology by the University of Queensland, Australia is another amazing program on the best online psychology courses list. It is a four course program that explores why we think and behave the way we do in certain settings and situations, how we develop throughout our lives from birth until later, some common psychological disorders and their treatments and how we conduct, interpret and report psychological research.

The four courses in the program are as follows:

  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Developmental Psychology
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychological Research Methods

Together these four courses form the curriculum of an introductory psychology class that is taught at the campus of University of Queensland. This psychology class is taken by nearly 2500 students each year at the campus. You can learn the same curriculum online through this program at edX.

Each course included in the program comprises of videos, quizzes and several activities. There is a quiz both at the beginning and end of each course.

Key Highlights

  • Learn from the experts in the field at UQx
  • Understand human behavior in social settings
  • Learn how humans develop, including their ability to think, communicate, and form social attachments
  • Learn about the principles underlying psychological therapy and treatment of mental disorders
  • Learn about the research methods of psychology and how to plan and conduct them effectively

Duration : 7 months, 1-2 hours per week
Rating : 4.6
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Online Courses by Yale University Next on the list is Introduction to Psychology course by Yale University offered on Coursera. This course is a great option if you want to pursue psychology studies online for understanding human behavior. More than 680,000 students have already taken advantage of the course and have rated it highly. The course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of human thought and behavior.

The course is taught by renowned Professor Paul Bloom and is organized as 6 weekly modules which explore topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, emotions, and social behavior. You will learn about developments of these aspects of the mind in children, how they differ for various people, understand the psychological elements in the human brain, and how these elements can be affected due to injuries and illnesses.

Key Highlights

  • Excellent online psychology course for beginners
  • Learn about foundational psychological theories and findings in psychology
  • Get an introduction to neuroscience
  • Understanding psychological research into development and language
  • Explore hoe language is learned and the relationship between language and thought
  • Learn about Cognitive Psychology and how experiences are stored in memory
  • Understand psychology examining self and others
  • Understand social and non-social emotions
  • Learn about the role of genes and environment in explaining human variation
  • Learn about how happiness and measured and the factors contributing to it

Duration : 15 hours
Rating : 4.8
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Online Courses by University of Pennsylvania This Positive Psychology Certification is offered by University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with Coursera. The aim of this program is to impart learners with the knowledge and practical tools to live a happier and more fulfilled life. It is led by Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, considered by many as the “Father of Positive Psychology”, a leading authority in the field of Psychology.

The specialization is organized as a series of five courses that cover the history of positive psychology as a study and its practical applications. They are as below:

  1. Positive Psychology: Martin E.P. Seligman’s Visionary Science taught by Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman
  2. Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions taught by Dr. James Pawelski
  3. Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods taught by Dr. Angela Duckworth & Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft
  4. Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills taught by Dr. Karen Reivich
  5. Positive Psychology Specialization Project with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman

Not only will you learn about the key theories and research in the field of positive psychology, but through the practical focus of the program you will also get ample of opportunities to apply them to real life. Throughout the program learners design and work on small scale positive interventions that enhance several aspects of their personal and professional lives. Apart from video lectures, Course materials include readings, exercises, and quizzes. After completing the course, you will get a lot of skills regarding research methodology, gratitude, goal setting, and resilience.

Key Highlights

  • Excellent Psychology Certification for anyone seeking greater wellbeing at work or their in personal lives
  • Learn about basic tools for using and measuring positive psychology in professional or personal contexts
  • Explore cognitive strategies to manage anxiety and increase positive emotions
  • Learn how to incorporate resilience interventions into your personal and professional life
  • Available in four different languages – English, Spanish, German, and Japanese
  • Get a certificate to demonstrate your skills to any professional network
  • Supplemental readings and videos for those interested in furthering their skills
  • Program open for anyone to join, with no prerequisites

Duration : 5 months, 4 hours per week
Rating : 4.8
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Online Courses by Wesleyan University Social psychology by Wesleyan University is one of the best online courses for social psychology. This course comes with very valuable reading material and videos and uses a practical hands-on approach. It provides an introduction to classic and contemporary social psychology, and answers several questions related to human behavior on the basis of latest research in social psychology.

This course has more than 428,000 enrollments on Coursera. It is taught by Scott Plous, Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University where he teaches introductory and advanced courses in social psychology. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the American Psychological Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. Scott has based this course on his years of scientific research and work in the field of social psychology.

The seven weekly modules in the course cover topics such as decision making, persuasion, group behavior, personal attraction, and factors that promote health and well-being. Learners understand several aspects of human behavior like why we like or dislike certain people; how conflicts happen and how to reduce them; and whether psychological research can help protect the environment. The entire course is based on surprising, entertaining, and intriguing research findings that are easily applicable in daily life.

Key Highlights

  • Comprehensive course for those who want to learn about social psychology
  • Get a brief introduction to social psychology and its importance
  • Understand human behavior and how to explain the behavior of others while knowing the link between behavior and attitudes
  • Understand the dynamics of psychology, including obedience to authority, cognitive dissonance, the dark side of deindividuation, and more
  • Review case studies on group pressure and conventionality while considering the ethical issues that are linked with psychology research
  • Understand the essential ingredients for a happy life with the help of additional resources and organizations

Duration : 38 hours
Rating : 4.7
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Udemy Online Courses If you are interested in applied psychology and want to earn a diploma in this field, this course offered on Udemy is ideal. In this course, you will learn about the psychology behind the behavior of humans, which can be helpful to improve your personal growth, emotional IQ, leadership skills, and decision-making powers. This course is offered by Kain Ramsay in affiliation with Achology Ltd., which is a well-developed Academy for Modern Applied Psychology.

In this course, you will be introduced to the seven disciplines of human psychology which will help to recognize the motivation behind all different forms of human behavior. The course presents you with an extensive range of psychological perspectives in a very practical way that helps to build them into your life and apply them right away.

You will learn the main ideas from the principle schools of psychological thought including psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, behaviorism, humanism, developmental psychology and positive social psychology. The course will deepen your understanding of how to support and generate positive change in peoples’ lives; how to make better decisions; how to define goals and priorities better; how to improve your thinking and self-regulate your emotional responses and more. You will also get a professional diploma after completing this course.

Key Highlights

  • One of the best selling Udemy Psychology courses
  • Learn about the seven disciplines of human psychology and grow, improve and mature as a human being in the process
  • Develop an understanding of how people around you deal with social dilemmas, what experiences they feel, and how they react to different situations
  • Learn to develop strong interpersonal connections and relationships by interacting with other people powerfully and positively
  • Learn to react appropriately to the life experiences you have each day
  • Gain access to a private discussion group, in which you can ask questions, discuss your learning and benefit from the expertise of over 65,000 other like-minded learners

Duration : 5.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.5
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Online Courses by University of California, Berkeley Several studies suggest that feeling happy at work is critical to a fulfilling life and can make us more creative, invested, and productive in the work that we do. Happiness at work also improves the bottom line. This Certificate program by University of California, Berkeley teaches how to be happier at work. It reveals the central insights from the robust and growing scientific research around what makes our jobs feel meaningful and fulfilling.

This Psychology training program consists of three courses that will help to boost your work satisfaction, collaboration, and engagement. You will learn about the importance of trusting, collaborative relationships, and positivity at work. The courses in the program are:

  • The Foundations of happiness at work
  • Mindfulness and Resilience to stress at work
  • Empathy and Emotional intelligence at work

The best part about these courses is that all the lessons are based on most up-to-date scientific research from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and business. The courses are full of scientific insights, case studies, and talks by industry leaders. They provide concrete and practical strategies that you can implement in your work life right away to make your work place better for yourself and your colleagues.

Key Highlights

  • Learn why happiness at work matters and how to increase it within yourself and across your organization
  • Learn concrete, research-based strategies that you can implement to foster happiness in workplace
  • Learn to develop cooperative and collaborative workplace relationships
  • Understand how you can lead with emotional and social intelligence
  • Understand how to develop resilience to stress, especially with the help of mindfulness practice
  • Includes special tips for workplace leaders that help to build socially intelligent leadership skills
  • Real world case studies

Duration : 3 months, 1-2 hours per week
Rating : 4.5
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Online Courses by Johns Hopkins University This course has been developed in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab. The aim of this course is to equip you with the understanding of how to help someone who is psychologically struggling. It teaches the concept of RAPID model covering Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition that can be effectively employed to provide psychological first aid to people dealing with injuries and trauma that are beyond those physical in nature.

The RAPID model is very helpful to deal with psychologically critical events such as recovery from a tragic accident or death, robberies, violence or suicidal thoughts, etc. In addition, you can make use of these techniques for self-care and to take preventive measures to help your loved ones overcoming difficult situations. The techniques taught in the course can also be applied to public health settings, the workplace, the military, faith-based organizations, mass disaster venues etc. Over 383,000 learners at Coursera have taken advantage of this course.

The course is organized as 5 weekly modules that discuss concepts related to psychological first aid, reflective listening and rapport, how to prioritize psychological/ behavioral crisis reactions, mitigate acute distress, how to recognize when you should facilitate access to further mental health support and how to practice self- care.

Key Highlights

  • Understand the key concepts related to psychological first aid and RAPID model
  • Understand how to use reflective listening to gain trust
  • Learn how to help your loved ones dealing with extremely stressful situations
  • Understand the need for mental health support in dealing with a crisis

Duration : 6 hours
Rating : 4.8
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Udemy Online Courses This is a great course available on Udemy. It is designed to help people learn and understand the various techniques of psychology that can influence people. This course offers all the scientific knowledge required to understand human behavior and the process of decision-making. It teaches a set of core principles that underlie people’s willingness to say “yes” to a request and how you can use these principles in everyday life.

Andrew Luttrell is the instructor of this course, and he is a professor of psychology as well as a host of the Opinion Science podcast. He is a great instructor who will train the students to learn about human behavior and how to influence them with the help of strong communication and kind nature. You can interact directly with the instructor at the end of each session to discuss and ask questions.

Key Highlights

  • Develop the skills needed to influence other people more effectively
  • A practical course offering tested principles and techniques of influence based on scientific research in the field of social psychology
  • Know how giving someone a gift that nobody wants can actually push people to help you
  • Know some of the proven influence strategies and how they work. These will help you in developing your own techniques
  • Understand the fundamentals of psychological influence and how to prepare yourself to persuade others to do whatever you want

Duration : 2 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.5
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More Psychology Courses & Classes

Udemy Online Courses Udemy offers a very wide range of Psychology certifications and classes online. These include courses on social psychology, behavioural psychology courses, criminal psychology courses, forensic psychology courses, child psychology certificate training, sports psychology certification, clinical psychology courses, sports psychology certification and much more. These are grouped into beginner, intermediate and expert levels.

All the courses on Udemy come with a lifetime access to course materials and any future updates. You will also receive a certificate of completion at the end of each course. Udemy offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all its courses.

Some of the best rated Udemy Psychology certificate courses include:

Duration : Self-Paced
Rating : 4.5
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Coursera Online Courses Whether your goal is to learn psychology for career or for gaining knowledge for your personal awareness about mental health, Coursera is a great platform to achieve these goals. Here you can find many Psychology courses and classes offered by top ranking universities across the globe. There is a collection of courses in positive psychology, social psychology, child psychology, neuroscience, organization psychology, mental health and wellness and more.

While the courses on Coursera provide the same curriculum and instruction as their on-campus versions, you access them for free or a significantly lower cost. Most of the courses offered are free to audit meaning that you can access the content and videos lectures of the course for free. But if you want a certificate for the course or want access to graded assignments, you will need to pay a small fee.

Some of the popular Coursera Psychology certificates include Introduction to Psychology by Yale University, Positive Psychology by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A life of Happiness and Fulfillment by Indian School of Business etc.

You can also take free Psychology courses in parenting, addiction treatment, mindfulnesss and success.

Duration : Self-Paced
Rating : 4.5
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edX Online Courses edX platform provides free online courses in psychology from best institutions and universities worldwide. There are free psychology classes for beginners as well as advanced level programs that can help you learn psychology online through video lessons, quizzes and practical assignments. Learners also have the option of pursuing verified certificates in all these psychology courses by paying a fee. This certificate demonstrates that the learner has completed the course successfully and can be used to showcase skill to potential employers.

You can also learn human behavior, cognitive science, mental health, psychological disorders and their treatment and much more.

All the courses available on edX are self-paced, so learners can pursue them at their own flexible schedule. You may explore the following edX Psychology courses:

Duration : Self-Paced
Rating : 4.5
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