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Department of
Education, Psychology and Communication

Master's degree program in
Psychology: Human Resources, Cognitive Ergonomics, Cognitive Neuroscience

a.y. 2020/21

Programme Description

The second cycle degree course in "Psychology: human resources, cognitive ergonomics, cognitive neurosciences" is subdivided into three separate study paths with the aim of enabling students to acquire basic and specialized competences in the field of managerial psychology and human resources training (occupational psychology curriculum), in the study of the man-machine interface and the underlying cognitive processes (ergonomics curriculum) and in the field of cognitive neurosciences (cognitive neurosciences curriculum).

The Occupational Psychology curriculum aims to provide graduates with the competences pertaining to a psychologist working in the field of work, organizations and human resources. The skills that students will acquire cover the ability to plan and offer psycho-social consultancy services to individuals, groups, organisations and institutions. This study path prepares graduates to work in operational contexts close to the world of business and the production of goods and services (including local health centres, hospitals, scholastic institutions), with public administrations and institutions and with consultancy services for the management of human resources. Graduates in occupational psychology will find career opportunities in three ambits pertaining to private and public organizations and agencies working in this specific sector: a) human resource management (recruitment, personnel selection, career design and counselling); b) personnel training in various work environments, both at the initial stage and ongoing: c) organizational diagnosis and intervention (i.e. management of work groups; facilitation of organizational change; organizational consultancy).

The Cognitive Ergonomics curriculum enables graduates to design models and interventional strategies for the re-organization of man/complex systems interfaces and to carry out autonomous basic and applied research on man-computer interaction by applying the principles of cognitive ergonomics. This study path aims to provide students with advanced theoretical and methodological knowledge in the field of ergonomic psychology enabling them to create man-machine interfaces which are innovative from a technological point of view, functional from a cognitive point of view, and attractive from an aesthetic perspective. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted and applied to the study of the human mind, man-machine interfaces, and the interaction between individuals and other complex systems. The aim is to foster a better understanding of the processes involved in the development of intelligent machines able to simulate or enhance the workings of the human mind. Students will acquire knowledge concerning the nature of intelligence and the representation of knowledge, the neural mechanisms which underlie complex cognitive abilities and the computational techniques pertaining to the development of models reflecting such capacities. The final objective is to develop a conceptual framework and technical/functional abilities which are transferrable to the world of work.

Psychology graduates will find professional opportunities in business settings where the need to study and improve user-interface relations recurs on a daily basis, in large organizations which focus on the management of complex problems linked to the design and implementation of intelligent machines, in the field of rehabilitation to study and develop artificial limbs to facilitate the recovery of injured patients, and in the management of relations between users and new media.

The Cognitive Neurosciences curriculum aims to provide graduates with an in-depth knowledge of the functional and neural aspects of cognitive and behavioural processes and the ability to interpret and diagnose cognitive deficiencies subsequent to focal or diffuse neurological damage. In order to reach such objectives, the study path enables students to acquire specialized knowledge regarding the cognitive processes which underlie human behaviour, their neural correlates, and the necessary tools to evaluate such processes. The depth of training will enable graduates either to pursue advanced studies in this subject area (II level Master's degrees/Doctoral studies), or to work in the field of clinical neuropsychology in two different professional ambits: neuroscience research laboratories and health structures focusing on the diagnosis and cure of neuropsychological disorders (i.e. local health centres, hospitals, care facilities which favour a scientific approach).

Together with the one-year vocational internship, the second cycle degree in psychology is one of the necessary prerequisites in order to be admitted to the Italian state examination for enrolment in the official register of psychologists (section A).

Degree Programme

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