Option: Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology

Based on the current scientific state of knowledge in Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology, the program offers a profound theoretical introduction and first practical experience with psychological disorders and other forms of psychological dysfunctions, including their etiology, diagnostics, classification, and treatment. The study program excels by covering the whole lifespan, from childhood to youth and adulthood, and by elaborating on basic knowledge and principles from the field of clinical family psychology. Further key topics are the bases of mental health as well as the association and interplay between psychological and physiological functioning, illness, or disease. During the entire master course, students are involved in a research project in one of the current research topics in our labs. They thus obtain the opportunity to have direct experience in the full research process on a high level of sophistication, and receive thorough and personal supervision and mentoring in their master project.

The aim of the master option is to provide the students not only with a broad and profound knowledge, but also with the ability for the critical assessment and processing of the study topics. The acquisition of the basic skills and competencies with respect to diagnostics and intervention, but also in the area of research methods, will prepare the students for professional careers both in a clinical setting or in a research-oriented context, and particularly regarding further education to obtain the federal title in the areas of psychotherapy, clinical psychology, and health psychology.

  • Structure
    Modules ECTS
    Basis module (E) 15
    Module I 15
    Module II 15
    Practical Experience 15
    Master Project and Thesis, incl. Colloquium 30
    Module IIIa or Specialisation Module A/B 15
    Specialisation Module A/Bb 15


    a: Option Module III is obligatory for students of the Master Option “Clinical & Health Psychology”. Option Module III is optional for students of the Master Option “Cognitive Neuroscience”. 
    b: Specialisation Modules A and B can belong either to the same or to different Master Options. They are taken outside of the main Master Option of each student.

  • Detailed descriptions of general modules (75 ECTS)

    Basis module (15 ECTS)

    This module includes state of the art lectures on important basic areas in psychological sciences. Lectures are mostly held by members of the department and involve topics that either represent basic psychological functions, influences, and processes, or general areas of applied psychology and related disciplines. The goal of this module is to provide students with a basic and current knowledge and understanding of core areas of psychology and of the focal themes of the department research units. All courses are taught in English, and a total of 15 ETCS must be validated.

    Module I: Methods and interventions in Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology (15 ECTS)

    The classes of this module focus on research methods of Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology as well as on the training of basic knowledge and psychological interventions skills. Students attend classes equivalent to 15 ECTS, whereof 3 ECTS have to be validated in research methods. The courses include different intervention techniques (e.g., cognitive behavioral interventions, person-centered approaches) and address psychological topics in different groups such as children, adults, and families. The module aims at delivering solid basic knowledge in research and intervention methods, in order to prepare the students for an evidence-based contribution in research and practice. All courses of this module are evaluated by active participation and an exam or written seminar thesis.

    Module II: Psychopathology (15 ECTS)

    The module consists of classes covering the phenomenology, epidemiology, and classification of mental disorders. Further classes offer a critical discussion of evidence-based etiological models. Additionally, psychophysiological correlates of psychological problems and mental disorders, their trajectory from childhood to adulthood and their phenomenology in the elderly are presented. Students attend classes equivalent to 15 ECTS. The module aims at delivering both comprehensive and disorder-specific knowledge preparing the students for a scientific discourse about the phenomenology and treatment of mental disorders. At the same time the module fosters continued acquisition of intervention-based knowledge aimed at facilitating implementation in clinical practice. All courses of this module are evaluated by active participation and an exam or written seminar thesis.

    Module III: Diagnostic competence and selected themes in Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology (15 ECTS)

    This third module is mandatory for the students of the option in Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology. This module encompasses, on the one hand, courses that deepen the diagnostic knowledge and give the students practical skills in diagnostic methods in children and adults (e.g., how to conduct structured clinical interviews). On the other hand, this module includes in-depth lectures on selected topics of Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology (e.g., psychopharmacology, psychosomatics, childhood, family and culture). In addition, forums will be offered, in which an exchange with experts coming from the practical field is proposed. Students attend classes equivalent to 15 ECTS, whereof 3 ECTS have to be validated in the field of diagnostic. The aim of this module is to give the students an in-depth insight into clinical diagnostic methods as well as an introduction to the practice of these methods. A further aim is to allow students to deepen their knowledge on specific topics of Health Psychology and Clinical Psychology. All courses of this module are evaluated by active participation and an exam or written seminar thesis.

    Specialisation Module A/B (15 ECTS)

    Detailed description of specialisation modules

  • Practical experience (15 ECTS)

    The practical experience is equivalent to 8 weeks full time in a psychology-related clinical, industrial or research environment. The practical experience can also be completed part-time. Alternatively, the practical experience can be attained by lab rotations. The goal of the practical experience is to refine the basic competences of students, to deepen their specialized knowledge, and to broaden their professional networks. The practical experience must be attained under the supervision of a psychologist und must be related to the Master Option chosen by the student. The activities and learning experiences during the practical experience or lab rotation must be described in a written report and will be evaluated.

  • Master thesis (30 ECTS)

    The Master thesis encompasses a research project that is conducted by students and related to their chosen Master Option. Though guided by expert supervisors during the whole process, students are responsible for preparing the project, recruiting human participants, conducting studies as well as preparing and analysing statistical data. Students must actively attend a master colloquium. Finally, students produce a written thesis, normally in the form of an extended research paper. This thesis can be written in English, German or French.