Are you interested in studying psychology?
Then you have come to the right place!
Before you embark on a course of study in general and the study of psychology in particular, we would like to provide you with information and suggestions that may help you in your decision-making process.
We will then inform you about the different application modalities: studying with a high school diploma, studying for professionally qualified (without a high school diploma), lateral entry and second degree.
In order to be able to answer this question for yourself, we would first like to inform you about the psychology degree programme at Bielefeld University.
The subject Psychology
The 1-subject Bachelor of Psychology concludes with the academic degree Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). Within the Bachelor's degree, students can study either the Psychology profile or the Psychotherapy profile.
The programme deals with psychology as an empirical science. Accordingly, basic statistical and methodological skills are taught at the beginning of the programme as a basis for scientific work, as well as content-related skills, such as the visual and auditory perception of humans, emotion and personality theories.
In the further course of the degree programme, students can choose from four applied subjects (clinical psychology for children, adolescents and adults, educational psychology, organisational and applied social psychology, cognitive neuroscience) to set their first focal points with a view to accessing certain professional fields.
Within the internship, students have the opportunity to gain initial experience in various professional fields.
It is important to note that the B.Sc. degree programme in Psychology (Psychotherapy Profile) has professional recognition in accordance with the Psychotherapists Act and the Licensing Regulations for Psychotherapists. Thus, the qualification for a Master's degree in Psychotherapy .
With a Bachelor's degree in psychology, many other Master's programmes are also open to you.
At Bielefeld University we offer three different master's degree programmes in psychology:
For more information on the Bachelor's programme in Psychology, please visit the study information page here.
The Department of Psychology at Bielefeld University is large with 20 working units (chairs/professorships).
These deal with the various sub-disciplines of psychology. You can find a list of the working units here.
Is the subject of psychology right for me?
Students are especially disappointed when their expectations of the subject they are studying do not match reality.
To prevent such disappointment, you should first check what expectations you have of the degree programme and then compare them with the real thing.
To get an overview of the contents taught, you can familiarise yourself with the module handbook.
In addition to the study content, your own motivation, skills and knowledge are important for your decision.
Online self-assessment offers provide the opportunity to get to know the requirements of psychology degree programmes better. After taking part, you will receive feedback on your results, which can help you make a decision and show you options for further study preparation. You can find one of these self-assessments here.
What skills should I bring with me?
When choosing a field of study, it is important to match the required skills with your own.
In the field of psychology, the following skills are helpful for successful completion of the degree programme:
For problems and difficulties that arise, the university offers a wide range of support options. For example, you have the opportunity to improve your English skills at the Language Centre, to get tips for writing (scientific) texts in peer learning, to participate in workshops for learning strategies and study techniques, and much more. Furthermore, the Psychology Department offers special support services for statistics (e.g. tutorials, method counselling, etc.).
The Psychology programme at Bielefeld University is designed as a full-time programme with a standard study period of six semesters. The course times range from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Of course, you have the option of adapting your studies to your needs and commitments to a certain extent. This may extend the study time.
Despite the flexibility in design, you should check beforehand whether studying is manageable for you in terms of time and finances.
Studying demands time!
Not only for the period of time in which you attend lectures, but also for their preparation and follow-up, studying for exams, writing assignments, etc. You should therefore check whether you can manage your studies in the time available.
You should therefore check whether you can integrate or create time for studying into the way you organise your life.
A semester (approx. 6 months) is divided into a lecture period, during which lectures are held and attended, and a lecture-free period, during which examinations usually take place.
The standard period of study for the Bachelor's programme is 3 years (6 semesters) and for the Master's programmes 2 years (4 semesters).
Studying costs money!
During your studies, you will usually have general living expenses (e.g. housing, food, etc.) and financial obligations (e.g. children, hobbies, etc.). In addition, there are costs that arise from studying. These include, for example, the social contribution to be paid twice a year (known as the semester contribution), costs for specialist literature, etc..
A possible reduction in working hours (to accommodate the time aspect of studying) can lead to a reduction in income.
Therefore, you should get a good overview of your income and expenses and any changes due to your studies.
There are various ways to improve/stabilise your financial situation: BAföG, student loans, scholarships, mini-job, part-time work, etc.
The educational goal of the Bachelor's programme in Psychology is to equip graduates with a basic knowledge of psychological content as well as solid training in scientific work.
The Bachelor's programme thus lays the foundation for a postgraduate and in-depth Master's programme.
On the labour market, a Master's degree is usually required.
For certain occupational fields, a Master's degree is indispensable.
However, employment on the basis of a Bachelor's degree cannot be ruled out. Especially if you can combine it well with your previous work.
Career goal: psychological psychotherapist
Many students of the Bachelor's programme in psychology are interested in the profession of psychological psychotherapist. This career goal has some special features that you should inform yourself about beforehand.
In 2020, there was a legal change in the licensing regulations for psychological psychotherapists that changed the training path to this profession. The new licensing regulations provide for psychotherapy studies (Bachelor's and Master's degrees). Graduates then take the licensing examination to become a psychological psychotherapist. This is followed by further training (5 years, full-time) with the final acquisition of the specialist qualification (e.g. in behavioural therapy, depth psychology-based psychotherapy, analytical psychotherapy, systemic psychotherapy and clinical neuropsychology). The path to becoming a psychological psychotherapist is therefore a long one and should be well considered.
You don't have an Abitur/ A-levels (general university entrance qualification) but would like to study psychology at Bielefeld University?
That is possible!
Before starting the official application procedure, you should get a good overview of the points mentioned above (choice of subject, time and financial aspects and career goal) and check whether studying is feasible for you.
Once you have decided to study psychology, you can start the official application procedure. In order to find out the guidelines and regulations that apply to your case (depending on your education, entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences, professional experience or master's diploma), first contact the responsible staff member from the Student Administration Office, Doris Mahlke.
In some cases, an entrance examination is required. Information on this (e.g. sample examination tasks, procedure of the examination, etc.) can be obtained from the Psychology Examinations Office.
Information on the procedure and application process can be found here.
If you have any questions about the procedure and application process, please contact Ms Doris Mahlke (contact details can be found here).
If you have any questions about the entrance examination, please contact the Psychology Examinations Office (contact details can be found here).
If you have any questions about the study of psychology, please contact the academic student advisory service of the Faculty of Psychology (contact details can be found here).