Focus Areas in the M.Sc. in Psychology

Learning, Development, Counselling

The training programme for the M.Sc. focus area Learning – Development – Counselling (LDC) prepares students for professional activity in the fields of education, counselling and intervention by focusing on developmental psychological and pedagogical-psychological topics, and it prepares students for research in the disciplines of educational psychology and developmental psychology. The programme content of the M.Sc. focus in LDC is jointly developed by the Developmental Psychology (Prof. Dr. Joscha Kärtner) and Educational Psychology (Prof. Dr. Carola Grunschel) working units.

Programme Contents

Building upon the foundations of developmental psychology and educational psychology taught in the B.Sc. programme, the M.Sc. focus in LDC imparts knowledge and competences in the following areas:

  • Developmental counselling and support in institutional contexts (e.g., day-care centers and preschools, advisory services in child development)
  • Prevention and intervention concepts in the fields of applied developmental psychology and educational psychology
  • Comparative developmental psychology and culturally sensitive concepts in counselling and developmental support
  • Planning, implementation and evaluation of psychological counseling and concepts for promoting development
  • Planning, implementation and evaluation of teaching and learning situations in educational contexts (e.g. schools, universities)
  • Psychological counselling concepts in educational contexts

In the master's programme, students begin by deepening their knowledge of methodological and diagnostic competencies (see below) considering the fields of education, learning and the design of learning environments. Students receive an overview of research in developmental psychology and counseling psychology.

Additionally, they receive an overview of counselling situations that could arise in the course of a lifespan and knowledge of evidence-based prevention and intervention methods. A special focus is placed on context-sensitive and cultural comparative viewpoints of human development. Students also more deeply investigate the topic of support for socio-emotional development in the preschool years. Overall, the programme offers both a research-oriented discussion in reference to developmental psychological questions as well as practical advice on the planning, implementation and evaluation of an exemplary counselling process.

With respect to educational psychology, students gain the opportunity to plan, implement and evaluate learning processes and learning activities. These activities cover the entire lifespan with a special focus on self-regulated learning (academic learning, dealing with homework). At the same time, students will take into consideration the use of new media in teaching and learning. The key modules of the M.Sc. focus area in LDC are enriched by the modules of other psychological disciplines (diagnostics, methodology, clinical psychology).

As a result, within the framework of the master's programme, students are able to acquire sufficient ECTS points for a psychotherapeutic training. The breadth of the programme is also expanded upon by a wide offering of so-called “block seminars”, which can be additionally attended on a voluntary basis. The block seminars, held by lecturers with practical experience in counselling, address practical experience in counselling regarding themes such as diversity, system coaching, school counselling or couples therapy.

Research and Practice

The M.Sc. focus area LDC prepares students for the demands of occupational practice as well as for jobs in further research. A central interface between science and practice is provided by the Münster Counselling Laboratory (Münsteraner Beratungslabor). The Münster Counselling Laboratory is dedicated to implementing applied research projects according to the scientist-practitioner model and communicating scientific knowledge to pedagogical and psychological professionals, parents as well as decision makers in education and counseling institutions and politics. Moreover, it provides a professional exchange between university and practice and thus contributes to students’ entry into counselling careers.
The content of the M.Sc. in LDC is oriented towards the main research areas of the Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology working units. This allows students to be intensively included in research and, at the same time, prepares them for transferring into a doctoral programme (if desired) and, in this way, for employment in research-related occupations. It also opens up a wide array of diverse topics for the master’s thesis. Please click on the following links if you would like to find more information on current themes for masters’ theses in Educational Psychology  and Developmental Psychology.

Please note: Through the networking efforts of our various working units with international research colleagues, interesting possibilities arise for M.Sc. students to complete internships abroad. Please talk directly to Prof. Dr. Grunschel and Prof. Dr. Kärtner and visit the homepages of the working units for information on cooperation partners and opportunities.