Psychology is the science of the forms and laws of human experience, behavior and action.
The study field at a glance
Scientific psychology develops its knowledge from humanities, social science and natural science models and research strategies. It is an empirical science, that is, all statements are based on observations and experiments. The results are processed using mathematical-statistical methods. Psychology has interdisciplinary features and overlaps with scientific fields such as life sciences, sociology, education, philosophy, linguistics, economics (especially marketing and experimental writers research) or computer science.
Psychology can be divided into different sub-disciplines:
- General Psychology deals with the basic functional forms of human experience and behavior (learning, memory, language, emotion, motivation, etc.).
- Differential psychology / personality psychology focuses on the individual and group-specific differences in the functional areas addressed in general psychology.
- Developmental psychology deals with age- or life-segment-dependent changes in behavior and experience. Your results are primarily important for Educational and Clinical Psychology.
- The subjects of social psychology are the manifold conditions and effects for social behavior and interactions between individuals and groups.
- Biological psychology and neuropsychology investigate the interdependence of mental and physical processes (for example in the nervous system).
Psychology is offered as a Bachelor's and Master's degree program under the name Psychology, but can also be studied as a so-called hyphenated subject with a focus on, for example, Business Psychology or Applied Psychology.
Contents of the course
In the basic studies, modules provide an introduction to psychology and epistemology as well as basic scientific techniques and research methods (such as experimental design, empiricism, statistics, computer-assisted data analysis). In addition there are modules for general and differential psychology, social, developmental and biopsychological, psychological diagnostics and test theory as well as relevant fields of application (educational psychology, health psychology, basics of clinical psychology, work and organizational psychology).
In specialization, modules enable the extension or specialization of basic and applied knowledge as well as the formation of emphases, e.g. Cognitive Psychology or Business Psychology.
Admission criteria & study application
Due to the high demand for study places, generally not all interested persons are allowed to study psychology. The numerus clausus varies from university to university and has historically been mostly between 1.0 and 2.0.
Possible careers after graduation
The employment opportunities for psychologists are very different and especially depending on the respective focus of study. Possible fields of activity are:
- Clinical-psychological practices, psychotherapeutic practices
- Psychological counseling centers in municipal, church or independent sponsorship
- Psychosomatic clinics and psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation and spa facilities
- Disability and senior care homes, homes and institutions for social and special education
- Psychological service in the Federal Employment Agency and the individual employment agencies
- Psychological services of public authorities, local authorities, judicial authorities, police administrations and youth welfare offices, school psychology services at Länder and municipalities as well as the Bundeswehr
- Teaching and research institutions, adult education institutions, schools and pre-school education institutions
- In large companies, e.g. in operational psychological services, in human resources and coaching, in in-house training and further education as well as in the moderation of international teams
- Market and polling institutes, PR and advertising agencies, publishers.
- The largest field of use for psychologists continues to be in the clinical sector. In addition, new fields of activity gain e.g. in environmental and traffic psychology, the moderation of international teams in global companies, in emergency psychology, senior citizen work or sports and leisure psychology in importance.
The Psychotherapists Act binds nationwide the leadership of the professional title "Psychological Psychotherapist" as well as "Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist" to a corresponding license. The prerequisite for the granting of this license is at least 3 years of postgraduate training in a scientifically recognized psychotherapeutic procedure (recognition by the Scientific Advisory Council for Psychotherapy of the German Medical Association) on the basis of a completed psychology degree, for child and adolescent psychotherapy alternatively a pedagogy or social pedagogy study.