Social Psychology – Field of study catalogue MU
“The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” -William James
The doctoral degree study programme in social psychology is primarily open to applicants who have a Master’s degree in psychology, or, in exceptional cases, applicants with a Master’s degree in other related fields concerned with human behaviour and experience, such as medicine.
In order to pass the entrance examination, applicants have to demonstrate a high level of scientific thinking and the research skills needed for independent scientific work, a profound and systematic knowledge of theories and approaches in the field, and appropriate language skills. The committee may also take into consideration applicants’ previous work experience and publications.
Students will learn to apply current theoretical knowledge and continuously expand their own understanding of the three main lines in social psychology: the macro-social line related to the relationship between human individuals and social institutions (mass communication and culture); the micro-social line describing human individuals in the social context (aggression, affiliation, attraction, love, subjective wellbeing, etc.), and the line that studies the human individual as the object of social-psychological interventions (theories of training of social and psychological skills and team problem solving).
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- demonstrate profound and systematic knowledge and understanding of current practices in the field, including theories and issues that are the leading subjects of international debates
- expand scientific knowledge through original research
- provide appropriate theoretical background for the object of research and develop a well-founded research design
- employ various methodological approaches in the field and process and analyse quantitative and/or qualitative data at an advanced level
- write scientific research proposals and design and conduct scientific projects
- coordinate scientific collaborations
- communicate original research findings to the domestic and international scientific community as well as to the general public clearly and comprehensibly
- continue to enhance their own knowledge and skills and engage in educational activities for others
- demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired through philosophical and methodological courses and examinations (especially with regard to issues relevant for the doctoral dissertation project)
- demonstrate proficiency in at least one scientific lingua franca language at the C1 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), not only through passing a language examination, but mainly through communicating their ide
Graduates can work as professional scientific researchers in research institutions, consultants at various institutions providing social and psychological services, lecturers at universities, and in other institutions that focus on research, education, and conceptualization of new developments in the social domains of human functioning.
Doctors in psychology have been trained to be independent researchers and educators in the fields of basic and/or applied research. In the most general sense, they are considered qualified for any kind of scientific work, including developing conceptual frameworks, participating in and managing scientific research teams, projects, and boards, and teaching.
Graduates from the doctoral degree study programme in psychology who do not hold a Master’s degree in psychology are qualified for scientific and academic professions only – they are NOT qualified to work as practising psychologists.
The standard duration of the doctoral degree study programme in social psychology is four years (eight semesters). The programme has a full time and a combined study mode. The programme is designed according to the credit model of four-year doctoral degree study programmes recommended by the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, and meets the criteria specified in the Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations.
It is expected that doctoral students will manage their own studies according to their own capacities and set process goals for themselves for each semester so that they are able to achieve the minimum of 20 credits that are necessary for proceeding to another semester.
To complete the doctoral degree study programme, a candidate must earn a minimum of 240 ECTS credits from type A/required as well as type B/selective and type C/selective courses (see below), pass the specialization exam in social psychology, successfully defend the dissertation, and pass the doctoral state examination.
The set of type A/required courses for the doctoral degree study programme also involves courses that are common for all doctoral students at the faculty (Philosophy for Doctoral Studies and Foreign Language for Doctoral Studies – demonstrating at least a C1 level proficiency according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), which are all included in the required number of credits.
Philosophy for Doctoral Studies 1 and 2
Foreign Language (Publication and Paper in FL – Variant A)
Foreign Language for Doctoral Studies (Language Exam)
Literature Review and Research I, II, III, IV
Manuscript Preparation Ia, Ib, Ic, Id
Manuscript Preparation II (from 5th year of studies)
Doctoral Seminar I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII
Theory and Methodology of Psychology
Social Psychology (Specialization Exam)
Conference Presentation I, II
Scientific Publication I, II
International Student Exchange (One-Semester Stay)
Doctoral Dissertation Summary
Doctoral State Examination
Further information on the doctoral degree study programme in social psychology can be found here: http://www.phil.muni.cz/wups/home/studium
The studies of doctoral students of social psychology are regulated by the version of the course catalogue and registration templates that are valid for the student’s matriculation year; these can be found in Masaryk University’s information system.
Since the doctoral degree study programme focuses on developing students’ research skills and independent research activities, requirements include scientific publishing, presentations at conferences, and international mobility.
Other requirements of the full-time mode of the doctoral degree study programme include: a) teaching and assisting teachers of undergraduate students in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree study programmes (practical instruction, teaching of specialized selective courses, etc.), b) collaborating on research projects conducted at the department, and c) participating in organizational and administrative activities at the department.
Students demonstrate the required practical academic and research skills by meeting the requirements of type A/required courses and by passing the specialization exam.
Since doctoral studies provide training for scientific careers, placements and practical training at other institutions are not required.
The specific course of studies in the doctoral degree study programme in social psychology is highly personalized and supervised by the supervisor. Graduation requirements are stated in the Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations:
The studies are completed by passing all type A/required courses listed in the appropriate version of the study catalogue, achieving the necessary minimum of 240 ECTS credits, submitting a doctoral dissertation and a doctoral dissertation summary, successfully defending the dissertation, and passing the doctoral state examination. Further information can be found here:
The defence of the doctoral dissertation, which is a part of the doctoral state examination, is a public defence in front of a board of examiners which include the chair of the board, the candidate’s supervisor, and several specialists in the field. A doctoral dissertation defence typically involves the following: introduction of the candidate by the supervisor, the candidate’s presentation of the key points and findings of the dissertation project, reading of the reviews, the candidate’s response to the reviews, and a discussion. After the discussion, the board decides on the candidate’s final grade by a vote.
Doctoral dissertation requirements:
1) Dissertation length: The dissertation must reach the required number of characters. Dissertation parts that are counted in the required length include the main body of the text, footnotes, endnotes, and the table of contents. References, title pages, appendices, declaration of originality, etc. are not counted. The minimum required length of a doctoral dissertation recommended by the Masaryk University Faculty of Arts is 180,000 characters. This number may be adjusted according to the individual needs and conventions of the various fields of study.
2) Hard copy requirements: Two-sided printing may be allowed when both sides of the page are clearly readable. All doctoral dissertations must be submitted in a hardcover inseparable binding that does not allow any subsequent manipulation of the individual pages. Departments may request one hardcover copy for archival purposes.
3) Archiving: The complete text of the dissertation must be uploaded in the information system.
General requirements on doctoral dissertations follow from the Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations. More information can be found here:
The doctoral state examination is a public oral examination by a board of examiners consisting of specialists in the given field. It focuses mainly on the topics and issues that are required for the candidate’s specialization. However, the candidate must show substantial knowledge of the entire field of psychology, including current leading theories and approaches, and must be able to integrate knowledge and information sources, discuss interdisciplinary overlaps, and apply the information in research ideas. The list of required topics is identical to the specialization exam in social psychology and draws substantially on other basic and applied disciplines of psychology. The topics are selected to test the candidate’s knowledge of the field and scientific argumentation skills.