Objectives and professional roles



The purpose of the Master Degree in Clinical Psychology for Individuals, Families and Organizations is to prepare a new professional psychologist who is capable of dealing not only with the personal problems of individuals, couples and families, but also with work-related problems, their development in enterprises, institutions and non-profit organizations.

It has the following specific knowledge and skills training objectives:

  • an advanced grounding in the theories, methods and techniques of clinical and dynamic psychology, including their epistemological assumptions and biological dimension; 
  • a basic knowledge of the developmental base of the human brain, through the dynamics of attachment and a consideration of the neuroscientific relational underpinning of this complex process;
  • a mastery of the operational tools, with particular reference to diagnostic and treatment techniques, that characterize the main forms of clinical intervention;
  • the ability to conduct and design preventive interventions aimed not only at individuals, couples and families but also at companies, institutions and non-profit organizations, in professional autonomy;the ability to make diagnoses with prognostic indications for possible treatments;
  • a capacity to preliminary diagnose and conduct interventions on traumatic problems expecially form trauma of human agency, which might develop into personality disorders and other psychopathology;
  • a preliminary capacity to diagnose and prepare towards a therapeutic intervention for the treatment of personality disorders and non-neurotic disorders;
  • A capacity to evaluate and clarify the developmental consequences of secure, insecure and disorganized attachment;
  • a background in methods enabling a full understanding of clinical research and the basic skills to design and carry out research in the clinical field;
  • the ability to work in macro-social contexts, to promote a satisfactory balance between the needs of individual empowerment and business objectives, taking into account the sustainable development of business in both national and international contexts; 
  • the acquisition of adequate preparation to carry out a selection of personnel, "team" and "one to one" coaching in companies, institutions and non-profit organizations, to handle issues related to the management of the decision-making process, of communication and of the social skills of organizations and institutions;
  • the ability to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of one's own and others' interventions;
  • the acquisition of knowledge of professional ethics and responsibility and the ability to take responsibility for interventions centered on the individual, the family, groups and organizations.

The two-year training programme includes classroom lectures, individual study and highly specialized workshops, conducted in small groups, characterized by active learning through exercises, role plays and group works and real or simulated experiences in order to impart skills in diagnostic and intervention methods. Attendance at the workshops is compulsory.

At the end of the two years, the preparation and discussion of the thesis - of an empirical nature or a critical analysis of theoretical models - will provide an opportunity to show the level of learning achieved on a specific topic. The student enters the final Master Degree examination upon successful completion of the in-course Tirocinio-Pratico-Valutativo (TPV; practical-assessment traineeship) and passing the Prova-Pratico-Valutativa (PPV; practical-assessment test), which as clearly stated already will have to be discussed and passed in Italian. It is impossible to graduate from this master program qualifying for the practice of Psychology in Italy without having passed the oral exam of the PPV in Italian. At the moment, there are no exception to this rule (based on the rules mandated by Ministry of Education in Italy, not by the University of Bergamo, and all Italian universities have to enforce these rules).

Career opportunities

This degree course leads to a professional qualification which opens a broad range of employment possibilities up for its graduates within public and/or private institutional contexts (e.g., social and health institutions such as the National Health Service, hospitals and clinics, therapeutic communities and community services, educational institutions, territorial residential facilities, addiction facilities, private practices, private third sector agencies and organizations, firms and NGOs) or as a freelance professional.

Furthermore, it offers the possibility of collaborating with other institutions (health, judiciary, school), in national and international non-profit organizations, public institutions, and corporates, for consulting, prevention, promotion of well-being and health, diagnosis and intervention in situations of individual and social distress, as well as psychopathology.

The programme is designed to equip students with a theoretical and working knowledge of psychological, relational and organizational difficulties in individuals (including children and young people), couples, families and organizations, and counseling based strategies for working with them in their contexts within an integrated systemic perspective.

Graduates will gain the abilities to relate to different targets and contexts to assess difficulties and promote positive change at different levels.

Examples of specific fields where graduates can give valuable contributions, both in private firms sector and public institutions, are:

  • assessment, diagnosis and psycho-social interventions with individuals and groups;
  • selection of personnel;
  • "team" and "one to one" coaching in companies, institutions and non-profit organizations;
  • consultancies for communication and training in organizations and institutions;
  • research and designing preventive interventions aimed at individuals, couples and families as well as at companies, institutions and non-profit organizations.

Graduates may take the MSc as a stepping stone towards further postgraduate study (e.g., to support an application to a PhD or a Doctorate training programme, postgraduate courses, specialization schools and Master Degrees) or to entry the Board of Psychologists of Italy (Sezione A dell'Ordine degli Psicologi) or the EuroPsy qualification.