The Bachelor of Science programme in psychology at the University of Münster is an undergraduate degree programme which concludes with the conferral of the first professionally qualifying degree. It imparts scientific fundamentals and specialised knowledge of psychology as well as methodological competence and qualifications related to the professional field. The bachelor's programme comprises a total of six semesters and a total of 180 credit points. Specialisation in a specific subject area is not planned until the master's programme. Graduates of the BSc Psychology programme are entitled to seek admission to a consecutive master's degree in psychology.
With the completion of the elective profile in psychotherapy, the bachelor's programme in psychology (BSc) meets the requirements of the Approbation Regulations for Psychotherapists (PsychThApprO) as provided in the reformed Psychotherapists Act (PsychThG).
The bachelor's programme in psychology at the University of Münster was awarded the seal of quality of the German Psychological Society (DGPs) in spring 2017. The quality seal verifies that the required application-based, fundamental and methodological subjects are taught to the recommended minimum extent and that there is an appropriate infrastructure (specialist library, laboratory rooms) and staffing (full-time instructors).
What distinguishes our BSc Psychology programme?
The Department of Psychology in Münster is one of the largest institutes nationwide in terms of the number of students and chairs. We are a place where current developments in psychology are adopted, promoted and explored in detail. In this regard, we see our teaching and study programmes as a contribution to shaping social progress and a sustainable future.
Our courses convey both basic knowledge and current findings from scientific research, e.g. on the role of digital technologies and artificial intelligence in the field of psychology. We impart competence on interdisciplinary topics, for example, on methods of scientific analysis or on systemic thinking. Our teaching adheres to the notion of the scientific practitioner, in which practical interventions and the design of practical fields are based on a systematic and scientifically sound analysis. We are convinced that psychology offers solutions to key challenges of our time (e.g. in the areas of mental health, burnout and stress, increasing digitalisation of life, big data and open science, climate crisis and environmental behaviour, demographic changes and migration, social cohesion and integration). Consequently, we actively train students to develop solutions creatively, reflectively and collaboratively, as well as to communicate these appropriately to experts and laypersons.
Why is our BSc Psychology programme a good choice?
Our BSc Psychology programme has been designed according to the recommendations of the German Psychological Society and therefore represents a study programme for future psychologists that meets the highest standards. The Department of Psychology in Münster offers excellent study conditions, which have been repeatedly certified in the nationwide CHE ranking [please note: to view the CHE rankings, you must first register with ZEIT ONLINE].
Divided into lectures open to all students and with seminars ranging from 15 to 25 participants, the programme offers a stimulating and structured immersion in the science and application of psychology.
The programme content consists of a non-specialised part. This includes the modules Advanced Statistics (e.g. linear and generalised linear models, mixed linear and nonlinear models, structural equation modelling and meta-analysis), Diagnostics (e.g. in-depth study of diagnostic process; including large-scale, diary assessments, experience sampling; test and questionnaire construction; report writing), and Scientific Practice and Science Communication (e.g. skills and knowledge to substantiate, justify and communicate scientific findings). In the module Research Approaches and Perspectives of Psychology, students may choose two lectures and one seminar from the other concentrations. In this way, important course content is taught outside the student's own area of specialisation. Explanations of the specialisation-specific contents can be found on the corresponding pages of the master's concentrations PWP, LEB, PASD.
Students are taught in modern lecture and seminar rooms in accordance with the latest technical standards. Furthermore, all students are able to complete the programme in a standard period of six semesters. This includes a guaranteed place in seminars and lectures provided for in the course curriculum. In addition, we offer a study-accompanying programme oriented to the students' needs during their studies to optimally prepare them for the upcoming challenges in their studies (e.g. stays abroad, mandatory internship, professional orientation, final thesis, graduation). To this end, we cooperate closely with central facilities of the University of Münster, such as the Student Advice and Counselling Centre (ZSB), the International Office or the Careers Service. The services offered by these facilities are fully available to our students. We also provide students with a central point of contact for problems related to software-supported data collection and analysis for their theses in the Methods and Statistics Support. And we have our own library where students can study and work. We record the quality of our teaching in our own teaching and examination evaluations, which we use to steadily improve the quality of instruction.
The size and high quality of our department offer students many opportunities for research internships and paid assistantships. We promote student research with extra funding to enable students to present their own work at scientific conferences.
Aside from the Department of Psychology, there is much to discover at the University of Münster. With a rich tradition stretching back to 1780, the University offers 280 courses of study in 15 faculties and provides instruction to some 45,000 students annually. Students have access to an extensive range of University Sports and can participate in a wide variety of student groups and organisations. Finally, the city of Münster offers an incomparably beautiful and diverse place to live during your time at university. This includes the city's diverse art and cultural event programme as well as the vibrant student life in Münster's café and pub scene.
Who is the BSc Psychology programme intended for?
Studying psychology is right for you if ...
- ... you are keenly interested in human behaviour and experience.
- ... you want to better understand the fundamentals of human experience and behaviour.
- ... you would like to pursue a course of study that is scientifically oriented and socially relevant. An interest in scientific work and an openness to statistics are prerequisite. Throughout your studies, you will always be involved in statistical evaluations.
- ... you would like to work as a psychologist later on (e.g. in personnel selection and development, psychological consulting, psychological diagnostics, psychological research).
- ... you want to take the state examination to become a psychotherapist.
The German Psychological Society (DGPs) offers a wide range of information on studying psychology in Germany. There, you will find an overview of self-assessment programmes and descriptions of the typical occupational fields for psychologists. You will also find further information on occupational fields on the homepage of the Berufsverband Deutscher Psychologinnen und Psychologen e. V. (Professional Association of German Psychologists). In the study guide of the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, you will find extensive information on studying psychology in Germany.
What perspectives are offered by our BSc Psychology programme?
Master's degree (MSc) in psychology
After completing the BSc Psychology programme, students can apply for admission to the consecutive master's degree programme in psychology. Of course, students must meet the respective admission requirements to be eligible for consideration. At the University of Münster, a Master of Science in Psychology is offered with three different concentrations (PWP, LEB and PASD) and a MSc programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. Furthermore, the Department of Psychology also administers the interdisciplinary Master of Science programme in cognitive neuroscience.
As a rule, master's programmes in psychology begin in the winter semester, so you must apply during your last summer semester in the bachelor's programme. Because the application deadline usually comes before the end of the semester, applicants should submit a preliminary bachelor's degree certificate and preliminary grade transcript including all grades from the first five semesters. We should note that every university defines its own admission regulations and selection criteria for placement in their master's programmes.
Career goal: Psychotherapist
The legal regulations on psychotherapeutic training have been revised for students starting their studies on or after 1 September 2020. In the future, the licensing examination will take place directly after a bachelor's and master's degree programme, which must be designed in accordance with the requirements of the new licensing regulations (PsychThApprO) and thus prepare students for psychotherapeutic work.
Our BSc Psychology programme meets the requirements of the Approbation Regulations for Psychotherapists (PsychThApprO) upon completion of the elective profile in psychotherapy. The Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia official recognised the degree programme for professional qualification on 31 January 2022 based on the examination regulations of 27 July 2020 in conjunction with the amendment regulations of 15 October 2021.
This means that a BSc degree in psychology entitles the student to apply for admission to a consecutive master's programme in accordance with the Approbation Regulations for Psychotherapists (e.g. MSc Psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy in Münster).
Following the successful completion of the licensing examination, graduates are required to gain several years of work experience, as well as complete additional training and examinations in order to obtain a certificate of competence in one of the psychotherapy methods recognised by the statutory health insurance sector.
Career entry after earning a BSc in Psychology
In 2022 an assessment of job advertisements in German-speaking countries came to the following conclusion: "A master's degree in psychology was required for the vast majority of advertised positions." (Richter et al., p. 240). This finding is consistent with the fact that in Germany and Europe, as a rule, only those who have completed a master's degree in psychology after their bachelor's degree are considered adequately trained psychologists. Although it is possible to start a career after earning a BSc in psychology, full access to traditional psychological occupations is generally denied. The position on the labour market is therefore defined more by the completion of an undergraduate, scientific degree programme per se than by one's professional identity as a psychologist.
Richter, T., Hertel, S., Kubik, V., Marksteiner, T., Souvignier E. & Sparfeldt, J. R. (2022). In welchen Branchen und für welche beruflichen Tätigkeiten werden Psychologinnen und Psychologen gesucht und was sollten sie können? Psychologische Rundschau,73(4), 229–242. https://doi.org/10.1026/0033-3042/a000557
What content is taught and how?
The BSc Psychology programme is divided into 20 modules with their own seminars, lectures and tutorials totalling 180 credit points. Some courses take place on an annual basis and can therefore only be taken in the winter or summer semester. The module courses run for an entire year. Seminars are always ungraded. Lectures conclude with a written exam (usually 90 minutes) or an oral exam (usually 30 minutes).
The introductory module provides an overview of the main subject areas of psychology and psychotherapy, including their historical development and underlying epistemology, theoretical evolution and basic research methods. Basic techniques of scientific work are also taught.
The modules Statistics I and II provide basic knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics. Theoretical knowledge is applied in the context of computer-assisted data analysis.
In the module Experimental Practical Course, students are taught skills to independently plan, conduct and evaluate an investigation and to write a scientific report based on it.
The module Psychological Diagnostics provides an introduction to the basics and methods of psychological measurement. Further contents include the professional practical execution of diagnostic interviews and questionnaire-based as well as computer-assisted personality and performance diagnostics, including the collection of clinical-anamnestic relevant findings.
The basic modules consist of lectures and seminars in the areas of biological psychology, social psychology, general psychology and cognitive neuroscience, differential and personality psychology, and developmental psychology.
The application-based modules consist of courses in the areas of industrial and organisational psychology, clinical psychology and educational psychology.
The subjects of specialisation in the 5th and 6th semesters are application-oriented seminars with a total of five hours of instruction per week (SWS). Students may register for two areas of specialisation from a choice of three different areas.
Students are also required to complete trial subject hours. This involves participation in psychological experiments or empirical research in the role of a subject. BSc Psychology students must accumulate a total of 30 trial subject hours in order to register for the bachelor's thesis.
During the entire period of study, students are required to gain 390 hours of practical work experience. Psychological activities are to be carried out in order to gain an insight into professional fields and to be able to place psychological knowledge in a practical framework. All information and important requirements for the mandatory internship can be found on our homepage. The Department of Psychology also provides students with an internship database which can be used to search for internship positions.
The bachelor's thesis is an independent research paper that is 20-60 pages in length. The bachelor's thesis can be written in any subject area of psychology and can be supervised by any academic staff member employed at the Institute of Psychology. It is possible to write the bachelor's thesis abroad and in English, if desired.
The overall grade in the final transcript is comprised of the individual module grades. The grade for the bachelor's thesis is included in the calculation with a weight of 1.5, the grades of the two statistics modules each with a weight of 0.5. All other grades are weighted 1:1. The non-psychology electives, on the other hand, are not taken into account in the calculation of the overall grade. There is no evaluation for professional practical activities.
Examination regulations, programme structure, performance overview and module handbook
The examination regulations contain all the rules and requirements for the BSc programme in psychology. The programme structure shows the ideal course of study. In the performance overview you will find all required coursework and degree-relevant examinations which must be completed in order to graduate. In the module handbook, you will find descriptions of all courses.