MSc in Clinical Psychology

The MSc programme in Clinical Psychology provides students with the theoretical foundation and essential professional training necessary for careers as psychologists.




120 ECTS.


Language of instruction is Icelandic and English.

Length of study

Two years, full time.

Essential training and theory

The MSc programme in Clinical Psychology at Reykjavik University combines the foundation of clinical psychology with the major evidence-based approaches of cognitive-behaviour therapy and applied behaviour analysis. Through the provision of knowledge, skills, and competence, the aim is to graduate well-rounded and capable psychologists, thoroughly prepared professionally and ethically for work within a wide range of settings in Iceland and abroad.

Courses, thesis, and clinical placements

The programme consists of three core components: coursework, research thesis and supervised clinical placements. Course content is benchmarked against similar programmes available internationally, in particular the Cand. Psych. degree of the Nordic region. All students are provided with training in the following main areas:

  • adult psychology

  • child, adolescent and/or family psychology

  • 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.

Certification as psychologist

To become a certified psychologist in Iceland, students must fulfill the requirements set forth by the Directorate of Health. After completing the MSc in Psychology at RU 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. The MSc in Clinical Psychology at Reykjavik University is accredited by the Ministry of Education in Iceland.

Approved by the BACB

ACS_logoThe Behavior Analyst Certification Board has approved the behaviour analysis course sequence of the MSc programme in Clinical Psychology at RU. This means that it meets the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behaviour Analyst Examination. This is the only programme in Iceland to have this qualification. Applicants for Board Certification will have to meet additional practice requirements to qualify, but those who provide verification of completing the RU approved course sequence will not have to provide coursework documentation. Course approval is listed at the  BACB official Web page.


Three core components

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 subject to availability as advised by participating service providers.

Programme outline

1st semester

  • Psychological Assessment I
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
  • 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

* The 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.


Course catalogue

Information about courses can be found online in the RU Course Catalogue.


Academic staff

Researchers and specialists

Please follow the link below to see a complete list of resident professors and part-time lecturers in the Department of Psychology with information about research areas.


Necessary preparation

Admission is limited to those that have completed 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.

Selection process

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

Got any questions?

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 e-mail or phone.


Hildur Droplaug Pálsdóttir

Programme Administrator

Linda Bára Lýðsdóttir

Programme Director


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