Department of Psychology

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Postgraduate Programme-Psychology

Postgraduate Diploma

PSY 500 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 501 Health Psychology
PSY 502 Educational Psychology
PSY 503 Organizational Psychology
PSY 504 Cognitive Psychology
PSY 505 Buddhist Psychology
PSY 506 Individual Dissertation

1) Who is this course for?

It is for those of you who want to know what psychology is, and for those who are interested in obtaining a recognized postgraduate qualification in psychology and for those who are  wishing to pursue higher studies in psychology.

 (2) What can I do with it?

This course is a stepping stone for those intending to pursue higher degrees in Psychology. You can have a recognized postgraduate certificate in Psychology that will help you to follow a postgraduate course in Psychology in another country or a Masters programme in Sri Lanka. Also, it will provide you with better opportunities of employment in NGO’s, government sector and teaching profession.
But you cannot become a counselor / psychotherapist with this qualification.

(3) Who can follow this course?

Internal / External general degree holders or special degree holders can follow this course.


PSY 500 Introduction to Psychology

This course will introduce the field of Psychology – the historical background and scope, concepts, Theories & Schools of Psychology and the biological foundations of psychology.

( * Please note – those who already have a degree in Psychology or followed Psychology for their general degree cannot follow this course.)

1. Nature of Psychology and its fields.
2. Schools of Psychology
3. Brain and the Nervous System
4. Motivation
5. Emotions & Personality (in brief)
6. Perception
7. Learning
8. Memory and Forgetting (in brief)
9. Aggression, Attitudes, Prejudice and Discrimination (in brief)
10. Stress and Stress Management

Recommended Readings:

· Atkinson R L, Atinson R C, Smith EE, Mem D J, Nelson; Hilgard’s Introduction to
Psychology; London, Harcourt Brace College 1996
· Beck R C; Motivation: Theories and Principles (3rd Ed); New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1990.
· Evas, Phil; Motivation and Emotion; London: Rutledge, 1989.
· Gleitman H; Psychology (4th Ed); NY, WW Norton & CO, 1994.
· Hayes N; Foundations of Psychology: An Introductory Text; London, Thomas Nelson
& Sons Ltd, 1996.
· Hergenhahn B R; An Introduction to Theories of Personality (4th ED); New Jersey,
Prentice Hall Inc., 1984.
· McDavid J, W.; Social Psychology; New Delhi: CBS, 1994.

PSY 501 Health Psychology

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the theoretical bases of the psychology of health, illness, and disease. It will focus on the psychological factors involved in the development of disease and prevention of diseases, and the psychological and social consequences of disease. Various coping strategies and social and psychological interventions to health problems will also be examined.

* Introduction: An overview of Psychology and Health.
* The Body’s Physical Systems
* Health-related Behavior and Health Problems
* Substance Use and Abuse
* Pain and Discomfort
* Chronic and Life Threatening Health problems
* Patient-Practitioner Relationship
* Stress, Patient and Relatives
* Coping with Stress.

Recommended Readings:

* Angelis, T, Substance Abuse Treatment in Monitor on Psychology, (Vol. 32, No. 5)APA USA 2001
* Bacum, and Anderson, B.L., Psychological Interventions for Cancer. APA, USA. 2001
* Chesney, M. A., and Antoni, M. H., Innovative Approaches to Health Psychology. APA USA. 2002.
* Kalichman, S. C, The Inside Story on AIDS. APA, USA. 2003.
* Kleespies, P. M., Life and Death Decisions. APA USA 2003.
* Miller, W. R., Integrating Spirituality into Treatment. APA USA 1999.
* Rozensky, R H., Johnson, N G., Good heart, C. D., Hammond, W. R., Psychology Builds A Healthy World. APA, USA. 2003

PSY 502 Educational Psychology

This course aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of psychological issues pertaining to education. It will provide them with a sound knowledge of education, both in its’ theoretical and practical contexts, and will cover individual differences in learning together with concepts such as motivation, stress, attention, learning , forgetting.

* History and Education Psychology
* Motivation in Education
* Learning patterns in Education and emotional foundations of Education
* Stress and Education
* Teacher-Student relationship and its Psychological effects
* Class room Psychology
* Education of Handicapped Children
* Adult Education.

Recommended Readings:

* Aggarwal J.C, Development and Planning Modern Education. IndiaVikas Publishing House Pvt Ltd. 2000

* Brain, C., Advanced Psychology. U.K, Nelson Thrones LTD. 2002(Chapter 4-pp127-163)
* Fontana, D. Psychology for Teachers (3rd Ed) U.S.A., Macmillan Press, 1995
* Good, T. L., & Brophy, J. E., Educational Psychology, A Realistic Approach (4th Ed). U. K. Longman Group Ltd (1990)
* Gardener, H., Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice: New York, Basic Books. 1993
* Katz L. G, Chard S. C, Engaging Children’s Minds. U.K., Ablex Publishing 2000
* Lindgern, H. L., Educational Psychology in the Class Room: U. K., Oxford University Press, (1980)
Woolfolk, A. E., Education Psychology. U. S. A., Allyn & Bacon Inc., 1993.

PSY 503 Organizational Psychology

This course emphasizes on how main psychological concepts such as Motivation, Perception, & Personality can be applied to work and the work place in a productive manner to the individual as well as to the organization. It also focuses on Job Selection Methods in a practically useful way. The course will also examine the importance of healthy human relationships in enhancing performance and personal satisfaction pertaining to work place context

* Introduction and History of Organizational Psychology
* Motivation
* Perception
* Communication
* Stress and Problems at work
* Leadership and Group Behavior
* Job selection and Assessment
* Attitudes and Personality
* Decision Making
* Conflict Resolution

Recommended Readings:

* Adams, S. H., & Carruthers A., The Future of Organizations. UK, Free Press. 1990
* Argyris, M., The Social Psychology of Work. U.K, Penguin. 1989
* Brain, C., Advanced Psychology. U.K, Nelson Thrones LTD. 2002 (Chapter 4-pp127-163)
* Drucker, P.F., Frontiers of Management. U.K, Heinemann. 1990
* Mckenna, E., Business Psychology & Organizational Behavior. USA, Psychology Press LTD. 2002 (PP 3-22, 352-388, 595-630.498-520, 289-325)
* Pettinger, R., Introduction to Organizational Behavior. U.K, Macmillan Press Ltd. 1999
* Rustom, S. D., The Human Side Of Management, India. Universal Book Stall 1992

PSY 504 Cognitive Psychology
This course focuses on mental functioning, and explores the mental processes underlying the acquisition and storage of information and its retrieval. The students will be exposed to the study of advanced cognitive phenomena and mental functions.

* Introduction and History of Cognitive Psychology
* Concept formation in Thinking, Reasoning
* Language and Thought (Chomsky, Piaget, Vygotsky)
* Memory and Forgetting (repressed memories, memories of abuse and traumatic memories
* Perception
* Problem solving
* Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence
* Creativity

Recommended Readings:

* Eyesenck, M.W., The Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology. Cambridge, Massachusetts 1990.
* Green W D and Others; Cognitive Science: An Introduction: Oxford, Bavi Bladenell 1996.
* Lumsdaine, E., M., Creative Problem Solving. NY, McGraw Hill Inc., Chapter 5,1995.
* Mark, G., Introduction to Psychology. NY, McGraw Hill, 1992.
* Morris P E; Theoretical Aspects of Memory (2nd Ed). London, Rout ledge, 1992.
* Radford, J., Gorier, E. A., Text Book of Psychology. London, Rutledge, Pages 291-472, 1984.
* Smith L, Pockrell J., Jomlison P; Piaget, Vygostky and Beyond: London, Rutledge & Kegan Paul, 1997.

PSY 505 Buddhist Psychology

The objective of this course is to identify the concept of Mind and Mental Activity in Buddhism. The main discussion will be focused on issues such as how mind causes suffering and dissatisfaction, transcendence of the mind through mental cultures and the relationship between Buddhism and Western Analysis of the Mind.

 · Basic Features of Buddhist Psychology
· Buddhist Concept of Mind
· The Psychology of Cognition
· Concept and Reality
· Nature of Sexuality and Sexual Feeling
· Buddhist Psychology in relation to the psychological teaching of Freud, Jung, William James, Erich
From, J. Lacan
· Buddhist Psychology and the Contemporary Social Pathology: Identity Crisis Narcissism, Loneliness ,
Sensuality and boredom
· Types and States of Consciousness: Bhavanga , Dhayana, Samapatti, Vinnana Nirodha
· The Para-Psychology and the Buddhist concept of Abhinna
· Buddhist Technique of Counseling

Recommended Readings

· Frankl, Viktor. Doctor and the Soul. Harmondsworth: Pelican Books. (1973).
· Fromm, Erich De-repression and Psychoanalysis” in Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis. Ed. Richard de
Martino, London: Allen & Anwin. (1960).
· Thubten Gyatso Transforming Problems into the Path. Singapore: Amitabh Buddhist Center (1999).
· De Silva, Padmasiri. Buddhist and Freudian Psychology. Colombo: Lake House. (1973)
· De Silva, Padmasiri. Introduction to Buddhist Psychology The Macmillan Press LTD (1982)
· Nissanka, H.S.S Buddhist Psychotherapy, Dehiwela: Buddhist Cultural Center. (2002)
· Dharmasiri, Gunapala. The Nature of the Medicine. Kandy. (1988)
· Nanananda, Bhikkhu. Concept and Reality. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. (1986)
· Nanananda, Bhikkhu. The magic of the Mind. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. (1974)

PSY 506 Individual Dissertation

The students will have to write a dissertation of 15, 000 words on chosen theme from those they have studied.