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How do thinking, memorizing, and learning work? What structures and functions of the brain are responsible for these tasks? How can attention and awareness be measured? How can they be promoted? How do we make the right decision in a certain situation? And are we even the ones doing that?

Psychology deals with the explanation and prediction of human behavior and experience. It investigates cause and effect relationships by observing, experimenting, and testing. Psychology develops models on the basis of empirical results in order to understand and explain human perception, thinking, and behavior depending on different factors such as environmental conditions, genetic preconditions, individual development. Psychology is interested in both biological aspects, for example the structure of the brain and nervous system, and social aspects, for example behavior in a group, social interactions.

Larger subdiscplines include occupational, industrial, and organizational psychology; clinical psychology; and pedagogical psychology.

At RWTH students receive a comprehensive fundamental education in all three disciplines. Due to the special composition of the course of study it does not include an opportunity for students to specialize in clinical or pedagogical psychology. Prospective students, who wish to pursue therapeutic training after their studies and need to provide documentation of clinically-oriented studies, should note this.

The focus of the course of study is oriented towards the following psychological research focuses at RWTH:

  • In occupational, industrial, and organizational psychology diagnostic decisions related to the work world play a significant role. Here, aptititude diagnostic processes are developed, for example. RWTH's other research fields include the interactions of humans and technology like ergnomics and workplace design, and the optimization of social systems in the work world – work teams, organizational structures, occupational health promotion, occupational rehabilitation.
  • Health psychology deals with maintaining physical and mental health and quality of life. It also deals with health-promoting measures in the context of primary (e.g. preventive measures), secondary (e.g. health training) and tertiary prevention (e.g. vocational rehabilitation).
  • Cognitive science and neuroscience mainly investigate cognitive processes and their neuronal foundations. Relevant topics include, for example, perception and learning processes but also changes to cognitive skills through development, social influences, and other factors.

Programme Structure

Students receive an intensive education in all psychological methods, that is in observation, experimentation, testing, and measuring, and in empirical and mathematical methods of data processing and interpretation. An internship interval lasting six weeks offers a look at the variety of fields of application and can be separated in to multiple sub-internships.


Academic Year Module Content Methods and Application Modules

Fundamental Modules:
Introduction to Psychology, General Psychology, Social Psychology, Differential Psychology, Personality Psychology

Methods Modules:
Descriptive Statistics, Inferential Statistics,
Experiment Planning

Fundamental Module:
Developmental Psychology,


Application Module:
Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Methods Modules:
Psychological Diagnostics, Test Theory, Independent Scientific Work


Fundamental Module:

Application Module:
Directive Communication Psychology and Media Psychology

Bachelor's Thesis

You can find details about the program layout on the department`s website (de).

Topical Modules – Minors

In addition to the broad course plan, students select a topical module from an elective catalog of offers from other disciplines: marketing, ergonomics, applied geography, psychoacoustics, sociology, and linguistics and communications. Furthermore there are language and rhetoric courses and the required hours as test subjects.


During their studies students must complete a full time internship lasting six weeks. The internship must be supervised by a psychologist – Diplom or Master – and can be distributed among different internships.

Programs Abroad

The faculty maintains research and teaching cooperations with a number of European and non-European universities, such as the EU mobility program ERASMUS+. Psychology students current have the possiblity to complete their year abroad for example at the University of Maastricht, the Department of Experimental Psychology at Ghent, and at Vilnius University.

RWTH students profit not only from the Faculty's exchange programs but also from the University's strategic partnerships with international universities. They can, for example, complete short stays at one of the IDEA League universities while completing a term paper.

The UROP Abroad program, the only one of its kind in Germay, offers the possibility to participate in research projects at international universities during Bachelor studies. These stays abroad are partially funded by RWTH-specific funding.

Entry Requirement


  • Abitur or equivalent HZB
  • Proficiency in German

Career Prospects

Due to their specialization RWTH Aachen graduates work in scientific research, provide assessments, design and accompany operational educational measures, and provide support with the selection of personnel. They work in research institutes and labs, occupational protection institutions, technical testing centers, corporate consulting, in testing and surveying, and at personnel service providers.

In cognitive psychology they accompany and optimize learning processes, for example at training facilities and continuing education and re-training institutions.

In health psychology they help individuals with a wide array of questions regarding rehabilitation and continuation of their work, or re-orientation.

As specialists for perception and decision processes they investigate user behavior and can support advertising and marketing campaigns.

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