Growing demand for psychologists and counsellors in the UAE has led a university to introduce a new degree course. Middlesex University in Dubai has introduced a bachelor's course in psychology with counselling that will start in September. Among other things, students will learn about mental health and treatments for psychological disorders. Dr Annie Crookes, the university's leader for psychology, said there was strong demand for the subject.
"There are a number of psychologists and counsellors working in the UAE and it has grown into an attractive career option," she said. The university, which is based in Knowledge Village, has offered bachelor's degrees in psychology with human resources management since 2005. This course caters to demand from companies that use psychologists in recruitment, coaching and team-building, for example. "The study of psychology is essentially the study of ourselves and so students are able to connect with the material and the challenges it brings," Dr Crookes said.
Up to now, said Dr Crookes, many people have had to travel overseas to train in psychology, but there were now better opportunities for studying the subject in the UAE. Ivana Dragovic, a spokesman for the university, said there had been keen interest in the psychology courses offered so far. She said she expected the new course would also have considerable appeal. "I am sure a lot of people will be interested in the programme because it's a combination," she said.
"Many of the students who go into psychology would like to go into counselling. I don't think other universities are offering this sort of programme." She added that students would also be able to study in Middlesex University's main campus in North London. The degree programme follows a course prescribed by the British Psychological Society which, the university said, makes it a starting point for those keen to later do a master's degree or a PhD.