Master of Science in Psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy
© IfP - Robert Matzke

Welcome to the MSc Psychology programme with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy

The Master of Science (MSc) programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy is distinguished by:

  • a scientific orientation
  • instruction in independent psychotherapeutic practice across all age groups
  • participation in the further development of psychotherapeutic procedures and methods for prevention and clinical care

The programme’s central goal is to prepare students for clinical psychological and psychotherapeutic work in various professional fields in science and practice. This is done using current basic and application-oriented research findings, as well as practical exercises with a high level of application. At psychotherapy outpatient clinics and partner institutions, students gain real-world experience in treatment settings in direct contact with patients of all ages.

The master’s programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy fully complies with the requirements of the Approbation Regulations for Psychotherapists (PsychThApprO, 2020). Consequently, completion of the programme is a standard admission requirement for the state examination for psychotherapists.

  • For whom is the degree programme intended?

    The MSc Psychology programme with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy is the right choice for you if you ...

    • are interested in working in a scientifically grounded psychotherapeutic manner with children, adolescents and/or adults with mental disorders and/or psychosomatic illnesses.
    • enjoy making a relevant academic contribution to optimising healthcare for those affected with mental illnesses of all ages.
    • are enthusiastic about research, especially when it comes to conducting innovative prevention and psychotherapy research.
  • What career prospects does the programme offer?

    The practical and research-oriented focus of the master’s programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy qualifies graduates for a wide range of professions in the health, research and scientific sector, as well as in teaching and continuing education.

    Further training in specialist psychotherapy

    Earning a MSc degree in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy fulfils the requirements for admission to the state psychotherapeutic examination. After passing the state examination, you will receive your licence to practise as a psychotherapist which entitles you to pursue further training in specialist psychotherapy. The specialist knowledge acquired in further training creates the foundation for working independently in your own practice in contractual psychotherapeutic care and for settling accounts with the statutory health insurance providers. In subsequent professional training, you can specialise as a psychotherapist for children and adolescents and adults, or as a neuropsychological psychotherapist, and choose between various psychotherapeutic methods.

    Healthcare sector

    The master’s qualification in psychotherapy offers graduates access to a wide range of professional perspectives in the healthcare sector. Graduates traditionally find work in (semi) inpatient care, e.g. in facilities and clinics for psychiatry, psychosomatics or rehabilitation, in neuropsychological facilities, as well as in departments of somatic clinics, e.g. in psycho-oncology.

    You can also work in institutional areas of the healthcare system, such as providing services to the disabled, in public health facilities, in the correctional system or in psychosocial counselling centres.

    In addition, you can carry out psychotherapeutic activities in the growing fields of prevention and health promotion, offer courses and seminars, or support the quality assurance and research-oriented development of psychotherapeutic programmes.

    The fields of work of psychotherapists are geared towards people of all age groups.

    After gaining further qualification as a specialist psychotherapist, you can assume supervisory responsibilities in (semi) inpatient and institutional facilities in the healthcare system, especially if you have obtained advanced academic qualification (doctorate).

    Research and teaching

    Based on the knowledge acquired in the master’s programme, you can remain scientifically active as a post-graduate in psychology or, after passing the advanced psychotherapeutic examination, as a licensed psychotherapist, at universities, universities of applied sciences or in research institutions in Germany and abroad.

    The broad methodological, empirical and research-oriented knowledge acquired in the programme allows graduates to pursue a scientific career as a research assistant, doctoral candidate, post-doctoral candidate, professor at research-oriented universities or non-university research institutions. In research projects, graduates investigate a wide variety of fundamental and/or application-oriented issues in the field of prevention and psychotherapy research. The resulting findings can contribute to the further development of modern and evidence-based prevention or psychotherapy with regard to content and methodology.

    Graduates can pursue careers in teaching at universities and universities of applied sciences, work as instructors in adult education, and develop continuing education programmes, quality assurance measures and programme content at institutional organisations.

    Your ability to plan ahead, your methodological knowledge, scientific expertise and didactic skills will enable you to assume supervisory functions at healthcare facilities.

    Interface between research and practical application

    Research and practical application complement each other in the field of prevention and psychotherapy for patients of all ages. In outpatient training clinics, the university-operated research outpatient clinics, and work units for clinical psychology and psychotherapy (children/adolescents, adults), you will be able to fully apply both the methodological knowledge you have acquired in the master's programme and your practical therapeutic skills. You will be able to directly apply new research findings to psychotherapeutic practice, review their effectiveness and utility, and derive new research questions from practical experience.

  • What content is taught and how?

    Degree and qualification

    The master’s programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Münster enables students to obtain a Master of Science (MSc) degree in psychology. It also qualifies them for the psychotherapeutic state examination as put forth in Approbation Regulations for Psychotherapists (PsychThApprO, 2020) to become a licensed psychotherapist.

    After successfully completing the programme, you will earn a MSc degree in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy.

    The master’s programme is recognised by law as one that confers qualification for licensure in psychotherapy. Upon completion of the programme, you can register for the psychotherapeutic examination and obtain a license to practice psychotherapy. After passing the examination, you are then a licensed psychotherapist.

    The license as a psychotherapist qualifies you for further training as a psychotherapist for children and adolescents and adults, or for neuropsychological psychotherapy in various scientifically recognised psychotherapeutic methods (analytical psychotherapy, systemic therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, behavioural therapy).

    Concept of the master’s programme

    Based on the model of a “scientist practitioner”, the master’s programme not only prepares you to work in your chosen professional field but is oriented towards further developing psychotherapy through continued research.

    Your acquired skills should enable you to perform psychotherapeutic activities based on scientific standards and to conduct scientific research oriented to the needs of psychotherapeutic practice.

    The programme will prepare you to contribute to developing empirical research-oriented, application-oriented and practical professional tasks.

    An emphasis on both research-based and practical orientation, as well as on the importance of linking the two is reflected in the concrete teaching content of the master’s programme.

    An overview of the teaching content of the master’s programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy can be found in the programme structure (see below).

    Teaching content

    In diagnostic training (Module A: Psychological Assessment), you will acquire knowledge that takes the entire diagnostic process into account. You will learn to make informed decisions when selecting evaluative instruments, gain knowledge, e.g. in testing and questionnaire-making, and learn to integrate assessment results into the process of your decision-making. The training also prepares you to draft expert opinions on clinical-psychological and psychotherapeutic issues as well as to assess further issues related to occupations and employment, for example.

    In statistical training (Module B: Advanced Statistics), you will gain knowledge in multivariate statistics and advanced data analyses. You will learn to carry out application-oriented statistical analyses. Your statistical training will enable you to critically evaluate and use current scientific findings as a basis for your professional decisions as well as to independently plan, conduct and evaluate studies for the further development of clinical psychology and psychotherapy.

    To help you develop your individual profile within the master’s programme, you are required to select a lecture from selected basic psychological areas (Module C: Approaches and Perspectives of Psychological Science) and thus deepen your knowledge of current research paradigms and research findings in psychology. You can choose between lectures from the concentrations “Cognitive Neuroscience”, “Learning, Development and Counselling (LEB)”, “Personnel and Business Psychology (PWP)” and “Psychological Analysis of Social Dynamics (PASD)”.

    Building on the knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s programme, you will be taught in-depth content on clinical disorders, treatment planning and psychotherapeutic treatment using scientifically recognised methods (Module D: Basics of Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy). The courses take into account the specific characteristics of individual target groups (e.g. children and adolescents; adults), the treatment setting and the clinical care system.

    Three application-oriented seminars (Module E: Professional Qualification II) form an interface between the basic clinical psychotherapeutic training and (semi) inpatient and outpatient professional practice. You will learn about the different phases of the psychotherapeutic process and actively apply basic psychotherapeutic and conversational techniques and interventions in small groups with tutorial support. You will also learn to recognise and respond appropriately to crisis situations. The target groups “adults” and “children and adolescents” are given special attention in one seminar each.

    In the professional internships (Module F and G: Professional Qualification & Specialisation), you can test and apply your acquired basic knowledge and practical skills in real-world treatment settings in direct contact with patients. In (semi) inpatient settings, you will be actively involved in psychotherapeutic tasks. In your outpatient work, you will be expected to participate in at least two individual therapies and, in the presence of a teaching therapist, conduct various treatment steps yourself (e.g. diagnostics, anamnesis and therapy planning, interim and final evaluation). These individual patient treatments are supervised by your teaching therapists under aspects of treatment organisation, self-reflective exercises and follow-up work (Module H: Professional Qualification & Specialisation - Documentation, Evaluation and Organisation of Psychotherapeutic Interventions & Self-Reflection).

    In the scientific research module (Module I), you can apply the research-oriented and methodological knowledge you have acquired from the basic modules to practical situations. Under tutorial guidance, you will learn to plan, conduct, evaluate and present the results of a scientific study taking scientific quality standards into account. The skills acquired in this way will serve as a basis for writing your master’s thesis.

    For an overview of the curricular structure of the master’s programme in psychology with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy, see the download link below.

  • What do students take with them?


    Upon completing the programme, you will acquire a Master of Science (MSc) degree in psychology and meet the requirements for admission to the state examination in psychotherapy. Upon passing the exam, you will be licensed to practice as a psychotherapist.

    Knowledge and understanding

    You will acquire specialist knowledge oriented towards current research questions, based on in-depth knowledge of various disorders as well as psychological aspects of physical illnesses. You will have complex methodological and analytical skills that will enable you to independently expand your scientific knowledge. Graduates leave with cross-procedural psychological and psychotherapeutic areas of competence that enable them to treat patients in all age groups and in different settings of the healthcare system.

    Use, application and generation of knowledge

    You will acquire the skills to apply scientific knowledge and procedures in various professionally relevant contexts. For research-oriented professional activities, you will learn to independently plan, implement and evaluate scientific projects. You will have the expertise and skills to practice medicine as a psychotherapist based on established scientific standards. In line with the “scientist practitioner” model, you will acquire the ability to work in your professional field while continuing your research endeavours.

    Scientific self-image/professionalism

    You will learn to make professional decisions based on current empirical principles. In the sense of “lifelong learning”, you will become qualified to pursue continuing education and professional training on your own. You will act on the basis of professional ethical principles and, as a graduate of this programme, you will be aware of your responsibility towards the people entrusted to your care. You will advise and treat them on the basis of proven effectiveness, treatment guidelines, expert knowledge and scientific honesty.

    Communication and cooperation

    You will acquire the ability to engage in professional dialogue with colleagues in your field. You will grasp scientific argumentation, use precise language and apply this in professional discourse and in your interdisciplinary professional context. You will learn to use basic psychological-psychotherapeutic conversation techniques in a goal-oriented manner and acquire the competence to establish sustainable working, counselling and therapeutic relationships.

    In summary, the degree programme qualifies you to work as a psychologist in research and practice. The programme also provides the necessary professional and key areas of competence for entering the psychotherapeutic profession which are required for practising as a licensed psychotherapist.

  • What do graduates have to say about the programme?

    Since this specialisation is relatively new, there are no graduates yet. However, you are welcome to share your opinion after graduation.

  • Examination regulations, programme structure, performance overview and module handbook

    The examination regulations (and corresponding changes) contain all the rules and requirements for the MSc Psychology programme with specialisation in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. 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. Here, you can download the programme structure and performance overview. You will find descriptions of all the courses in the module handbook, which also contains the examination regulations.

  • Application

    Please see our information on the regular application process and on special cases in the application process.