Psychology – Field of study catalogue MU
“The great use of a life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” W. James
This single-subject Bachelor’s degree programme provides a general knowledge of theories and approaches in the fields of modern psychology, as well as basic knowledge from complementary and interdisciplinary branches. The programme also involves courses and activities aimed at promoting personal development, developing communication skills and introspection, and providing social support and psychological help to clients.
The main objective of this Bachelor’s degree programme is to acquaint students with a variety of fundamental (theoretical) and applied, general and specialized branches of psychology, as well as with essential psychological theories and methodology. By the end of the studies, students will acquire basic knowledge and skills in different areas of psychology, including applied areas. In addition, they will get an overview of psychological topics and issues in related social sciences and other branches (philosophy, child and adult education, sociology, social anthropology, political science, human ecology, etc.) to expand their general knowledge base. In accordance with the outcomes of the Bologna Process as well as general standards of psychological education, the Bachelor’s degree programme is designed as theory-focused and broad in scope in order to enable subsequent studies in more specialized, both psychological and non-psychological, Master’s degree programmes.
Thus, apart from providing a basic qualification for employment in certain non-professional (non-psychological) areas, the Bachelor’s degree programme is primarily designed to cover fundamental psychological courses that will allow students to continue their studies in two-year Master’s degree programmes (especially in psychology, but also in related fields such as sociology, andragogy, social work, etc.). Bachelor’s studies of psychology do not, by themselves, provide the necessary qualifications for working in psychological professions, nor do they ensure competences needed for independent and unsupervised psychological practice. In other words, students graduating from the Bachelor’s degree programme of psychology are not yet qualified to work as psychologists, but can be employed, for example, in various non-professional assistant positions related to human resource management or social care.
Bachelor’s studies in psychology require students to constantly develop and demonstrate understanding of various aspects of individual and social functioning, analytical and critical thinking, strong academic, social, and communication skills, as well as personal maturity. It places strong emphasis on the ability to integrate different approaches and pieces of information from various areas.
In the three-stage process of competence acquisition leading to the profession of a qualified psychologist, Bachelor’s studies represent the first, i.e. the lowest, stage. Students are expected to master the essential theoretical basics of psychology as well as practical skills needed for professions available to the holders of a Bachelor’s degree in psychology.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- demonstrate knowledge, methodological skills, and other basic skills from fundamental (theoretical) and applied, general and specialized fields of psychology
- demonstrate basic knowledge of methods and approaches necessary for integrating psychological knowledge with other fields of social science, and display an acquaintance with various applications of psychology
- independently develop and communicate original ideas in writing, interpret and make use of scientific findings, and work with scientific literary sources
- demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired in more general theoretical and methodological courses of philosophy, scientific methodology, statistics, etc.
- demonstrate knowledge in areas of natural and social science closely related to psychology (e.g., human biology, neuroscience, anthropology, ethics, sociology, pedagogy, etc.)
- demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language (English, German, French, Russian, or Spanish) by passing a language exam at the B2 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
- demonstrate the ability to work with academic sources in a foreign language and use them in the Bachelor’s thesis, as well as the ability to communicate with foreign guest speakers or carry out a part of the studies abroad
The occupational profile is derived from the graduates’ readiness to perform tasks related to basic psychological and social care as workers in social services or non-profit and humanitarian organizations, as assistants of workers in executive and managerial positions, public offices, prisons, and the army, or as consultants in media, publishing industry, public relations, advertising agencies, etc. Graduates have knowledge of the general and social psychology required in various areas that involve working with people and are also acquainted with basic issues related to social pathology in both children and adults. They can use the knowledge gained throughout their studies in activities directed at prevention of psychopathological or sociopsychopathological phenomena, such as in social rehabilitation programmes. They can contribute to special educational programmes and use their Bachelor’s level knowledge to promote social and communication skills and/or prosocial behaviour in people who deal with clients on an everyday basis. It is assumed that graduates will develop their specific professional orientation through further education, depending on the career of interest. A Bachelor’s degree in psychology does not qualify the holder to work as a psychologist in counselling, therapy, or any other applied area.
The standard duration of studies is six semesters. The studies are completed by the successful defence of a Bachelor’s thesis and passing of the final state examination.
Apart from specialized courses, the students have to complete a set of general type A/required courses for all students at the Faculty of Arts (i.e. philosophy, foreign language, and physical education). These are included in the overall required number of ECTS credits. In addition, throughout their studies, all students are required to complete at least one course in the English language.
Courses are divided into two types: type A/required and type B/selective. Where applicable, students have to enrol in the courses in the correct sequence, following the prerequisites for course enrolment as stated in Masaryk University’s Information System. For type B/selective courses, the credit system allows students to select from a wide variety of courses as long as enrolment limits are observed and the number of required credits is achieved.
To be allowed to participate in the Bachelor’s State Exam, students must obtain a minimum of 180 ECTS credits from type A/required and type B/selective courses throughout the course of their studies. This number includes 159 credits for type A/required courses (including 10 credits for common faculty courses) and 21 credits for type B/selective courses. Out of the 21 B credits, only 40% may be obtained from courses offered outside the Bachelor’s degree programme in Psychology, i.e. at other departments of the Faculty or Arts or other faculties of Masaryk University.
During the course of their studies, students should follow the study catalogue valid for their year of matriculation. The study catalogues for the individual years of matriculation are available at the Faculty of Arts website.
The study plan of the Bachelor’s studies of Psychology, which determines the basic profile and competences of a Bachelor’s in Psychology, has been designed with reference to the educational standards in psychology and to the list of competences required for the profession of a psychologist in the countries of the EU (EuroPSy – The European Diploma in Psychology, EFPA, Brussels). The relative amount of space devoted to the individual type A/required courses in the curriculum has been established in accordance with the Europsychologist system standards.
Practical skills and experience can be developed in two practical courses in two different placements (Practice in Social Care I and Practice in Social Care II).
Practice in Social Care I, with duration of 5 days (40 hours), is a type A/required practical course (for three type A credits) with recommended completion in Semester 2. Students can arrange placements by themselves (e.g. in their home towns) at various types of facilities providing social care (nursing homes, old people’s homes, hospices, charity organizations, youth detention centres, children’s homes, etc.). The placement must be completed outside regular classes (e.g. during the exam period, on holidays, weekends, free days, or in periods between lessons), i.e. it should not overlap with the student’s timetable.
The placement provides contact with various aspects of social work related to coping with difficult social situations depending on the client’s social functioning in these situations. The objective is to see how such facilities and services operate, provide help and assistance where needed, and get acquainted with some of the darker sides of human life. By the end of the placement, students will adopt some of the appropriate ways of dealing with clients of that institution and will be able to use the new experience and knowledge in later work with similar clients.
Later on in the course of the studies, students can choose to enrol in Practice in Social Care II, with a similar duration, for another three credits. The placement takes place in a different facility so that the students can obtain different types of experience. All other course requirements are the same as for Practice in Social Care I.
The Bachelor’s final state examination consists of two parts that are graded separately: the defence of the Bachelor’s thesis and an oral examination.
In the Bachelor’s thesis, students demonstrate their ability to formulate theoretical and/or research questions, to read critically and work with scientific sources, to infer logical arguments and hypotheses and formulate them clearly and accurately, to conduct basic scientific research independently, and to report research findings in a written form following the principles and standards of academic writing.
Students work on their theses independently, consulting their progress with their thesis supervisors when necessary.
The Bachelor’s thesis presents a theoretical or an empirical research study within a minimum of 70,000 characters.
The criteria evaluated during the thesis defence include the quality of understanding of the main topic, the student’s ability to respond to the questions of the examinees, and the overall quality of the student’s oral presentation.
The oral part of the Bachelor’s final state examination involves the following subjects:
general psychological sciences (general psychology and personality psychology),
methodology of psychology,
Rather than merely demonstrating general knowledge of the basic concepts in these areas of psychology, students at the final state examination are expected to demonstrate an ability to integrate information from the different psychological disciplines that are included in the final state examination.
In order to pass the Bachelor’s final state examination, all of its parts must be completed with a passing grade.
Graduates can continue their studies – after fulfilling all admission requirements – in a two-year Master’s degree programme of psychology or in other Master’s degree programmes in the fields of psychological or social care or other related Master’s degree programmes (social work, sociology, child or adult education, special education, social education, etc.).