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 from 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's 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.

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  • Study programme 2023-2025

    The study programme promotes a cross-sectoral approach over four semesters. Modules at USI and UNISR are divided into thematic areas that include compulsory and elective courses.

    Elective courses, extra credits, and integrative training provide flexibility to the programme allowing students to deepen their knowledge in either research and clinical aspects of cognitive psychological aspects or health communication.

    The programme includes 120 ECTS, with modules in Psychology, Communication, and Management, as detailed in the table below. Students must also acquire at least 8 ETCS of electives courses and 20 ECTS as practical applications in psychology and health communication.

    Before discussing the Master’s thesis, the students attend an interview to become licensed psychologists in Italy. The interview will be held by a commission of four psychologists at UNISR, it is mandatory for all students and requires a command of the Italian language. The program ends with a final Master’s thesis in the broad area of psychology and health communication.

    The programme is organized into four semesters:

    • The first semester covers mainly classes in Health Communication and Research Methods;
    • The second semester covers topics in advanced Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience, and an internship in psychology;
    • The third semester covers topics in Management, additional topics in Health Communication, and an internship in psychology.
    • During the fourth semester, students will attend selected topics in health and organizational psychology, attend their interview to become licensed psychologists in Italy, and write their Master’s Thesis under the joint supervision of the 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.

     

    First Semester (USI)

    ECTS

    Experimental Design and Analysis of Psychological Data

    6

    Health Communication

    6

    Learning and Memory

    6

    Fundamentals of Global and Public Health

    3

    Psychometrics

    3

    Health Campaign Development and Evaluation

    3

    Electives (8 ECTS)

     

    Language Course (Italian, French or German)

    2

       

    Second Semester (UNISR)

     

    Advances in Behavioral Neurosciences

    9

    Advanced Topics in Cognitive Psychology

    6

    Decision Making and Behavior

    8

    Practical application in Psychology and Health Communication: external internship

    6

    Psychological applications in Communication and Health: internal internship

    3
       

    Third Semester (USI)

     

    Accounting

    3

    Organizational Behaviour

    6

    Practical application in Psychology and Health Communication - Advance Research Design: internal internship

    3

    Practical application in Psychology and Health Communication: external internship

    8

    Electives and extra credits

     

    Social Marketing

    6

    Health Policy

    3

    Interpersonal Communication and Health

    3

    Digital Health

    3

    Language Course (Italian, French or German) extra credits

    2

       

    Fourth Semester (UNISR)

     

    Advanced Modelling in Psychology

    3

    Health Psychology

    6

    Social Psychology

    6

     

     

    Thesis (Module)

    30
       

    Electives courses and integrative psychology training

     

    Health Informatics

    3

    Loss Trauma and Emotions

    3

    Neuropsychology

    3

    Neurosciences in Organizations

    3

    Theory and Methods in Clinical Assessment

    3

    Psychiatrics and Clinical Psychology (Extra credits)

    7

    Integrative Training in Psychology

    6

    Industry & Institutions Perspectives: Stakeholders in the Swiss Health System (USI)

    3
       

    TOTAL ECTS

    120

     

    The final list of the electives activated each academic year is presented at the beginning of the second year. Please be aware that changes in the study programme may occur.

    MODULE I: PSYCHOLOGY AND RESEARCH METHODS
    Compulsory (56 ECTS):

    • Learning and Memory, 6 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
    • Fundamentals of Global and Public Health, 3 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
    • Psychometrics, 3 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
    • Experimental Design and Analysis of Psychological Data, 6 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
    • Advanced Topics in Cognitive Psychology, 6 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
    • Decision Making and Behavior, 8 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
    • Advances in Behavioural Neurosciences, 9 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
    • Advanced Modelling in Psychology, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Health Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Social Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR

    MODULE II: HEALTH COMMUNICATION AND MANAGEMENT
    Compulsory (18 ECTS):

    • Health Communication, 6 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
    • Health Campaign Development and Evaluation, 3 ECTS, 1st Semester USI
    • Accounting, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Organizational Behavior, 6 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI

    MODULE III: INTERNSHIP IN PSYCHOLOGY (20 ECTS)
    Compulsory:

    • Practical application in Psychology and Health communication, external internship, 6 ECTS, 2nd Semester Italy or Switzerland
    • Psychological applications in Communication and Health, internal internship, 3 ECTS, 2nd Semester UNISR
    • Practical application in Psychology and Health communication - Advanced Research Design, internal internship, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Practical application in Psychology and Health communication, external internship, 8 ECTS, 3rd Semester Italy or Switzerland

    MODULE IV: THESIS IN PSYCHOLOGY (30 ECTS)

    • Practical application in Psychology and Health communication - Advanced Research Design, internal internship, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Advanced Modelling in Psychology, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Health Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Thesis, 18 ECTS, 4rt Semester USI or UNISR

     

    Electives courses, integrative, and extra credits in psychology (min 8 ECTS max 21 ECTS). Please, consider that the final list of the electives activated each academic year is presented at the beginning of the second year:

    • Social Marketing, 6 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Interpersonal Communication in Health, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Industry & Institutions perspectives: Stakeholders in the Swiss Health System, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester USI
    • Digital Health, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Health Policy, 3 ECTS, 3rd Semester USI
    • Neuropsychology, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Health Informatics, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Loss trauma and emotions, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Neurosciences in Organizations, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Theory and Methods in Clinical Assessment, 3 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology (integrative), 7 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
    • Language course, 2 ECTS, 1st Semester USI (valid as elective)
    • Language course, 2 ECTS, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Semesters USI/UNISR (valid as extra credits)
    • Integrative training in Psychology, 6 ECTS, 4th Semester UNISR
  • Language

    Admission to the A.Y. 2024/25

    Admission to English-language Master programmes at USI requires a good command of English. Non-native English speakers applying to the Master’s 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:

    IELTS

    5.5

    TOEFL

    Internet-based: 70

    Cambridge English

    First pass (C)

    TOEIC

    Listening & Reading: 785
    Speaking: 150
    Writing: 150

     

    Important:

    • The language certificate must be included in the application package.
    • We only accept the above English qualifications (IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge English, TOEIC).
    • The certificate must still be valid at the point of the application. We generally cannot accept language test results older than three years as of September 1st.
    • Certificates obtained by passing the IELTS Academic Online or TOEFL iBT Home Edition tests may also be submitted for admission to the programme.