Why is sociology important to psychology majors

Psychological Institute

What is psychology

Psychology researches human experience and behavior as an individual and in a group. It deals with the development of humans over the life span and considers internal and external conditions of a normal or pathological development. Psychologists develop theories and models that they check using empirical methods. Psychology is therefore an empirical science. It is interdisciplinary and cannot be assigned to the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences alone.


Studied psychology at UZH

The psychology course at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Zurich is divided into two sections: The Bachelor course prepares the students for the subsequent Master’s course. Only the completion of the master’s program “Master of Science in Psychology” is a professional qualification and entitles to use the professional title “Psychologist”.

Bachelor degree

In the Bachelor major study program Psychology, students are taught basic knowledge about psychology and the ability to think methodically and scientifically. The course comprises the subjects “General Psychology (Cognition, Motivation and Emotion)”, “Social, Organizational and Business Psychology”, “Clinical Psychology” and “Psychopathology”, “Neuropsychology”, “Developmental Psychology”, “Personality Psychology”, “Diagnostics” »As well as« Statistics and Methodology ».

The bachelor's degree at UZH takes six semesters according to the sample curriculum (see full-time study) and comprises 180 ECTS credits. Psychology can only be studied as a Bachelor Major study program (120 ECTS credits) with a minor study program amounting to 60 ECTS credits. There is currently no time limit for studying in the Bachelor's major program in Psychology.
According to the standard curriculum, the Bachelor's major study program in Psychology is divided into the first academic year (1st + 2nd semester), in which the preparatory course is completed, and the third to sixth semester. It can only be started in the fall semester.
Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree, students receive the non-professional qualification “Bachelor of Science UZH in Psychology”.

A good knowledge of English is a prerequisite for the course, as most of the specialist literature to be read is published in English.

Detailed information on the structure and content of the course can be found under Bachelor's degree.

Master's degree

The master’s degree in psychology builds on the bachelor’s degree. The students deepen their professional competence in psychology and acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to take up a professional activity as a psychologist. These activities include both scientific research and diagnostic, advisory, creative, evaluating and psychotherapeutic tasks in the field of clinical psychology and health psychology or in an area of ​​activity in education, administration, business and industry (see career prospects).

The Master’s mono study program in Psychology is a mono subject. It comprises 120 ECTS credits and takes 4 semesters according to the sample curriculum (see full-time study). There is currently no time limit for studying in the Master’s mono study program in Psychology. It can be started in the fall or spring semester. A bachelor's degree in psychology is a prerequisite for the master’s degree in psychology. The master’s degree concludes with the title “Master of Science UZH in Psychology”. This entitles the graduates to call themselves a “psychologist” and qualifies them for an academic profession in the field of psychology, for a doctoral degree and for postgraduate training.

Detailed information on the structure of the study can be found under Master's degree.


Career prospects

Psychologists are specialists in human experience and behavior. Their work often includes the evaluation, modification and prediction of human experience and behavior. For example, the satisfaction, performance, mental health or development potential of individuals, groups or organizations should be determined and support measures derived from this. The approach is always based on theory and the methodological knowledge acquired during the course is used.

Note: With the degree “Master of Science in Psychology”, the professional goal is often not achieved: Many psychology professions require a specialist title that can be acquired after graduation through postgraduate training, e.g. in psychotherapy, child and adolescent psychology, Neuropsychology or professional and career counseling.

The activities of psychologists are broad, with correspondingly diverse tasks. Here is a selection of typical occupational fields - including many that require postgraduate training:

  • Industrial and organizational psychology, business psychology: Organizational consulting, personnel consulting, market and advertising psychology, communication and media psychology, PR, marketing, opinion research
  • Career and career advice: Advising young people and adults on career, study options and career issues
  • Health Psychology: Development-promoting measures for the prevention of diseases and behavioral disorders
  • Child and adolescent psychology: Advice to parents, children and young people as well as authorities and various advice centers
  • Clinical Psychology: Recognizing, treating and preventing mental disorders, therapeutic or diagnostic work, e.g. in psychiatric clinics or counseling centers
  • Psychotherapy: Therapy, advice and support for people in crisis situations (after several years of additional training after graduation)
  • Neuropsychology: Diagnosis and therapy of organic brain disorders in hospitals and special clinics
  • Forensics and Legal Psychology: Police (training, criminology), judiciary, enforcement of measures,
  • Environmental Psychology: Development of measures for the design of the interaction between humans and the environment
  • Sports Psychology: Advice for athletes in the mental area so that they can develop their maximum potential at the desired time
  • Traffic Psychology: Aptitude tests of people, traffic education, campaigns and development of decision-making bases for authorities
  • Research: Scientific work at universities and technical colleges as well as applied research in health and social services, in the private sector and administration
  • Teaching: Training and instruction at secondary schools (with an additional diploma for higher education), at universities of applied sciences and in adult education

You can find more detailed information on the professional fields at berufsberatung.ch and the FSP website.


Information as of August 18, 2019