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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.

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  • Study programme

    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)
    Compulsory:

    • 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

    Epidemiology and Experimental Design in Psychology

    6

    Health Communication

    6

    Learning and Memory

    6

    Quantitative and qualitative Methods in Public Health A

    3

    Quantitative and qualitative Methods in Public Health B

    3

    Social Marketing 

    6
       

    Second Semester (UNISR)

     

    Advances in Behavioral Neurosciences

    12

    Advanced Models for Social and Psychological Sciences

    4

    Advanced Topics in Cognitive Psychology

    6

    Decision Making and Behavior

    9
       

    Third Semester (USI)

     

    Accounting

    3

    Corporate Strategy

    6

    Organizational Behaviour

    6

    Electives (8 ECTS)

     

    Advanced Research Methods in Health Communication

    3

    Health Campaign Development and Evaluation

    6

    Health Policy

    3

    Industry & Institutions Perspectives: Stakeholders in the Swiss Health System

    3

    Introduction to Public Health

    3

    Interpersonal Communication in Health

    3
       

    Fourth Semester (UNISR)

     

    Health Psychology

    6

    Social Psychology

    6

    Field Project

    6

    Thesis

    18
       

    Electives courses and integrative psychology training

     

    Health Informatics

    4

    Integrative Training in Psychology

    6

    Loss Trauma and Emotions

    2

    Neuropsychology

    4

    Psychiatrics and Clinical Psychology

    7

    Theory and Methods in Clinical Assessment

    4
       

    TOTAL ECTS

    120

    Please be aware that slight changes in the study programme may occur.

  • Field Project

  • Language

    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:

    IELTS

    TOEFL

    Cambridge English

    TOEIC

    5.5

    • 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.

    Italian

    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.

    1. Preparative intensive course for beginners
      In the three weeks preceding the beginning of the fall term, an intensive Italian class is organised.
    2. 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.