Jacobs University offers study programs that comply with the regulations of the European Higher Education Area. All study programs are structured according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which facilitates credit transfer between academic institutions. The three-year under-graduate program involves six semesters of study with a total of 180 ECTS credit points (CP). The undergraduate curricular structure follows an innovative and student-centered modularization scheme - the 3C-Model - that groups the disciplinary content of the three study years according to overarching themes:
Study program structure
The ﬁrst study year is characterized by a university-specific offering of disciplinary education that builds on and expands upon the students’ entrance qualifications. Students select introductory modules for a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 15-30 CP will be from their intended major. A unique feature of our curriculum structure allows students to select their major freely upon entering Jacobs University. The Academic Advising Coordinator offers curricular counseling to all Bachelor students independently of their major, while Academic Advisors support students in their decision-making regarding their major study program as contact persons from the faculty.
To pursue Psychology as a major, students need to take the following CHOICE modules (15 CP) as mandatory modules:
- CHOICE Module: Essentials of Cognitive Psychology (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: Essentials of Social Psychology (7.5 CP)
The Essentials of Cognitive Psychology module establishes a general framework of human cognition in which many phenomena of thinking, interaction, and communication can be analyzed and predicted. Attention, perception, learning and memory will be some of your topics in the first semester, as well as intelligence, language, emotion, motivation, and personality. The module covers the historical foundations of psychology, influential and current theories and models as well as empirical research methods. The module also includes methods of critical thinking (evaluating current approaches and research results); the scientific cycle including basics of theory of science.
In the Essentials of Social Psychology module, you will deal with the influence the actual or perceived presence of others might have on people’s behavior and analyze how individual experience is embedded in contexts at different levels of complexity from the immediate social situations, institutions, to cultural meaning systems. This module will promote your insight into recent developments in social psychology as well as help you acquire a broad and thorough understanding of today’s most important topics in social psychological research.
Students can select the remaining CHOICE modules (30 CP) in their first year of studies according to their interests, which allows for a change of major until the beginning of the second year, when the major choice becomes fixed.
In their second year, students take a total of 45 CP from a selection of in-depth, discipline-speciﬁc CORE modules. Building on the introductory CHOICE modules and applying the methods and skills acquired so far (see 2.3.1), these modules aim to expand the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major for the current state of knowledge and best practice.
To pursue Psychology as a major, at least 30 CP from the following mandatory elective CORE modules need to be taken:
- CORE Module: Learning and Memory (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Social Cognition (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Organizational Psychology & Communication (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Neurobiology of Behavior (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Neuroscience Methods (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Attention, Sensation, and Perception (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Judgment & Decision Making (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Health Psychology (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Cultural Psychology (5 CP)
The Learning and Memory module is geared toward understanding how information is stored and retrieved, why we forget, and whether we can improve memory. In the Neurobiology of Behavior module, students will acquire knowledge about basic brain structures and how they function to contribute to cognitive processing and social interactions, and how neuropsychologists arrive at their insights in the Neuroscience Methods module. In the Attention, Sensation and Perception module, students learn how humans perceive the world through their senses; how (and why) perceptions deviate from the physical world; how attention shapes perception; and how all this can be investigated by psychophysical methods.
In the Social Cognition module, students will take an in-depth look – from the lab to the ‘real world’ – at the role of the actual or imagined presence of others as one of the more obvious of those factors. Students will also look at culture as one of the less obvious drivers in the Cultural Psychology module, analyzing why people from different corners of the world perceive the same things in very different manners. In the Organizational Psychology and Communication module, students will adopt a social cognition perspective in the study of behavior in organizations, as well as of fundamental processes of (non-)verbal communication and interaction.
The Judgment & Decision Making module teaches students how humans make judgments about (uncertain) events, decisions involving uncertainty or not, and how and why they deviate from normative (rational) decisions. As a practical application, students will learn how to conduct a decision analysis.
Students will learn to apply and to design models of health, behavior change, stress development and management in the Health Psychology module by focusing on the interaction between biology, health and behaviors.
15 CP in CORE modules can be selected in the second year of studies according to interest and with the aim to pursue a minor in a second field of studies.
During their third year, students prepare and make decisions about their career path after graduation. To explore available choices and to gain professional experience, students undertake a mandatory summer internship. The third year of studies allows Psychology students to take Specialization modules within their discipline, but also focuses on the responsibility of students beyond their discipline (see Jacobs Track).
The 5th semester also opens a mobility window for a diverse range of study abroad options. Finally, the 6th semester is dedicated to fostering the students’ research experience by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.
In the third year of their studies, students take 15 CP from major-specific or major-related, advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge and to be exposed to state-of-the-art research in the areas of their interest. This curricular component is offered as a portfolio of modules, from which students can make free selections during their 5th and 6th semester. The default specialization module size is 5 CP, with smaller 2.5 CP modules being possible as justified exceptions.
To pursue Psychology as major, 15 CP need to be taken from the following mandatory elective Specialization Modules:
- Specialization: Human Neuroscience Advanced Lab (Intersession) (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Pathophysiology and Psychotherapy of Depression (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Managing Demographic Change in Organizations (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Psychology of Food (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Lifespan Behavioral Neuroscience (5 CP)
- Specialization: The Science of Happiness (5 CP)
- Specialization: Applying Social Science Research (5 CP)
The specialization modules are intended to let you apply the general psychological skills you acquired during your first two years of study to specific fields of empirical research or professional practice in order to expand and refine those skills and to foster self-reflection on your career perspectives. In order to provide you with ample opportunity to apply your skills and to reflect the broad range of subfields in psychology, we offer specialization modules of 2.5 CP in addition to the 5 CP default size.
As defined by the specific needs for action in a given field, you will familiarize with and acquire new and advanced methods of problem analysis, data collection and analysis, and problem-solving. The modules in application-oriented fields (e.g., Managing demographic change in organizations) may also focus on exploring additional professional skills (e.g., Conflict management) and specific career profiles.
The Jacobs Track, an integral part of all undergraduate study programs, is another important feature of Jacobs University’s educational model. The Jacobs Track runs parallel to the discipli-nary CHOICE, CORE, and CAREER modules across all study years and is an integral part of all undergraduate study programs. It reﬂects a university-wide commitment to an in-depth training in scientific methods, fosters an interdisciplinary approach, raises awareness of global challeng-es and societal responsibility, enhances employability, and equips students with augmented skills desirable in the general ﬁeld of study.
Additionally, it integrates (German) language and culture modules.
Methods and Skills modules
Methods and skills such as mathematics, statistics, programming, data handling, presentation skills, academic writing, and scientific and experimental skills are offered to all students as part of the Methods and Skills area in their curriculum. The modules that are specifically assigned to each study programs equip students with transferable academic skills. They convey and practice specific methods that are indispensable for each students’ chosen study program. Students are required to take 20 CP in the Methods and Skills area. The size of all Methods and Skills modules is 5 CP.
To pursue Psychology as major, the following Methods and Skills modules (15 CP) need to be taken as mandatory modules:
- Methods Module: Academic Writing and Academic Skills (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Data Collection and Empirical Research Methodologies (5CP)
- Methods Module: Qualitative Research Methods (5CP)
For the remaining 5 CP Psychology students can choose between the following two Methods modules:
- Methods Module: Applied Statistics with R (5CP)
- Methods Module: Applied Statistics with SPSS (5CP)
Big Questions modules
The modules in the Big Questions area (10 CP) intend to broaden students’ horizons with ap-plied problem solving between and beyond their chosen disciplines. The offerings in this area comprise problem-solving oriented modules that tackle global challenges from the perspectives of different disciplinary backgrounds that allow, in particular, a reflection of acquired discipli-nary knowledge in economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts. Working togeth-er with students from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds, these modules cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.
Students are required to take 10 CP from modules in the Area. This curricular component is of-fered as a portfolio of modules, from which students can make free selections during their 5th and 6th semester with the aim of being exposed to the full spectrum of economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts. The size of Big Questions Modules is either 2.5 or 5 CP.
Community Impact Project
In their 5th semester students are required to take a 5 CP Community Impact Project (CIP) module. Students engage in on-campus or off-campus activities that challenge their social re-sponsibility, i.e., they typically work on major-related projects that make a difference in the community life on campus, in the campus neighborhood, Bremen, or on a cross-regional level. The project is supervised by a faculty coordinator and mentors.
Study abroad students are allowed to substitute the 5-CP Community Impact Project with 5 CP of Big Questions modules.
Communication skills and foreign language abilities foster students’ intercultural awareness and enhance their employability in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. Jacobs Uni-versity supports its students in acquiring and improving these skills by offering a variety of lan-guage modules at all proﬁciency levels. Emphasis is put on fostering the German language skills of international students as they are an important prerequisite for non-native students to learn about, explore, and eventually integrate into their host country and its professional environment. Students who meet the required German proﬁciency level (e.g., native speakers) are required to select modules in any other modern foreign language offered (Chinese, French or Spanish). Hence, acquiring 10 CP in language modules, with German mandatory for non-native speakers, is a requirement for all students. This curricular component is offered as a four-semester se-quence of foreign language modules. The size of the Language Modules is 2.5 CP.
The curriculum of the study program is outlined in the schematic study plan: