CURRICULUM CONTENT OF THE SECOND PHASE MASTERS

This page aims to guide psychologists who wish to apply for a EuroPsy certificate, and universities that would like to learn about EuroPsy standards, in the requirements of the European awarding committee (EAC) to preparation of applicants for certification in relation to their master’s degree.

The programme of the second phase prepares the student for independent professional practice as a psychologist. This part of the curriculum can either be undifferentiated and prepare for further PhD training, or for employment as a ‘general practitioner’ in psychology or be differentiated and prepare for practice within a particular field of practice of psychology, such as (i) clinical or health psychology (ii) educational or school psychology, (iii) work & organisational psychology or (iv) another field. In the first case the student will acquire additional knowledge on topics that were already addressed during the first phase, such as cognitive architecture theory, specific theories of emotions, advanced personality theory. This implies preparation either for a future research career (through the PhD) or a more generic professional psychology preparation. In the second case the student will acquire specialist knowledge on e.g. theories and techniques of clinical assessment, theories of educational intervention such as behaviour modification, theories of work performance, theories of leadership, or statistical models of personnel selection. Since all of the knowledge and skills acquired are based on the discipline of psychology, either type of curriculum content is acceptable in the framework of the second phase. As part of the second phase the student, whether preparing for a research or a professional psychologist career, has to demonstrate the capacity to acquire skills in research. There is wide agreement that professional psychologists should gain competence in research, both in order to evaluate their own work and interventions, and in order to maintain their competence in relation to the research and other literature.

The table below, which outlines a framework for the second phase, presents a structure based on competence in relation to the ‘individual’ the ‘group’ and ‘society’. This acknowledges that psychologists may work at the individual, group or societal level, and that their preparation should include coverage of work at all three levels.

Second phase of the EuroPsy certification curriculum

Type of content/  Objectives Individual Group Society
Orientation
Knowledge
Orientation on field of practice and possibilities for specialisation
Explanatory theories
Knowledge
Courses on explanatory theories of general psychology and/or psychobiology and/or developmental psychology, and/or personality psychology, and/or social psychology. E.g. theories of learning, cognitive architecture theory, advanced personality theory.
Courses on explanatory theories of work & organisational psychology and/or educational psychology and/or clinical psychology and/or psychological subdisciplines. E.g. theories of work performance, theories of situated cognition, theories of leadership, theories of personality disorders.
Technological theories
Knowledge
Courses on technological theories of general psychology and/or psychobiology and/or developmental psychology, and/or personality psychology, and/or social psychology. E.g. psychometric theory, EEG assessment theory .
Courses on technological theories of work & organisational psychology and/or educational psychology and/or clinical psychology and/or psychological subdisciplines. E.g. theories of work analysis, analysis of learning needs, theories of counselling and psychotherapy.
Explanatory theories
Skills
Skills training in applying above mentioned explanatory theories in assessment within research/ laboratory settings. E.g. training in EMG measurement, training in personality assessment.
Skills training in applying above mentioned explanatory theories in assessment within applied / field settings. E.g. training in error analysis, assessment of learning disorders.
Technological theories
Skills
Skills training in applying above mentioned technological theories in interventions within research/ laboratory settings. E.g. training in test construction, design of a learning experiment.
Skills training in applying above mentioned technological theories in interventions within applied / field settings. E.g. training in the design of performance rating systems, the design of a training system, the development of a therapeutic plan, psychotherapy.
Methodology
Knowledge
Advanced Research Design
Basic and advanced multivariate statistics, including ANOVA
Multiple regression analysis, Factor analysis
Qualitative Research Design, including advanced interviewing and use of questionnaire, qualitative data analysis
Methodology
Skills
Skills training in above mentioned methods and techniques
Ethics
Knowledge and skills
Knowledge of ethical principles and their application
Skills training in the application of ethical principles and ethical codes to professional practice
Academic and general professional skills
Skills
Skills training in report and article writing
Skills training in professional interviewing etc.
Non-psychology theories
Knowledge
Theoretical and practical courses on topics from other disciplines, relevant for professional activity. E.g. medicine, law, business economics
Basic research competence RESEARCH PROJECT (THESIS)
Basic professional competence INTERNSHIP (“STAGE”)

Research

There is an expectation that students completing the full education and training will have developed some basic competence in research skills and will have carried out a small-scale research project. This may be carried out within the laboratory at the university or in the field, and may use experimental approaches, or more naturalistic approaches such as quasi-experiments, case studies, interview or questionnaire studies. Students will be introduced to issues concerning the nature and ethics of psychological research, and the basic methods employed by psychologists. This activity is likely to take the equivalent of 3-6 months (i.e. 15-30 ECTS).

Internship (“stage”)

The aim of the internship (referred to as “stage” in some European countries) is to provide an introductory professional field training in order to enable students to:

  • integrate theoretical and practical knowledge
  • learn procedures related to psychological knowledge
  • start practising under supervision
  • be able to reflect upon and discuss own and other people’s activities
  • begin working in a setting with professional colleagues.

This training usually occurs during the second half of the university curriculum, but it may start earlier and/or extend beyond the curriculum. In the latter case, there should be joint responsibility of the university and/or the national professional psychological association and/or the relevant bodies for the accreditation of the training. The duration would normally be at least 3 months (or 15 ECTS), according to the specific area of interest.

The type of practice during the internship varies and may include:

  • observation of actual situations in which psychological techniques are used
  • use of basic techniques under supervision
  • taking part in projects with a specified role
  • analysis and discussion of ‘cases’.

The location where internships take place will normally be a public or private institution or ‘certified’ private firm which:

  • provides services which are congruent with the trainee’s educational background
  • is able to guarantee that the majority part of the supervision will be provided by professional psychologists
  • is recognised by the national Psychological Association and/or an accredited university.

Examples of institutions include hospital or clinic settings, private practice, schools and educational institutions, community services.

The internship is not considered as part of the supervised practice.