The Master's programme Psychology of Developmental and Learning Disorders in Children
Scientific director: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Lachmann
State of research, diagnosis, prevention, intervention
According to recent studies, about eight to ten percent of school-aged children in German primary schools are affected by persistent learning difficulties. Even exceptionally gifted children often do not reach their full potential in terms of academic achievement. Current research findings on effective prevention and intervention programmes are not sufficiently implemented in practice.
This degree programme enables professionals from educational fields to acquire skills and competencies in evidence-based diagnostics and interventions based on comprehensive background knowledge of theories and methods of developmental and educational psychology.
The German-language Master's programme is aimed at professionals confronted with childhood learning and developmental difficulties who would like to acquire additional knowledge and skills in the areas of diagnostics and intervention, counselling affected individuals and institutions, or management and research in the field of learning and development support.
Objective and degree
The distance learning programme provides the participants with the opportunity to acquire practical competencies in evidence-based diagnostics and intervention in children with learning and developmental disorders, based on comprehensive background knowledge on the current state of research on causes and risk and protective factors at the individual and contextual levels. Graduates are enabled to independently apply the acquired knowledge and skills in the design of environments supportive for children’s learning and development.
Graduates of the Master's programme are awarded a diploma from the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, a certificate documenting conferment of the academic degree Master of Science (M.Sc.) as well as an English-language diploma supplement.
The distance learning programme comprises 15 compulsory modules that focus on, for example
- Psychological foundations of learning and academic performance,
- Research methods and statistics,
- Evidence-based diagnostics and intervention,
- Attention-deficit disorders,
Students who, at the start of the programme, do not have sufficient knowledge of research methods and statistics complete an additional introductory module in the first semester.
Distance learning programmes are basically defined by the fact that students do not physically attend the institution of higher education, instead the institution of higher education comes to them. Both programme organisation and the didactically prepared learning materials are based on the concept of independent learning: the learners are supported in taking personal responsibility for their own learning process by a teaching-learning arrangement that consists of a combination of self-learning materials, on-campus phases and online-based interactions in the online campus. Each programme has an own virtual learning environment within the online campus that accompanies the students for the duration of their course. During the on-campus phases, the students have the opportunity to consolidate and substantiate the self-taught content in the context of practical classes and group work and to further discuss their acquired skills and knowledge in consideration of current issues.
Schedule and organisation
The distance learning programme in Psychology of Developmental and Learning Disorders in Children has a standard period of study of five semesters (part-time). Mandatory on-campus phases take place once or twice per semester over a (long) weekend in Kaiserslautern. The written module examinations are also completed during mandatory on-campus phases.
A weekly commitment of around 15-20 hours is required to study the material, complete the mail-in assignments, take the examinations, write a term paper and complete the Master's thesis.
At a glance
At the moment, the tuition fee is EUR 1,490 per semester and the social fee amounts to currently 102 euro. The one-time fee for the Master's thesis is 500 euro. The tuition fees do not include travel and accommodation expenses or meal allowances during the on-campus phases. In the first and second semester after the end of the standard period of study, only the social fee is charged. The tuition fee is reduced to 30 percent of the original fee as of the third semester exceeding the standard period of study; this does not apply to the Master's thesis fee. The tuition fees are exempted from German VAT and may be tax-deductible if the legal requirements are fulfilled.
Subject to change.
The Master's and Certificate programmes at the DISC are training programmes. The admission requirements are based on the following legal regulations:
- the Higher Education Act (Hochschulgesetz) of the respective federal state,
- the applicable examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung) at the time of enrolment,
- the enrolment regulations.
The specific admission requirements for the TU Kaiserslautern and this programme can be accessed here.
Professionally qualified persons without a university degree have the opportunity to take an aptitude test under certain requirements.
The aim of the aptitude test is to determine whether candidates with professional experience but no university degree have comparable skills and knowledge to candidates with a completed undergraduate degree. The application for admission to the aptitude test must be submitted to the Subdivision Distance Student Affairs.
For more information on deadlines or requirements, please click here.
The distance learning programme starts in the winter semester (October) of every year. Information on the application procedure and deadlines can be accessed here.
The distance learning programme's scientific director is Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Lachmann (TU Kaiserslautern). The scientific coordinator is apl. Prof. Dr. habil. Maria Klatte (TU Kaiserslautern).
The distance learning programme Psychology of Developmental and Learning Disorders in Children is accredited to award the academic degree Master of Science (M.Sc.). The agency responsible for the accreditation process is AQAS.
The job title "psychologist" normally requires the completion of a university programme with a major in psychology and an awarded diploma or a Bachelor's and subsequent Master's degree. Due to the Bologna agreement and in consideration of EU law and the consensus reached by the EFPA (European Federation of Psychologists' Associations) (BDP), which unites national associations of psychologists, the Association of German Professional Psychologists assesses German Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes with a major in psychology. A list of all BDP-recognised degree programmes that lead to full membership in the BDP and allow graduates to use the academic title "psychologist" and furthermore may result in conferment of the European Certificate in Psychology (EuroPsy) can be accessed on the website of the BDP.
Graduates of only the Master's programme Psychology of Developmental and Learning Disorders in Children (without a recognised Bachelor’s degree in psychology) may not use the academic title “psychologist”. Recognition of a degree programme in the BDP list does not automatically mean that the Master's degree in the programme Psychology of Developmental and Learning Disorders in Children satisfies the strict criteria of the German Psychotherapists Act (Psychotherapeutengesetz) and therefore does not automatically enable graduates to apply for vocational training as a psychological psychotherapist or a child and youth psychotherapist. If you wish to complete vocational training in the field of psychotherapy, please contact the chosen institution directly in order to ascertain the respective admission criteria.
We are here for you
Dipl.-Psych. Cosima Jergens
Marita Konerding M.Sc.
All questions concerning application and examination procedures will be answered by the Subdivision Distance Student Affairs.