The Department of Psychology (DP), since 2001, develops its activity in the field of Human Sciences through Training and Research Units in the field of Psychology. Training is active at the 1st cycle (Bachelor in Psychology) and 2nd cycle (Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology) level.
As the University is a place of transmission and production of knowledge based on research, the Department of Psychology created the Center for Research in Psychology – CIP (FCT evaluation with good, allowing its accreditation with funding), whose line of research falls within the scope of Psychosocial Vulnerability and Unstable Contexts. It integrates several projects under development and, since 2005, publishes the scientific journal PSYCHE, now a biannual journal. It is an electronic publication, with free access.
From a pedagogical point of view, the PD has envisaged an experiential and participatory learning, in line with the Bologna directives, encouraging students to develop an active attitude in their training process. The concern for a consistent and concrete training sustained from the perspective of “learning by doing” is supported through practical classes in a Hospital context; Psychometrics and Neurosciences Laboratories; the possibility of direct observation of students in psychology consultations at the University Center for Psychology and Counseling (CUPA).
Adopting a systemic view that learning results from the interaction of several factors, of which we emphasize the importance of well-being and individual motivation, the DP created the Office of Psychological Support and Health Promotion - GAPS, aimed at the entire academic community (teachers, students and employees) with the aim of promoting the active resolution of individual problems that may act as vulnerability factors. It also created the Tutoring Office, whose mission is to provide an opportunity to overcome obstacles that may arise and hinder the student's academic path, preventing failure and abandonment of the university project. This office proposes to work on students' learning difficulties and adaptation to social life, more specifically those of an academic context.
One of the variables that contributes and facilitates the acquisition and sedimentation of knowledge is the participation and attendance of classes. In this way, students are encouraged to give priority to attendance and involvement in academic, social and cultural activities.
With regard to the teaching staff, there has been a focus on their retention, the relevance of their pedagogical experience in the area of study (the vast majority holds a PhD in psychology) and research.