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Community Psychology

Community Psychology

Course Presentation

The goals of the Master in Community Psychology are to allow advanced formation in Community Psychology in its principles, values and intervening areas; promote the theoretic development over the interaction and integration of individuals/groups within community contexts; deepen the knowledge under the domain of Ethics and Diversity within community intervention; promote the exchange of transnational experiences under the domains of Community Change and Empowerment, develop research, privileging participating and collaborative methodologies.

Profile of the Programme and Level of Qualification

2 (two) years, 4 (four) semesters, 38 weeks of full-time study per academic year, 120 ECTS. The degree includes two semesters of thesis.


The Master’s is recognised by the Ordem dos Psicólogos. Professional title requires enrolment in the Ordem dos Psicólogos. 


University Higher Education – Masters Level 7 (National Framework of Qualifications, Decree-Law 782/2009, published in Diário da República, 1ª Série, nº 141, July 23th.

Key Learning Outcomes

The ability to fully understand:

  • The main theories and models in Community Psychology; 
  • The main methods in Community Psychology; 
  • The relations between the knowledge in Psychology with specific knowledge acquired in Community Psychology; 
  • The relations between the knowledge acquired in areas that are related to Psychology with knowledge acquired in Community Psychology.


To be able to critically use: 

  • The knowledge acquired in the domain of the main theories and models in Community Psychology and to use it in the resolution of problems; 
  • The knowledge acquired in the domain of the main methods in Community Psychology  and to use it in the resolution of problems; 
  • The knowledge acquired in Psychology and to use it in the resolution of problems; 
  • The knowledge acquired in areas that are related to Psychology and to use it in the resolution of problems.


To be able to think over and to solve ethical and social problems that derive from Community Psychology  in specific contexts;
To be able to communicate, in a clear way, both to specialists and non-specialists, the main theoretical and methodological constructs as well as the conclusions of a research work;
To be able to develop, through out life, research work in Community Psychology that allows learning with a high level of autonomy.

Qualification awarded

Master Degree

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Course is available to:


a) Holders of a first degree (post-Bologna 1st cycle ) organized in accordance with the principles of the Bologna Process or holders of a pre-Bologna degree in Psychological Sciences, Psychology, Health Sciences, Social Sciences or related areas;

b) Exceptionally, if this requirement is not met, holders of an academic, scientific or professional curriculum, that is recognized as attesting the capacity for the completion of this Course.


The recognition referred to in b) is performed by the Scientific Council and by the Board of the Course.

Specific Arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning

In accordance with the current legislation (Portaria 401/2007, of Abril 5th and Decreto Lei 64/2006, of March 21st) ISPA recognizes and credits skills acquired in professional and other contexts for academic purposes.

Former Students Occupational Profiles

Paula Carneiro


Paula Carneiro is a former student that now is Microsoft’s Western European Business Manager.


She graduated in Social and Organizational Psychology in 1990. During her years at ISPA she attended, as an Erasmus Student, the Université d’Aix in Marseille, collaborated in several projects in the Community (namely with CNAF and LPDM) and decided to enrol in a Post-Graduation in Cognitive Ergonomics.


After graduating, she taught at ISPA and worked in several companies in the areas of aviation and communications, before she began her first experience in a multinational company: ICL Fujitsu. Paula spent 6 years at ICL Fujitsu, half of them abroad, in England. There she contacted with different organizational policies, practices and processes.


In 1997 Paula began another professional challenge. She created the Human Resources Management area at Data Informática, a company held by BES.


After 6 years she embraced another project, this time at Microsoft, where she develops several projects in Human Resources.


Tiago Almeida


At the age of 27, Tiago Almeida, a former student is a case of professional success. The educational psychologist spends his time between the Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa (Lisbon School of Education) where he teaches Psychology, research (he is currently preparing to apply to the PhD), collaboration with the UIPCDE – Unidade de Investigação em Psicologia Cognitiva do Desenvolvimento e da Educação at ISPA, and the Center of Educational Intervention “Educares” that he created with a another former student.


In 2000, at the age of 18, Tiago didn’t hesitate to choose ISPA. He says “It feels like home”.


Although he planned to pursue his studies in Clinical Psychology he latter discover Educational Psychology: qualified teachers, the subjects and the projects available helped him make his decision.


Since then, he had several very rewarding professional experiences in schools such as Maristas, in Carcavelos, Casa da Criança, in Tires and Plátanos, in Sintra.


Filipa Pereira


Filipa Pereira, who graduated as a Clinical Psychologist at ISPA, is now working at the Comissão de Protecção de Crianças e Jovens (Comission for the Protection of Children and Young People at Risk) in the Eastern part of Lisboa.


Filipa always dreamt of becoming a Psychologist and, when the time came, she didn’t hesitate to move to Lisboa and to enrol at ISPA. Friends and family spoke highly of the School and she embraced this new challenge. She says that at ISPA she found “a home away from home”.


At ISPA she chose Clinical Psychology stating that “Clinical Psychology is very interesting and provides different professional approaches and options”. As a student she emphasizes the importance of the contact between students and teachers as well as the contact with the professional reality provided by the internship.


Apart from the academic activities, Filipa underlines the importance of the cultural initiatives held at ISPA, namely poetry sessions, concerts, exhibitions or films.

Mode of Study

Full-time. Two semesters with a curricular component and two semesters of dissertation

Access to Further Study

The Master’s degree allows access to 3rd Cycle studies, according to the conditions stated by NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Center).


More information at NARIC.

Examination Regulations Assessment and Grading

On a 0 to 20 grading scheme, a minimum grade of 10 in each course unit is necessary to pass.

The assessment in each course may include:


  • Type 1 Assessment Methods: exams (with or without oral presentation);
  • Type 2 Assessment Methods: group or individual essays (with or without oral presentation);


Assessment may also include the evaluation of participation in class.


The following table presents the possibilities of arrangement of Assessment Methods and the respective percentage of the final grade.


 Type 1 Assessment MethodsType 2 Assessment Methods
D90% + 10%
E90% + 10%-



The type of assessment of each course is included in the course syllabus that also contains the course objectives, course expectations, course contents and recommended reading.


The Master’s requires public presentation and discussion of a written dissertation before an expert panel designated by the Scientific Council, composed of a President and at least to examiners from the specific academic area of the Master’s (one internal and one external). 

Graduation Requirements

To graduate the student must complete the 120 ECTS successfully.

Programme Director

José Ornelas - jornelas@ispa.pt