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 a professional career in the practice of education and counselling as well as for careers in research  in the disciplines of educational psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology. The contents of the M.Sc. focus in L-D-C are the joint responsiblity of the work units for Developmental Psychology (Prof. Dr. Joscha Kärtner), Educational Psychology (Prof. Dr. Carola Grunschel), and Social Psychology (Prof. Dr. Gerald Echterhoff).

Programme Contents

Building upon the foundations in the subject areas of educational, developmental and social psychology, which were taught in the B.Sc. programme, the M.Sc. focus in learning - development - counselling 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 applied developmental and educational psychology
  • Comparative developmental psychology and culturally sensitive concepts in counselling and developmental support
  • Planning, implementation and evaluation of counsultation for teaching and learning situations in the context of the school and extracurricular learning contexts
  • Psychological counselling concepts in schools
  • Psychological foundations of communication and advising as an activity
  • Analysis of communication processes in practice and fields of use (e.g., in work and learning groups) based on social and cognitive psychological research
  • Understanding of culutural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication and the challenges of intercultural communication
  • Fundamental, scientifically founded knowledge of persuasions strategies, negotiation and conflict management

The master's programme begins by deepening students knowledge of methodological and diagnostic competencies (see below) and a consideration of human communication processes based in social psychology. Students receive an overview of research on interpersonal communication, persuasion and experience how these can be effectively used in practice.

In addition, students focus on acquiring developmental and psychological counselling content. 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 receive a deepening of content in the area of support for socio-emotional development in the preschool years. On the one hand, a research-oriented discussion in reference to developmental psychological questions will take place, while on the other hand practical learning in the planning, implementation and evaluation of an exemplary counselling process will be provided.

Furthermore, students are provided the opportunity for the conception, implementation and evaluation of learning processes and learning activities. These cover the entire lifespan including adult occupational learning and the design of  learning media as well as psychological teaching for careers with social components. At the same time, the use of new media in teaching and learning, network-supported communication and cooperation and online counselling will be taken into consideration. The key modules of the M.Sc. focus area in LDC are supplemented by the modules of other psychological disciplines (diagnostics, methodology, clinical psychology).

The breadth of programme is also expanded upon by a wide offering on so-called Block Seminars, which can be additionally attended on a voluntary basis. The block seminars will be held by lecturers with practical experience in counselling on 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. An interface between research and practice is provided by the Münster Counselling Laboratory (Münsteraner Beratungslabor). The Münster Counselling Laboratory has built up cooperation with representatives from the fields of counselling and from local educational institutions and intigated developmental/educational research projects in psychology. Moreover, it contributes valuable experience for later employment by providing internship opportunities in counselling institution and educational facilities.

The content of the M.Sc. in LDC is oriented to a large part an the research areas focused on in the working units Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology. This allows an intensive inclusion of students in research and prepares at the same time for transfering 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 final thesis. 

Please click on the following links if you would like to find more information on current themes for the final thesis in the focus area LDC Educational Psychology  Developmental Psychology und Social Psychology.

PLEASE NOTE: Through the networking efforts of the our various working units with international research colleagues interesting possibilities arise for programme participants to absolve internships abroad. Please talk directly to the instructors and visit the homepages of the working units for information on cooperation partners and opportunities.