Programme Objectives and Mandatory Courses - Military Psychology and Leadership
Undergraduate Calendar 2012-2013
The Military Psychology and Leadership department serves two purposes. First, the degree programme in psychology provides a university level education that will meet the needs of those majoring in psychology, as well as students taking psychology courses out of interest in the discipline. Second, the department offers a suite of courses under the core curriculum that provide officer cadets with the foundation of leadership, ethics, and military professionalism.
The Department of Military Psychology and Leadership has three primary objectives:
- to provide a theory-based understanding of human behaviour and mental processes;
- to teach critical thinking and the scientific method as they apply to psychology; and
- to show students how to apply their knowledge of psychology in their day-to-day lives as well as throughout their military careers, regardless of their military occupations.
The programme focuses on the application of psychology in particular and behavioural science in general, to the military workplace and military operations. Thus, the courses of the programme examine topics in the general domains of Military Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Leadership and Ethics, Basic Experimental Psychology, and Special Topics. A psychology degree from RMCC provides an excellent grounding for professional development and represents an exceptional way to develop the leadership abilities of graduates.
The Military Psychology and Leadership Department recognizes the need to provide leadership education, raise social consciousness and positively impact the psychological, philosophical and moral development of students. To achieve these goals, the Department offers mandatory courses as part of the core curriculum required by students in 100, 300, and 400-level of study. The focus and scope of each is described below.
Meeting the increasingly unique and complex challenges of an officer in the Canadian Forces requires a combination of conceptual, technical, interpersonal, and professional skills which were not required only a short while ago. To prepare officers for their future leadership responsibilities, the psychology programme promotes an appreciation of human behaviour by providing separate introductory courses for Arts, Science and Engineering students that focus on basic psychological phenomena such as learning, perception, memory, personality and emotion. Beyond self-awareness, an officer must be able to determine the appropriate type and degree of influence required for effective leadership of individuals and groups. Students examine human behaviour in organizational and social contexts by studying such topics as values, attitudes, obedience, aggression, racial and gender relations, and prejudice. More on the 100-level courses is provided in the Course Description section under Course Numbers PSE103 and PSE105 (Arts Student Only).
An important element of successful leadership is an officer's ability to diagnose organizational performance, adapt effective leadership approaches to various situations, and convey the appropriate leadership style to followers. This ability is developed by course number PSE301 which has been designed to help students understand leadership theory, human motivation, power and politics, organizational culture, and managing resistance to change. More on this 300-level course is provided in the course description section.
An officer's ability to function will be greatly impaired if his/her leadership is perceived to lack integrity. Thus, the Department focuses on the necessity for personal integrity, the importance of human dignity, and the need to reflect continually on one's own values and professional conduct in Fourth Year. The department reinforces these concepts in course number PSE401 by readings and discussions centered on the function of ethics in social and organizational life, ethical theories and decision criteria which distinguish between right and wrong, the impact of situational factors on ethical behaviour, the nature of military professionalism and ethical obligations, specific codes of conduct extant in war, and value conflicts and moral dilemmas inherent in military service. More on this 400-level course is provided in the Course Description section.
The following table lists the Military Psychology and Leadership courses included in the core curriculum for Arts and Science and Engineering students:
|Arts Students||Science or Engineering Students|
|PSE103: Introduction to Human Psychology
PSE105: Social Psychology
|PSE103: Introduction to Human Psychology|
|PSE301: Organizational Behaviour and Leadership||PSE301: Organizational Behaviour and Leadership|
|PSE401: Military Professionalism and Ethics||PSE401: Military Professionalism and Ethics|