The Master programme in psychotherapy science builds on the Bachelor programme and provides in-depth knowledge of theory, methodology, scientific and research methods and clinical competences. The course duration is four semesters. Upon successful completion, students earn the academic degree Magistra / Magister der Psychotherapiewissenschaft (Mag.pth.).
Please note that the Master Programme in Psychotherapy Science at SFU Berlin is offered in German.
a) Proof of BA.pth. degree in Psychotherapy Science
→ the Master’s degree programme in Psychotherapy Science builds on the Bachelor’s degree programme in Psychotherapy Science at SFU Berlin.
b) Proof of polyvalent BA or BSc degree in Clinical Psychology (profile “Psychotherapy”) according to the “Approbationsordnung” of 14th Feb, 2020
→ If the contents of a psychotherapy bachelor’s degree are missing in the preliminary studies, it is possible to enrol in level B5 of the Bachelor’s degree programme in Psychotherapy Science with the corresponding crediting options after a case-by-case examination. The psychotherapy degree programme at SFU Berlin is designed to overlap procedures and is oriented towards the German Law on the Reform of Psychotherapeutic Training (PsychThG) of 15th Nov. 2019, in particular the implementation regulations according to §12 PsychThG and §62 of the Approbation Regulations (PsychTHApprO) of 14th Feb. 2020.
No admission procedure (see previous point “Admission requirements”) if the Bachelor’s degree programme in Psychotherapy Science has been completed.
Course Structure, incl. Curriculum
The students acquire general knowledge concerning the four basic orientations (scientifically based humanistic methods, psychodynamic methods, systemic methods and behavioural therapy-based methods) as well as knowledge corresponding to the focal points with regard to different personality theories and disorder patterns. Building on the general theory of illness from the bachelor’s degree programme, the focus of knowledge acquisition is placed on specific clinical phenomena. With regard to the theory-practice unit of psychotherapy science, the aim is to combine the acquisition of theoretical knowledge with the experiences from the internship parts to be completed in parallel.
Cognitive and practical skills
In the courses, students acquire knowledge about the psychotherapeutic process, which includes the initial interview and diagnosis as well as the therapy plan and final phase. In addition to the method-specific teaching of illnesses, the main topics immanent to psychotherapy, such as disorders of sexuality, trauma and addiction, are dealt with and developed from a cross-procedural perspective. The teaching of cultural-historical and social framework conditions sensitises students to the individual context in which diagnostics and the psychotherapeutic process take place.
Students acquire in-depth knowledge of the general and method-specific theory of illness and a differentiated view of personality theory and disorder patterns. The breadth of scientifically recognised procedures, including the basic orientations of psychotherapy, is illustrated. The practice of psychotherapy with children and adolescents and with adults and older people is taught, taking into account the various scientifically tested and recognised psychotherapeutic procedures and methods.
The students record psychological and neuropsychological disorders as well as psychological aspects of physical illnesses in all age and patient groups, taking into account scientific findings, estimate the opportunities, risks and limits of the various scientifically tested and recognised psychotherapeutic procedures and methods on a scientifically sound basis and depending on age, They explain their assessment of the opportunities, risks and limitations of the various scientifically tested and recognised psychotherapeutic procedures and methods to the patients, other persons involved or to be involved, institutions or authorities, select scientifically based treatment guidelines appropriate to the findings and the patient on the basis of previous diagnostics, differential diagnostics and classification, independently develop scientifically based case concepts and the corresponding treatment planning and observe the special features of the respective age group, the respective clinical pictures and the respective disease context as well as the emotional and intellectual stage of development of the patients concerned, explain mental and psychologically co-conditioned diseases in childhood, adolescence and adulthood including old age on the basis of the current state of science.
Students develop and evaluate psychodiagnostic procedures according to current test-theoretical models, prepare expert reports on clinical-psychological or psychotherapeutic issues according to the general state of scientific assessment, decide according to scientific criteria which diagnostic procedures are to be applied appropriately to the situation, taking into account the respective issue, including the patient’s age, personality characteristics, social environment as well as emotional and intellectual stage of development, carry out these procedures in individual cases, evaluate the results and interpret the results, use diagnostic procedures appropriately to recognise risk profiles, suicidality, signs of child welfare endangerment as well as signs of experiences of violence of a physical, psychological, sexual nature and unfavourable courses of treatment, systematically record and assess processes of progression and change, process and evaluate scientific expert opinions, They deal with and evaluate scientific expert questions concerning psychotherapeutic care, including questions about incapacity to work, occupational disability and the degree of disability or damage, recognise the limits of their own diagnostic competence and ability to judge and, where necessary, initiate measures to support themselves.
An essential part of the study is devoted to psychotherapy research. In order to be able to interpret and compare empirical research, but also to independently design and pursue questions, differentiated knowledge is necessary. Therefore, the theoretical basic knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods is deepened and also practised.
Internships and personality development
Practical application of the theoretically acquired knowledge is of great importance. The degree programme therefore provides for internships, some of which are to be completed externally, but also internally at the planned outpatient clinic, authorised practices and cooperating clinics, and which are reflected on during the course. In order to acquire the necessary psychotherapeutic attitude, the study programme includes compulsory personality development.
In the Master’s degree programme, the documentation, evaluation and organisation of psychotherapeutic treatments to the extent of two ECTS, the profession-qualifying activities II – in-depth practice of psychotherapy to the extent of 15 ECTS, the profession-qualifying activities III – applied practice of psychotherapy to the extent of 20 ECTS and the research-oriented internship II psychotherapy research to the extent of five ECTS take place in cooperation with the psychotherapeutic training outpatient clinic of the SFU Berlin under the supervision of licensed psychotherapists recognised according to German and Austrian law with corresponding specialist knowledge.
- PRAKT: internal and external internships in the care setting: seminars, internships, outpatient psychotherapy (incl. assumption of individual diagnostic and therapeutic actions under supervision in case seminars; maximum group size 12 students).
- Psychotherapy in interdisciplinary contexts (in-patient or day-care facilities or interdisciplinary treatment centres; incl. assumption of individual diagnostic and therapeutic actions under supervision)
Self-reflection both in the role of therapist, patient and observer or relative and improvement of individual emotional, cognitive, communicative and behavioural skills for self-regulation
- Practical psychotherapeutic activities: external internships of at least 300 hours and a practical consolidation as a practical semester of 600 to 900 hours are anchored. Within this framework, practical training of at least 300 hours must be completed in an inpatient psychiatric facility.
- Prior to the start of the internship, have it approved by the head of the degree programme and the responsible internship supervisor of the institution (form Studienbuch).
- Internship I (B1/2-B4): 480 hours, of which at least 20 hours in the SFU outpatient clinic | 20 hours reflection
Internship II (B5-B6 + M1-M4): 275 hrs. method-specific, of which 150 hrs. each
- Compulsory competence goals: Initial experience with the practical use of categorical and psychometric diagnostics of mental disorders; experience in obtaining information in the initial interview, taking a case history and psychotherapeutic diagnostics in at least two areas of application; initial experience with the documentation of psychodiagnostic processes; Knowledge of psychotherapeutic treatment concepts and psychotherapy procedures in different psychotherapeutic fields of application and both age focuses; knowledge of the indications for measures of care for persons with mental and psychosomatic illnesses and the responsibility of different care institutions; knowledge of different treatment paths taking into account different practitioners and treatment settings.
- Familiarity with the treatment of patients with different illnesses, degrees of severity and courses and the respective tasks in a multi-professional setting Knowledge of basic therapeutic and rehabilitative measures and implementation of a selection of these in the practice context (e.g. relaxation methods, psychoeducation)
Knowledge of measures to prevent harmful influences on patients, including indicators of danger to self or others and the measures to be taken in such cases; recognition of the benefits of supervision/self-reflection for competence development.
- Optional competence goals: Experience in the context of health promotion, prevention and rehabilitation, clinical issues also in non-clinical settings (e.g. workplace, school, home); experience with psychotherapeutic activities in institutional care facilities (e.g. youth welfare, community psychiatry, disability care, addiction support); initial experience in the treatment of people with special care needs (e.g. people with a migration background, psychotherapy for people with intellectual disabilities).
After completing the Master’s programme in Psychotherapy Science at SFU-Berlin, a corresponding application can be made to the relevant licensing authorities in accordance with §12 PsychThG for the granting of a licence to practise as a psychotherapist.
Qualification Profile and Skills
Professional qualification for the independent practice of the profession of psychotherapy; theoretical, scientific, clinical and personal competences.
Occupational Profiles and Career Opportunities
The specialist training that follows the licence to practise is governed by the respective state law and is administered within the framework of a further training regulation (WBO), which the German Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists is in charge of developing. “Psychotherapists in further training (PiW)” then no longer complete a training course as assistant psychotherapists, but are remunerated according to the collective agreement within the framework of at least five years of further training in inpatient, day-care, outpatient and preventive contexts.
With the further training, the specialist qualification (in the guideline procedure of behavioural therapy, depth psychology-based psychotherapy, analytical psychotherapy or, more recently, systemic therapy, which is now recognised under social law) is acquired, the protected professional title can be used in order to be entered in the doctor’s register at the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV) of the state and thus to obtain the authorisation under social law and to apply to the KV for a licence for independent establishment as a contractual psychotherapist in statutory health care.
Per semester: 5,850 Euro* per semester (if paid at the beginning of the semester).
Quarterly: 2,954.25 Euro (incl. administration fee)
Monthly: 994,50 Euro (incl. administration fee)
*valid for new enrolments as of winter semester 2021/22
Model a): Payment of the entire tuition fee (Mag.pth.) in advance (4 semesters). Discount: 1.5%
Model b): Payment of the tuition fee for one academic year in advance (2 semesters). Discount: 1%.
In case of an early termination of studies, the remaining amount will be refunded. The completed semester is charged without discount.
The following costs are included in the tuition fees
1. theory courses
2. major part of self-awareness
4. internships (professional activities I and II)
5. examination fees
The total tuition fees are limited to the number of semesters of the standard study duration (Magister / Mag.pth.: 4). An extension of the study programme by 1 year does not increase the total costs of the study programme.
Costs for admission and enrolment: 150 euros
This includes the processing of the documents, two interviews, participation in a seminar, crediting procedure of previous education, information interviews, etc. In the case of positive admission, the enrolment fee is credited to the 1st tuition fee due.
If the course of study constitutes a further education measure or a retraining measure, the tuition fees can be claimed under the Income Tax Act. The entire tuition fees are then tax-deductible.
Psychotherapy science students are entitled to BAföG payments if they meet all the requirements set out in the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG).
Options for financing your studies
SFU Berlin offers a comprehensive and continuously updated brochure with information on student loans, scholarships and cultural funding opportunities. Contact us any time for more details.
Contact us about financing options:
Study Service Center SFU Berlin
Tel.: + 49(0)30 695 797 28-0
Scholarships and Financing
Dates and Deadlines
The Master’s degree programme was accredited by the Austrian Accreditation Council in 2005.
All SFU Accreditation Reports are available on the website of SFU Vienna.
After completing the Master’s programme in Psychotherapy Science at SFU Berlin, a corresponding application according to §12 PsychThG can be submitted to the licensing authorities for receiving a licence to practise as a psychotherapist.