From Kindergarten to the FSB: For Whom are SUSU Psychologists Being Trained

People in this specialty know what to do if you don’t want to live, how to overcome aggression, stop fighting with your loved ones, what makes it impossible to build a family, or how to move up the career ladder. Professional psychologists able to solve internal issues and tension are being trained at the Faculty of Psychology at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities at SUSU. The division was founded in 1996. Today, the quality of higher education in this in-demand area is called classical, while the knowledge obtained is universal. Graduates with degrees as experts of the human psyche are needed by both pre-schoolers in their day cares and by operatives in the special forces. Dean of the faculty, doctor of psychology, professor Elena Soldatova, told us about the organizations where students now work after graduating with a major in psychology and what skills they receive within the university’s walls.

– Elena Leonidovna, what does a professional psychologist do?

– A psychologist’s clients include, as a rule, typical people without psychological pathologies who have gotten into a difficult situation and have a difficult choice on life’s path standing before them or some goals, are solving issues in their relationship with their partner, are looking for life’s purpose or what they should do in love, are going through unrequited love or crises – people who have exhausted their typical resources (advice from their loved ones, personal experience, and so on) and need real, professional help from a psychologist. In addition, psychologists help with professional orientation, consultations on career choices, relationships, and more.

– What knowledge does a psychologist have after graduating from your faculty?

– Graduates of our faculty are professional psychologists with unique knowledge and skills that allow them to offer psychological help to their clients – people of different ages and social groups (families, organizations, sports teams, etc.):

  • Offer psychological help to a client in a tough life situation;
  • Help organize and offer psychological help in emergency situations;
  • Help clients through crisis periods;
  • Consult families in all of their stages (planning, family crises, and husband-wife and parent-child relationships);
  • Offer consultations to organizations, organization leaders, and staff;
  • Monitor the psychological safety and comfort of living spaces or the psychological climate of a group (family, organization);
  • Diagnose and help with professional psychodiagnostic complexes on unique personality traits, intellect, various skills and propensities, behavioral characteristics, and predict success in various kinds of professional activities.

– Where do your graduates work?

– Employers – our partners, as a rule – distinguish graduates of the SUSU Faculty of Psychology from those of other universities and are happy to employ them in: staffing agencies, academic institutions, and the psychological services of Emercom, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and security agencies. Our graduates organize their own consultation offices and development centers where they work successfully with various groups of the population.

– You speak about the various education levels of psychologists. Please tell us more about bachelor’s students, specialists, and master’s students.

– That’s right, with us you can receive two levels of psychological education: bachelors (four years) + masters (two years) and the classical university education, which is a specialty in the psychology of official business (five years).

A bachelor’s degree is the foundation of higher education. Having received this degree, graduates can work as psychologists, but only with someone who has a master’s or is a specialist in psychology. To be able to do consultations or offer trainings or developmental groups, they must also receive their master’s degree.

The specialty in psychology gives students the opportunity to receive a universal education, with all of the necessary skills for individual practice: diagnostic, consultation, research, and training skills. The psychology specialist is particularly in-demand in various institutions of the security agencies. We prepare specialists able to help in extreme or emergency situations, offer consultations for staff and leadership of the security agencies and any other organizations, participate in the hiring process or in diagnosing skills and abilities of enlisters or current employees, and predict unique character traits and development.

In addition, we have post-graduate studies, where you can enroll having gone through the proper competition. Any graduate of a master’s program, specialty, or doctoral program can enroll and prepare for the defense of their doctoral dissertation as a candidate of psychology.

– What qualifications are given to post-graduate students of psychology?

– Post-graduate studies are one more step in higher education – the highest scientific education. Post-graduate students are specialists or master’s students with degrees who want to complete research and teach in higher education institutions. Having completed their post-graduate studies, as a rule, the graduate is ready to defend a candidate dissertation in psychology.

– Is it possible in your university to defend a dissertation and receive an advanced degree?

– Of course. SUSU is the only university in the Chelyabinsk Region with a dissertation committee for psychology. We accept candidate and doctoral dissertations for defense. The fact that we have a dissertation committee at our university shows its exclusivity – VAK only trusts those universities meeting the criteria of high scientific qualifications with defenses.

– What are the main advantages that your faculty has over others who also offer programs in psychology?

– First of all – our staff. We have the highest quantity of doctors and candidates of psychology in our faculty.

Second – the recognition of the quality of psychological education at our faculty by the Russian Psychological Society (RPS) and the international psychology society – the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA). According to data from the RPS, the SUSU Faculty of Psychology is one of the top 5 best Faculties of Psychology in the Russian Federation. The EFPA has given us the right among only 9 Russian universities to nominate our best graduates (specialists and master’s students) for the EUROPSY certificate. Having received such certificate, graduates of our faculty can open a professional practice in Europe without any additional certifications of their qualifications (without nostrification of their diploma).

Third – you can complete all levels of education here and even receive the highest scientific qualification by defending your dissertation at the only dissertation committee in the South Ural Region for psychology.

Fourth – our researchers work with famous international research collectives. In 2016, SUSU was included in the International Network for Research in Child Health and Development (INRiCHD), which brings together the leading scientific collectives in this field from various countries: Canada, Great Britain, China, and Russia. We work with researchers from Greece in the international project for adaptation and standardization of the original psychodiagnostic method, the Fairy Tale Test.

So, those who plan to enroll in our faculty have many opportunities. Education here is both interesting and helpful since it is based on personal development, drawing from one’s own experience and worries, and focuses on developing one’s character.


Materials from, photo: SUSU Photo School
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