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Humanities and Social Sciences

Study Psychology in Germany

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Psychology, or the "study of the soul”, involves the observation and analysis of human behaviour and experience. It is an empirical science, and scientists in this field work in basic or applied research. Scientific methods are used to determine the general laws and formulas underlying mental processes and structures. This knowledge is then used to develop recommendations for achieving behavioural changes.


163 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, State Examination

German, English

2-10 Semesters

What content can I expect?

Psychology is an interdisciplinary science that encompasses aspects from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In your studies, you deal with questions such as how the brain works and what shapes your personality. You observe, categorise, and analyse human behaviour and study perception, the acquisition of knowledge, and emotions. Empirical methods, such as observations and experiments, thus play a major role in psychology.

The field of study comprises the following subfields:

  • Biological psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Personality psychology
  • Psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Business, occupational, and organisational psychology

For the study of psychology, you should have very good knowledge of German, English and mathematics. Proficiency in statistics, biology and chemistry can also help you. You should also have analytical skills and enjoy working with other people.

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What are the admission requirements and curriculum?

Studying psychology is very popular and the number of applicants regularly exceeds the number of available spaces. Therefore, a numerus clausus (NC) usually limits the number of students. Additional selection and aptitude testing procedures are often required, such as letters of motivation or short exams. Incidentally, you also have an NC or aptitude test restricting access to many Master’s programmes. Some Master’s programmes even require initial work experience or an in-depth study of certain topics in the Bachelor’s programme.

A Bachelor’s programme usually lasts six semesters, but at some higher education institutions, it can also take seven semesters. To complete a Master’s programme, four semesters are usually envisaged. The length of study also depends in part on the length and frequency of the practical units included in the degree programme. Most higher education institutions include several weeks of empirical-experimental internships, for example in medical, economic or social institutions.

In general, you can study psychology at numerous state universities, universities of applied sciences, but also at private higher education institutions. Distance learning or dual studies are also offered by some institutions. However, dual study programmes are usually limited to the fields of business psychology or social work.

Tip: In the higher semesters of the Bachelor’s programme, you usually have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in a specific subject area. At some institutions, the options for specialisation are limited. It is best to find out in advance what content is offered. This will help you best prepare for your favourite Master’s programme!

What does it cost to study psychology in Germany?

Tuition fees: Tuition fees are usually waived at public higher education institutions, such as universities or universities of applied sciences. This means that your studies per se will not cost you anything. If you choose a private higher education institution or distance learning programme, however, you should expect to pay several hundred euros a month. Your entire course of study can therefore be in the double-digit thousands.

Semester contributions: You have to pay these contributions at public higher education institutions instead of tuition fees. Semester contributions are paid to the institution once per semester and amount to between 100 and 400 euros. The good news is that your semester contribution often covers a ticket for local public transport or you can purchase a discounted ticket. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

Rent: Rent will probably be your highest monthly expense and can vary greatly depending on where you live. Smaller and less well-known cities are naturally much cheaper. But no matter which city you choose, you can usually get by much more cheaply in student halls of residence or shared flats! As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

Your living costs also depend on your lifestyle and preferences. However, there are always good everyday tricks to reduce costs: For example, you can enjoy your meal in the refectory or buy your study materials second-hand or borrow them from the library.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What are my career options?

Your future job depends strongly on the subjects you focus on and your specialisation during your studies. Many graduates end up in the healthcare sector. This includes, for example, clinical psychology, rehabilitation psychology or psychotherapy. In this field, you can find employment in hospitals, nursing homes or public administration, for example. Of course, you can also go into psychological counselling; especially here, many graduates choose to be self-employed.

If you want to pursue a career as a psychological therapist, keep in mind that you need to choose a degree programme which fulfils the official licensing regulations. Ask your higher education institution for more information about this. Also, further professional training will be required after you complete your studies.

Going into the private sector is also a good option for you. Here you can apply for jobs in management consulting, human resources, market research or marketing, for example. The salary of business psychologists is usually the best among the possible career options.

If you want to stay in research or teaching, or in a leadership position, it is recommended that you pursue a Master’s degree, as this is usually expected.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.