Due to the programme’s structure and interdisciplinary nature, students acquire knowledge and basic skills in empirical research and describing and explaining human behaviour and experience, taking account of the specific context. They also develop the ability to think in a joined-up way, develop analytical skills and acquire a solid grounding in the basic theory of psychology.
Content of the Bachelor’s degree in Psychology
At the beginning of the course, students are introduced to the diversity of psychology as a modern science. They acquire an overview of the individual subject areas and sub-disciplines of psychology, with a particular focus on the psychological research priorities of KL, an overview of the scientific foundations and basic techniques such as conducting literature research, assessing sources, citing correctly, properly structuring scientific publications, presenting research findings, using English as an academic language, reading English-language academic literature and writing scientific texts.
Students are introduced to basic statistical concepts and psychological methods through lectures, exercises, seminars and tutorials. They practise planning and implementing initial psychological investigations in empirical and experimental practical training. Students acquire an overview of key statistical and methodological concepts and their practical significance in psychology; they also become familiar with statistical parameters and their significance, descriptive procedures, basic methodological knowledge, graphical representation methods for empirical data, inferential statistical concepts and procedures, statistical interference testing, practical application of statistical tests and computer-aided data analysis, including correct interpretation.
Students are introduced to the development of human experience and behaviour over the entire human lifespan. In the first semester, the focus is on childhood and adolescence, while the second semester concentrates on adulthood up until death. Students acquire an overview of physical, cognitive, emotional, language, social and personality development, developmental tasks of different age groups taking account of cultural and gender-specific aspects, attachment theories and early parent-child interaction, basic concepts of socialisation and learning theory, cognitive theory, moral development, information processing theory, family development theory, references to developmental psychopathology and areas of infant and attachment research, in-depth examination of violence in the family and an overview of the latest protection and intervention approaches in gerontopsychology.
Students are introduced to the basics of behaviour and experience according to cognitive and personality theory. Students acquire an overview of the most important research fields, methods, theories and findings of differential and personality psychology, along with their scientific and practical significance. They develop a basic knowledge of the history, paradigms and models of differential and personality psychology and the ability to acquire knowledge systematically and independently and apply differentiated analytical thinking.
Students are introduced to the cognitive and emotional foundations of behaviour and experience. Students acquire an overview of theories in the fields of perception, attention, memory, learning, thinking, knowledge, problem solving, language, psychomotor skills, conditioning, decision-making, action, motivation, emotion, volition, consciousness and action control. They learn about the different motives for human behaviour and goals, and gain an overview of the foundations of neurobiology. They acquire basic skills in the practical application of empirical and experimental research methods to general psychological issues and the ability to reflect on the course content independently and critically.
Students are introduced to the foundations of social psychology. Students acquire knowledge in the areas of social cognition, attribution theories, attitude theory, specific forms of social behaviour, absorption and processing of social information, interaction and interdependence. They are introduced to basic psychological gender research and learn the foundations of social psychological theories, questions, basic concepts and research methods. They acquire a basic understanding of human interaction and interdependence, dynamic processes within and outside of groups, and a foundational knowledge of models, theories and research methods of gender research. They develop the ability to reflect on and perform critical analysis of empirical research with regard to gender sensitivity, acquire knowledge independently and systematically, and apply differentiated analytical thinking.
Students are introduced to the variety and diversity of human characteristics in the fields of social psychology, diversity management, intercultural skills and communication psychology. Students learn about strategies for dealing with diversity in different social settings and gain an overview of developmental, social-psychological and group dynamic models to explain diversity, a basic knowledge of micro-processes in social interactions, intragroup and intergroup processes, the determinants of interpersonal and intercultural differences, the development of intercultural skills for dealing appropriately with people from different cultures, and acquire in-depth knowledge of the basics of managing diversity and key techniques for group discussion, moderation and mediation.
Students are introduced to the basics of qualitative research methods and psychological observation techniques. Students acquire an overview of key qualitative research concepts and methods and their practical significance in psychology. They become familiar with qualitative survey instruments, the establishment of connections in scientific theory, qualitative evaluation methods, basic methodological knowledge, and the planning and implementation of their first qualitative investigations. They acquire the ability to develop basic methodological skills for practical work by going through all the phases of a research process in empirical and experimental training. They are introduced to the scientific knowledge acquired through systematic reviews and meta-analysis, security in literature research and interpretation of data and results.
Students are introduced to differential psychological models and the description and explanation of human differences. Students acquire knowledge of the scientific representation of differences and the concepts of intelligence, creativity, emotion, self-concept and intercultural personality differences. They develop the ability to critically evaluate and consider important research fields, methods, theories and findings of differential and personality psychology, their scientific and practical significance and basic methods for explaining genetic and environmental influences.
Students are introduced to the basics of educational psychology. Students acquire basic knowledge of pedagogical and educational psychology, knowledge of prevention and intervention measures in educational psychology, the ability to acquire knowledge systematically and independently and think in a differentiated way, an overview of the tasks of pedagogical and educational psychology, an understanding of relationships in a school context and prevention and intervention approaches in educational psychology, the basics of educational psychology and social aspects in the educational context, and an overview of specific learning factors such as intelligence, motivation and self-concept from a diagnostic and evaluative perspective.
Students are introduced to foundational topics, current developments and the general conditions of health psychology. Students acquire an overview of the history, scope and tasks of health psychology, prevention and health promotion. They are taught practice-oriented skills in health promotion and prevention, especially in relation to the application of methods in line with the Austrian Psychologists Act (Psychologengesetz – PslG). They also acquire knowledge of sports psychology as a further area of application with particular pertinence for health psychology and prevention.
Students are introduced to the basics of classical and probabilistic test theory as well as performance, intelligence and ability testing and the most common personality tests and projective methods. Students are given an introduction to the process of test construction and evaluation, an overview of the theoretical basics, methods and fields of application of psychological diagnostics, an overview of the development of basic practical and methodological diagnostic skills through questioning, behavioural observation and psychological test procedures, an overview of key characteristics of the various types of diagnostic procedures, an introduction to design-related and instruction-related causes of error in testing, an overview of different personality-theoretical bases of individual diagnostic procedures, an overview of ethical and legal framework conditions, correct application of psychological test procedures, including assessment of psychometric quality and practical usefulness, an overview of how medical history interviews are conducted in practice, the opportunity to engage in the practical application and evaluation of psychodiagnostic procedures in selected cases, and a basic understanding of the diagnostic process and diagnostic assessment.
Students are introduced to foundational topics, current developments and general conditions in clinical psychology. Students acquire an overview of the symptoms, aetiology and perpetuation of specific mental disorders, classification models and clinical psychological investigations, an introduction to the basic paradigms of clinical psychology, the ability to reflect critically on the concepts of mental health and illness, a greater understanding of mental disorders and recovery-promoting factors in psychiatry and recovery processes, an introduction to the basic principles and methods of counselling and conducting discussions in an individual setting, practical knowledge of psychological counselling and forms of intervention, refined self-perception in terms of communication and interaction, knowledge of the Austrian legal basis for practising the profession of psychologist, knowledge of the importance of professional ethical guidelines and principles, knowledge of relevant framework conditions, areas of application, theoretical backgrounds and specific procedures, an understanding of relevant methods and findings from intervention research, an introduction to the basics and methods of preparing expert reports, and knowledge of basic principles and activities in forensic psychology and criminal psychology.
Students are introduced to the basics of issues, theories and models pertaining to biological psychology. Students acquire an overview of anatomical, biochemical and neurophysiological mechanisms and processes and their relation to complex functions of the brain; knowledge of the basic principles of brain structure and the various functional systems; an introduction to the structure of the human nervous system, the ontogenesis and phylogenesis of the brain and forms of neuronal communication; an introduction to different areas of the motor and sensory systems, attention and consciousness, cognition, learning and memory, stress, motivation and emotion, degeneration and regeneration; relevant knowledge of psychotropic drugs, their indications, contraindications, mechanisms of action and side effects; the relationships between neurobiological structures, mechanisms and processes and cognitive mental functions, disorders and developments; insights into selected practical and clinical fields of application in neuroscience; an introduction to cognitive-neuropsychological rehabilitation; and knowledge of psychosomatic clinical pictures.
Students are introduced to the perception of social phenomena in groups and to the theoretical and methodological foundations of group dynamics. Students acquire an insight into the group as a social system that follows specific laws; elementary knowledge of group patterns and one’s effect on other group members; recognition of leadership dynamics and group self-organisation; training in self-awareness and social skills within group processes; reappraisal of one’s own learning experiences from the training group; an overview of explanatory models for the functioning of groups; and an insight into the teaching of group-dynamic forms of learning and self-reflection to build a communicative community. They learn about developing a greater degree of self-reflection through personal development and personal growth, gaining knowledge of one’s own behaviour patterns and the unconscious roots of one’s own behaviour, and the application and knowledge of various psychological methods in practice.
Students receive an introduction to intervention methods in psychology and psychotherapy that are used for psychological interventions in specific fields. For this purpose, they are introduced to the development of psychotherapeutic methods and psychotherapeutic thinking, with a more in-depth examination of interventions in the fields of psychotraumatology, stress management and crisis intervention. Students acquire a basic understanding of the different thrusts of psychotherapeutic concepts and their intervention premises, an introduction to the basics of psychotraumatology, an overview of stress models and diagnostics, treatment and interventions, elementary knowledge of resilience research, foundational knowledge of the effects of traumatic stress and patterns of trauma processing, an overview of concepts for types of crises and conflicts, and elementary knowledge of possible forms of intervention in crisis and conflict management and their practical application.
Students are introduced to the basics of the three sub-areas of occupational, organisational and business psychology: work and organisational psychology, market and consumer psychology, and economic psychology. Students acquire an overview of occupational, organisational and business psychology, an overview of the multitude of theories and paradigms of this field, the ability to recognise problems that arise in practice and to analyse them from a psychological perspective, the ability to derive proposed solutions from psychological theories, and an overview of the most important instruments and methods in this area.
As part of their degree, students complete a traineeship of 240 hours at one or more institutions. KL offers students traineeships with various partners in the Lower Austria/Vienna region. The traineeship can also be completed at any psychology institution in Germany or further afield. Students gain experience in psychological practice in the field, acquire initial insights into the specific nature of professional psychological practice and learn the ability to cooperate, take criticism and a sense of responsibility. The traineeship consolidates personal decision-making and action competence in everyday psychological work and improves professional reflection within the framework of supervision.
Students prepare a scientifically grounded, empirically focused or theoretical research paper. They evaluate the data collected and conduct their work in accordance with scientific standards. In writing their Bachelor’s thesis, they demonstrate that they are able to carry out psychological research under supervision that corresponds to scientific standards of theory and methodology. Students acquire the ability to apply psychological research methods to an empirical or theoretical question, create data sets and analyse them using special software, interpret their own research results in the light of theory and specialist literature, organise scientific work, apply presentation techniques appropriate for the scientific field, give and receive constructive feedback, meet deadlines and use limited resources efficiently.