Psychology – Field of study catalogue MU
“To understand and help.”
The Master's degree programme in psychology provides the necessary qualification for becoming a professional psychologist (after receiving a B.A. in psychology). The graduate must be able to independently carry out a range of expert tasks that constitute psychological profession in general.
The curriculum is internally structured. The content and teaching methods lead students to (a) deepen and widen their knowledge of basic psychological disciplines, (b) develop their research skills, assessment skills and ethical awareness necessary for independent practice in various areas, (c) become well-versed in applied psychological disciplines, (d) train specific psychological skills, and (e) gain experience through internships.
Students can choose to focus on three general areas of psychological practice - clinical psychology and psychotherapy, school and educational psychology, work and organisational psychology. Internships lead students to carry out psychological tasks under supervision and to further educate themselves in their chosen area of specialisation to increase their qualification.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- to understand theories and constructs used in basic and applied psychological disciplines, to apply them to everyday situations and use them in psychological assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
- effectively use basic skills in psychological assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
- to use research methods knowledge and skills to plan and carry out a research project.
- use critical thinking skills in processing new information, identify flaws in conclusions, assess validity of information and its limitations.
- effectively use academic skills (gathering information, academic reading and writing)
The primary objective of the Master's study programme is the preparation for independent psychological practice. A secondary objective is the preparation towards post-graduate study. The preparation for independent practice is general; specialisation comes in the form of various post-graduate programmes. However, we allow students to more focus on their area of interest during graduate studies. The graduates of this Master's study programme meet the EuroPsy standard (European Certificate in Psychology) and may apply for the EuroPsy registration and certificate, which simplifies the way towards practising psychology in European countries.
The study is planned for four semesters. In order to be able to take the final state examination and defend thesis a student must earn a minimum of 120 credits in a prescribed structure of required, elective, and general elective courses. All required courses must be successfully completed. At least 14 credits must be earned from (one of the three) specialisation-relevant elective courses. The rest of the elective courses are specialisation-independent and the range offered slightly changes from year to year. General elective credits can be also earned at other departments of Masaryk University or at other higher-education institutions, provided they are arguably relevant.
Students use the course catalogue for their matriculation year to navigate through their studies. The catalogues are posted on the school's website.
Practical training and internships are a required part of the curriculum. There are three required short internships in (a) clinical psychology and psychotherapy, (b) educational and school psychology (incl. counselling with children, youth, and family), and (c) organisational psychology and psychology of work.
Consecutively, students choose further practical training or internships based on their specialisation.
Each required internship is two weeks long and takes place at workplaces able to provide necessary supervision. The ratio between observation and hands-on work differs across workplaces.
Each required internship is managed by a lecturer and an administrative assistants. Together they assist students in communication with internship workplaces. For each internship there is a list of collaborating workplaces specifying the specific conditions of internship at each workplace. For our main collaborators the information includes a list of possible activities, along with feedback from students from previous years.
Besides pre-negotiated workplaces students can negotiate an internship at any workplace of their choosing based on lecturer formal approval of such negotiated workplace.
Safety at internships is facilitated by a required course "Ethics in psychological practice" which must be taken and passed before enrolling in any internships. The course helps students prepare by analysing practical situations, scenarios, and issues. Students can try out desirable behaviours in these situations.
In all internships we take a great care to develop and keep good relationships with collaborating workplaces, we monitor the quality of the workplaces and encourage students' professional behaviour and communication.
Master's state final examination in psychology comprises a thesis defence and an oral examination from two subjects common for all students and one specialisation subject:
1. Theories and systems in psychology. In this part of the state final examination the student shows the ability to connect and integrate knowledge of basic psychological disciplines (cognitive, developmental, social psychology and research methods) and relate them to general psychological theoretical framework(s). Students are expected to prepare their individual take on prescribed topics and argue their position.
2. Psychological assessment with adults and children. In this part of the state final examination students demonstrate their mastery of diagnostic classification systems (DSM, ICD), differential diagnosis and developmental assessment, the ability to combine clinical and psychometric approach, knowledge of measurement theory and test construction, awareness of ethical issues, standards and guidelines in psychological assessment, ability to formulate assessment goals and contract, choose methods, interpret data and formulate appropriate conclusions, and prepare assessment reports.
3. The third subject is selected from the following three options based on student's specialisation:
3.a. Work and organisational psychology. Students are expected to integrate theoretical knowledge with practical skills and to be able to use a range of methods and procedures.
3.b. Clinical psychology and psychotherapy. Students are expected to show knowledge in the areas of clinical psychology, health psychology, and psychotherapy.
3.c. School and educational psychology. Student are expected to be knowledgeable about the whole range of problems and questions comprising this field, about methods, approaches, and interventions used in school or educational counselling practice. Students should be able to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge, to gather data in school context, analyse them and use them to improve the quality of education.
Graduate of this programme can continue their education in various doctoral programmes, specifically in Ph.D. programmes in social psychology, general psychology, and developmental psychology.