Program of studies
The University of Warsaw (UW) Faculty of Psychology offers daytime (without a tuition fee), evening, and English (with a tuition fee) 5-year masters (magister) programs. The program of study is identical for the three types of studies and is separated into two levels: basic (Years 1-3) and advanced (Years 4 and 5). The program includes courses that are required for all students (obligatory) as well as courses that are selected by each student in accordance with her/his interests (electives). Courses generally last one semester, not exceeding 30 class-hours. Exceptions to this rule are masters seminars, supervised research, foreign language courses, and some practical courses in applied psychology.
Courses in the Faculty of Psychology are assigned credits in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) as proposed by the European Union. According to this system, credits represent a universal measure of workload that is required for all students completing a degree. The basic principle behind this system is that one academic year of full-time courses at a given institution is equivalent to 60 credits. Each institution is guided by this principle when assigning credits to particular courses. At the Warsaw University Faculty of Psychology, credits are assigned to obligatory courses by the Faculty Council, and credits are assigned to electives by the instructor/WISP Program Board depending on evaluation method and workload.
A minimum of 300 credits must be earned during the 5-year course of study. There is no theoretical limit to the number of courses a student may take. Limits on participation in a particular course may depend on logistical (space, technical) constraints or instructor's preferences.
1. Obligatory lectures and practical classes
Students in their first three years of study are required to attend lectures and practical classes. Each of these courses is assigned to a particular year of study, though students may apply to attend a course offered to students of older years.
Students select their own elective courses. Students should take enough electives so at the end of each year they have accumulated at least 60 ECTS credits (from all types of courses combined). Electives are not tied to any particular year of study unless the instructor or the WISP Program Board introduces a seniority requirement. Students can therefore choose from among all of the elective courses offered by the Faculty. From the 2012/13 academic year, students must accumulate at least 4 ECTS points from courses from each of the eight elective categories ("elective baskets"):
- 1. Clinical Psychology
- 2. Cognitive Psychology
- 3. Biological Bases of Behaviour
- 4. Psychology of Personality, Emotions, Motivation and Individual Differences
- 5. Developmental and Educational Psychology
- 6. Social Psychology
- 7. Methodology, Statistics and Psychometrics
- 8. Interdisciplinary courses
Registration for electives may depend on number of students accepted, prior participation in other courses, or other criteria. If a student does not pass an elective course, s/he can, but does not have to, repeat it when it is next offered. If a student was registered for a course but does not attend, the course is considered abandoned by the student. The number of courses a student abandons may become a criterion for acceptance in other courses. Among their elective courses, students must acquire 21 credits (an average of about 4 per year) from courses offered in other faculties of University of Warsaw or other institutions (so-called OGUNs).
3. Supervised research
Students complete a year of empirical supervised research during their Year 3. Supervised research is passed on the basis of year-long projects. These year-long projects are completed under the supervision of an academic advisor (tutor). Each student is responsible for finding him- or herself a tutor for each of these projects. The tutor advises and aids the student in preparing a schedule of work as well as in all other aspects of studying. Supervised research is passed on a yearly cycle, after the project is written, but students are required to get their tutor's signature during the winter exam session to confirm participation in the course.
Year-long research projects are evaluated by the student's tutor and by an independent reviewer. The final grade is an average of these two evaluations. The project must be completed in time for review and grading by the end of the summer exam session. If the project is not completed, the student does not receive a passing grade for supervised research. Not passing supervised research is considered not passing an obligatory course. The student can in such a case request conditional registration for the next academic year and the possibility of repeating the course then.
4. Specializations and applied courses
In their fourth and fifth years, students must attend applied specialization courses. They may choose from among the following specializations:
- Business Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Neuroscience
- Experimental Social Psychology
At least 48 ECTS credits must be obtained from specialization courses in order to complete the program.
After Year 3, students need to complete a 100-hour traineeship in an institution of their choice. For students who started studies in 2012/13 or later, a traineeship is optional, not obligatory.
6. Masters seminars
In the fourth and fifth year of study, students are required to participate in a masters seminar. This two-year seminar culminates in the masters defense. The defense of the masters thesis is the final condition for completing studies and receiving the masters degree. Each student is required to find him/herself an advisor (from among those who lead masters seminars). The student's advisor has a counseling role in all aspects of preparation of the masters thesis. A final grade is awarded for the seminar at the conclusion of two years, but the student must get his/her advisor's signature (pass without a grade) at the end of the 7th, 8th, and 9th semesters as evidence of participation in the seminar.
7. Other requirements
Till the end of the 5th semester students are required to complete:
- 4 semesters of PE classes.
Till the end of Year 3 students are required to complete:
- a language exam on at least B2 level (if they started studies in 2014/15 or earlier) or at least B1 level, but it cannot be English (if they started studies in 2015/16 or later),
- 2 semesters of a foreign language course (if they started studies in 2015/16 or later).
Till the end of studies students are required to complete:
- at least 21 ECTS credits from courses from so-called OGUN courses that are not psychology courses (if they started studies in 2015/16 or later, at least 5 ECTS out of required 21 need to come from OGUNs beloging to the group of courses in humanities or social sciences),
- students who started studies in 2014/15 or earlier are requested to complete an exam/course in a foreign language or a course taught in a foreign language on the level higher than B2,
- at least 24 ECTS from electives during the 4th and 5th year (for students who started studies in 2012/13 or later).