Structure and contents
The Master’s programme is designed to train students in psychology and make them understand, for instance, the causes of health-related behaviours to a point where they will be able to understand and eventually design new and effective interventions to prevent disease in a global health perspective. The entire Master’s programme takes advantage of synergies and complementarities between the two universities, USI and UNISR, both offering excellent teaching, research and clinical training. This Master offers a high degree of innovation thanks also to the advanced technologies available on site in the two universities in terms of high-tech equipment, data centres, laboratories, and health-related facilities.
The study programme promotes a cross-sectoral approach in four semesters. Modules at USI and UNISR are subdivided into thematic areas that include compulsory and elective courses.
Elective courses, extra credits and integrative training represent a flexible part of the programme allowing students to deepen either the research and clinical aspects of cognitive psychological aspects or to focus on health communication.
The programme includes 120 ECTS with modules in Psychology, Communication and Management as detailed in the table below. A student must also acquire during the programme at least 8 ETCS of electives courses. Thesis (18 ETCS) and field project (6 ECTS) are compulsory and must focus on psychology.
MODULE I: PSYCHOLOGY AND RESEARCH METHODS
Compulsory (61 ECTS):
- Learning and Memory, 6 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
- Quantitative and qualitative Methods in Public Health A, 3 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
- Quantitative and qualitative Methods in Public Health B, 3 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
- Epidemiology and Experimental Design in Psychology, 6 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
- Advanced Topics in Cognitive Psychology, 6 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
- Decision Making and Behavior, 9 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
- Advances in Behavioural Neurosciences, 12 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
- Advanced Models for Social and Psychological Sciences, 4 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
- Health Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
- Social Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
Electives courses and integrative psychological training (min 8 ECTS max 21ECTS):
- Neuropsychology, 4 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
- Health Informatics, 4 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
- Loss trauma and emotions, 2 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
- Theory and Methods in Clinical Assessment, 4 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
- Psychiatrics and Clinical Psychology (integrative), 7 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
- Integrative training in Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
MODULE II: HEALTH COMMUNICATION
Compulsory (12 ECTS):
- Health Communication, 6 ECT, 1st Semester USI
- Social Marketing, 6 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
Electives courses in Health Communication (12 ECTS: max 9):
- Interpersonal Communication in Health, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
- Efficacy of Health Communication via Media, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
- Industry & Institutions perspectives: Stakeholders in the Swiss Health System, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
- Health Policy, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
- Advanced Research Methods in Health Communication, 3rd Semester USI
MODULE III: IN MANAGEMENT (15 ECTS)
- Corporate Strategy, 6 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
- Accounting, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
- Organizational Behavior, 6 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
Compulsory Field Project in Psychology (6 ECTS), 4th Semester UNISR/USI
Compulsory Thesis in Psychology (18 ECTS), 4th Semester UNISR/USI
The programme is organized in 4 semesters:
- The first semester covers mainly classes in Health Communication and Research Methods;
- The second semester covers topics in advanced Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience;
- The third semester covers topics in Management, Strategy, Organizational Behavior, and other topics in the area of Health Communication.
- Along the fourth semester, students will study selected topics in health and organizational psychology and conduct a field project (by companies, hospitals or by experimental labs) and write their Master Thesis under joint supervision of Faculties of UNISR/USI.
During the fall semesters (1st and 3rd), students will attend classes taught at USI, whereas courses in spring semesters (2nd and 4th) will be taught at UNISR.
Over the two years, students will be supported by an active tutoring service and will cumulate extra credits and integrative psychological training, participating in seminar activities, ongoing research projects, and laboratory activities, practical activities held at hospital San Raffaele and in neurology and psychology department at UNISR.
First Semester (USI)
ECTS 6 6 6 3 3 6
Second Semester (UNISR)
12 4 6 9
Third Semester (USI)
3 6 6
Electives (8 ECTS)
Health Campaign Development and Evaluation
6 3 3 3 3
Fourth Semester (UNISR)
Electives courses and integrative psychology training
Integrative Training in Psychology
Loss Trauma and Emotions
Psychiatrics and Clinical Psychology
Theory and Methods in Clinical Assessment
Please be aware that slight changes in the study programme may occur.
USI partners for the field projects are:
- Associazione Psicologi Ticinesi (ATP), Lugano
- European Society for Medical Oncology, Lugano
- GAVI The Vaccine Alliance, Geneva
- Ginsana, Bioggio
- Health Promotion Switzerland, Bern
- Istituto Ricerche di Gruppo (IRG), Lugano
- Novartis, Basel
- Path, Geneva
- Red Cross Foundation, Blood donation service, Lugano
- Soho Floridis International
UNISR partners for the field projects are:
- 3M Italia, Segrate
- AISPO, Milano
- Associazione Educatori senza Frontiere, Milano
- Azienda Ospedaliera "Ospedale San Carlo Borromeo", Milano
- Azienda Ospedaliera "Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo", Bergamo
- Bayer Healthcare Manufacturing, Milano
- CEF - Comitato per l'etica di fine vita, Milano
- Consulta di Bioetica Onlus, Torino
- Demoskopea SpA, Milano
- Federchimica, Milano
- Ferrero SPA, Alba
- Fondazione CARIPLO, Milano
- Fondazione di diritto privato "Casa Sora per voi" Onlus, Foresto Sparso
- Fondazione Don Gnocchi Onlus, Milano
- Fondazione Istituto Sacra Famiglia Onlus, Cesano Boscone
- GPF Research, Bergamo
- Gruppo San Donato
- Johnson&Johnson Medical, Milano
- L'Orèal Italia S.p.a., Milano
- MEDIASET S.p.A., Milano
- Mio Dottore
- Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health, Siena
- P.R.I.S.M.A. srl Health, Usmate
- Prov. Lombardo Veneta - Ord. Osp. S. Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, Brescia
- Salute allo Specchio Onlus, Milano
- Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
Admission to English-language graduate-level (Master) programmes at USI require a good command, or advanced knowledge, of the English idiom. Non-English native speakers applying for such programmes, or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR), or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).
The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
- Computer based: 183
- Internet Based: 65
- Paper based: 513
FCE (First Certificate English)
- Listening & Reading: 785
- Speaking: 150
- Writing: 160
Whilst it is an important requisite to be fluent in English, you do not need to know or learn Italian in order to successfully participate in the proposed study programme.
As Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring the basics in Italian, in order to be able to get around in everyday life.
The Università della Svizzera italiana offers an Italian language study programme organized in various modules. All its non Italian-speaking students, researchers and professors are invited to participate free of charge.
- Preparative intensive course for beginners
In the three weeks preceding the beginning of the fall term, an intensive Italian class is organised.
- Courses offered during the semesters
Several Italian classes with different levels of difficulties are organised during the academic year.
Read all details about the Italian classes offered at USI, here.