General Psychology – Field of study catalogue MU
“Competent researchers and high-quality psychology research”
The study programme aims to prepare students for academic careers in general psychology. The programme integrates cognitive psychology, psychology of emotions, experiential and behavioural psychology, and personality psychology, as well as psychological methods and assessments, and gives students a sound basis for basic, interdisciplinary, and applied research. Special attention is paid to:
- Deepening theoretical knowledge in the above-mentioned disciplines of psychology that can be used in academic research and in resolving problems encountered in everyday practice.
- Acquiring knowledge and skills based on the current trends in the above-mentioned disciplines of psychology.
- Developing the ability to reflect, as a researcher and a psychologist, on various (ethical, legal, humanitarian, social, economic, etc.) aspects of working with people.
- Developing the ability to reflect on one’s own academic activity.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- Use methods and research procedures needed for a comprehensive analysis of psychological problems in individuals, social groups, and work groups and in difficult situations.
- Develop frameworks, programmes, and projects and carry out analyses.
- Have a good understanding of the latest theoretical knowledge in his/her chosen discipline of psychology.
General Psychology graduates can proceed to employment in basic and applied research at academic institutions, where they will be able to use the competences obtained during their studies. Graduates who had not graduated from a psychology programme before enrolling in the doctoral degree programme are qualified to work as researchers in the field, but not as clinical psychologists.
The standard duration of the study programme is four years and students must earn 240 or more credits during their studies. Students of the doctoral degree programme are required to complete all the courses offered by the department, with the exception of courses with variable credit value.
Students who are admitted to the programme and have not graduated from a Master’s degree psychology programme are required to complete one or two selected Master’s lever courses in psychology based on the suggestion of their supervisors and the board for doctoral studies.
Students in full-time study mode are also required to participate in research projects of the department. This also means that students’ dissertation topics have to be in line with the overall research framework of the department. Students are also expected to take part in administrative tasks and lecturing to an extent that does not interfere with their study duties.
In the doctoral degree programme, practical training takes the form of participation in research projects, lecturing, and administrative tasks at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University; at the Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Families at the same faculty; and at the Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences.
Students must have met all the requirements of the programme before defending their doctoral dissertations and taking the final state examination. A doctoral dissertation must be between 120 and 200 standard pages long and must include a comprehensive analysis and/or solution of a problem in the student’s chosen area or a comprehensive analysis of existing solutions (theoretical thesis). Evaluation of doctoral dissertations focuses on whether the dissertations meet general publication criteria.
To pass the doctoral state examination, students need to prove that they are able to (a) assess various problems within their selected area of studies in the context of psychology and with regard to other disciplines; and (b) assess whether psychology has adequate tools to offer a practicable solution to the problems. The examination board will assign two or three sets of topics to each student; it will be up to the students to review the literature and latest research relevant to the topics. During the examination, students answer questions regarding (a) the methodological and research context (critical assessment of the research on the given problems, historical comparison of various research approaches); (b) latest theories relevant to the topic and how they compare to previous theories; and (c) any controversies in the approach to the given topic.