MSc in Clinical Psychology

2 years full time, 120 ECTS, taught degree

Language of instruction: Icelandic and English



The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSc in Clinical Psychology) provides essential professional training in the main areas of work performed by psychologists in Iceland. The programme is distinctive in that it combines foundational areas of  clinical psychology with the major evidence-based approaches of  cognitive-behaviour therapy and  applied behaviour analysis. Through the provision of high quality knowledge, skills, and competence, the MSc in Clinical Psychology at Reykjavik University aims to produce well-rounded and capable psychologists, thoroughly prepared professionally and ethically for work within a wide range of human-service settings in Iceland and abroad.

The programme consists of three core components, coursework, research thesis and supervised clinical placements. Course content is benchmarked against similar programs available internationally, in particular the Cand Psych degree of the Nordic region. All students are provided with training in the following main areas: (1) adult psychology; (2) child, adolescent and/or family psychology; and (3)intellectual disabilities, neuropsychology and/or rehabilitation. 

The programme is taught by full- and part-time lectures at RU as well as by visiting international scholars/specialists.


The MSc in Clinical Psychology at Reykjavik University is accredited by the Ministry of Education in Iceland. In addition the program satisfies the requirements in Icelandic law for practising as a psychologist. The Directorate of Health grants permission to individuals to work as a psychologist. After completing the MSc in Psychology or equivalent and before individuals apply for permission to practice as a psychologist, the applicant must finish 12 months of working within the field under the guidance of a psychologist.


ACS_logoThe International credentialing board the Behavior Analyst Certification Board has approved the Reykjavik University MSc Psychology behaviour analysis course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behaviour Analyst Examination. Course approval is listed at the  BACB official Web page. 

This is the only course in Iceland to have such approval.  Applicants for Board Certification will have to meet additional practice requirements to qualify for Board Certification, but those who provide verification that they have completed the RU approved course sequence will not have to provide coursework documentation.


The programme consists of three core components: coursework, research based thesis and supervised clinical placement.

Coursework - 72 ECTS (60%)

The coursework component includes adult clinical psychology, child and adolescent psychology, intellectual disabilities and other specialist areas of practice such as older adults, neuropsychology, health psychology, and forensic psychology. Courses are delivered by both Icelandic and international faculty in either Icelandic or English.

Research thesis -  30 ECTS (25%)

The Research Thesis is an empirical investigation relevant to the broad discipline of clinical psychology and must involve human participants. Under supervision, the thesis is formulated and initiated in Semester 2, thesis data collection is completed in Semester 3, and data analysis and write-up are completed in Semester 4.

Supervised clinical placement - 18 ECTS (15%)

Each student completes one supervised clinical placement in each of semesters 2, 3, and 4 under the supervision of experienced psychologists. The first placement for all students is in the adult area. The ordering of the second and third placements (child, adolescent, and family; and intellectual disability/neuropsychology/rehabilitation) will be according to availability as advised by participating service providers.

Programme outline

1st semester

  • Psychological Assessment I
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
  • Interpersonal Communications and Counselling
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Concepts and Principles of Behaviour Analysis
  • Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis

2nd semester

  • Problem Identification and Assessment
  • Fundamental Elements of Behaviour Change and Specific Behaviour Change Procedures
  • Intervention and Behaviour Change Systems
  • Advanced Applications of Cognitive Behavioural Intervention
  • Research Thesis 1: Research Methods and Design
  • Supervised Clinical Placement 


3rd semester

  • Psychological Assessment II
  • Contemporary Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability
  • Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Research Thesis 2: Implementation and Data Management
  • Supervised Clinical Placement
4th semester

  • Neuropsychology
  • Research Thesis 3: Analysis, Interpretation
    and Write-up
  • Supervised clinical placement
  • Elective choose from one of the following*
- Forensic Psychology
- Organizational Psychology
- Psychology of Health and Illness

*Student can either choose to take one of the two electives offered in the MSc in Psychology or  choose a graduate course from other schools/departments at RU. Alternative electives will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Academic staff


  • Admission is limited to persons possessing a BA or BSc degree with a minimum of 150 ECTS in psychology from a programme accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
  • Proficiency in Icelandic and English is required.

Application for admission to the programme is advertised, and selection is based on a competitive application process. The selection process involves a written application describing the applicant's qualifications and experience, supported by referee reports. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed by a selection panel.

Contact us

If you cannot find the information you are looking for on our website, please do contact us. We are here to help, and we welcome enquiries by email or phone.


Thelma Sif Sævarsdóttir

Programme Administrator


Jón Friðrik Sigurðsson

Programme Director

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