Studying Psychology at Kiel University

Psychology is the science of experience and behavior. Psychologists use scientific methods to investigate subjective experience and its relationship to objectively detectable events. Psychology involves observing, systematically describing, analyzing, explaining, predicting and modifying experience and behavior. Both behavior and experiences interact with physiological conditions and the social and physical environment. Therefore, the development and application of suitable methodological approaches to explore these interactions is one of the key of psychological studies.

More about the subject Psychology

Psychology sees itself as a link between natural, human and social sciences. Adjacent subjects are, depending on the question and the selected perspective, e.g. Biology, Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Pedagogy, Linguistics, Philosophy, Economics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics. Theories and methods of psychology are therefore influenced by other sciences, just as psychology influences them. Due to its large subject area and diverse references to neighboring disciplines, the subject is very broad, his university disciplines are sometimes strongly separated from each other.

The public perception of the subject area of ​​university psychology is often distorted and guided on the one hand by outdated contents of the subject, on the other hand by non-scientific representations of certain issues in popular media, despite the also used term of "psychology" and partially overlapping issues little with the scientific -university of the subject in common.

For an overview of the various departments of psychology at Kiel University with their respective research priorities see the work units section.

Educational goals in Psychology

Psychology students should be trained in scientific thinking during their studies. They should acquire the knowledge, skills and experience that enable them to take up a professional career as psychologists. These activities include scientific research, technical education and training, diagnostic, advisory and psychotherapeutic roles in health and social work, justice, education and training, administration, economics and industry. By participating in courses, research and practical-psychological work, students should acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to recognize psychological tasks, to formulate adequate solutions, to implement them on a scientific basis, or to select methods for analysis, review and evaluation of psychological activity or to develop yourself.

More about educational goals and job prospects

In the first semesters of the Bachelor, basic theoretical and methodological knowledge is taught. They contain substantial parts of method training and integrate interdisciplinary events that introduce into research, historical and professional aspects of psychology

In the main areas and specializations of the Bachelor, the acquired knowledge and skills are deepened and extended. Students should familiarize themselves with the application of this knowledge and skills in the most important fields of psychology. In addition, job-related activities are also included in this section of the study. Furthermore, the ability for psychological research should be developed and promoted. The bachelor thesis, which generally includes an empirical study, should demonstrate the mastery of the subject-specific methodology.

Practical psychological tasks often require interdisciplinary cooperation. Depending on the desired field of activity, students should therefore also acquire mathematical, scientific, medical or legal knowledge or acquire an orientation in philosophy, economics or social sciences. The "non-psychology elective subject" serves as inspiration for this. Among other things, psychologists are after their studies in the following major areas active

  • in education, e.g. as a school psychologist
  • in social work, e.g. in psychological counseling centers at municipalities or employment offices, at various social institutions, e.g. Youth and retirement homes
  • in health care, e.g. in diagnostics, prevention, therapy and rehabilitation
  • in forensic psychology, e.g. as a psychological expert in court, as a police psychologist or as a psychologist in prisons
  • in business psychology, e.g. as a work, organization or market psychologist
  • in the field of technology, e.g. as engineering psychology (e.g., human-machine system) or in ergonomics
  • in psychological research in various research departments


The job opportunities for psychologists are very good. Increasingly, new occupational fields open up for them. New professions with new job profiles are emerging in which psychological expertise is given a strong weight.