Birth and development
The University of Milano-Bicocca’s Department of Psychology is both young and steeped in tradition: founded in 1999 as part of a newly established university, it stems from the Institute of Psychology within Milan University’s Faculty of Humanities, founded in the early post-war period by Cesare L. Musatti.
The Institute was then directed for a long time by Giuseppe Mosconi, who in 1998 founded the Faculty of Psychology and, the following year, the Department, merging the Institute’s original multitude of research areas into a unified scientific project.
This project successfully combined basic research with clinical and applied research, effectively bringing together different disciplines that all contribute, from different perspectives, to our knowledge of the mind. Re-established on 1 October 2012 following the approval of the new University Statute, in its approximately fifteen years of activity the Department has grown both scientifically and quantitatively, becoming one of the most prestigious psychology departments in Italy.
In terms of numbers, it has grown from the initial 17 members to the current 79, to which dozens of research fellows/fellows and PhD students have been added; today it is the largest psychology department in Italy. Among the many activities of the Department of Psychology, mention should be made of the honorary degree awarded to the well-known jazz musician Paolo Fresu for having dedicated his art to promoting culture in the communities and groups of his homeland.
The Department of Psychology acts as a national and international centre for the promotion and coordination of research in a range of areas including General Psychology, Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, the study of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods and Formal Models in Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Economic and Organisational Psychology, and Dynamic and Clinical Psychology. It therefore covers a broad spectrum of research areas, which can be traced back to all M-PSI subject areas (M-PSI/01 to M-PSI/08) and are open to contributions from Psycholinguistics (L-LIN/01), the History of Science (M-STO/05) and other subject areas (philosophy, computer science, sociology, social statistics, design).
The research groups within these macro-areas actively participate in national and international scientific activities through a dense network of collaborations involving individual researchers, groups and research institutions from Italy and abroad.
The productivity of the different scientific areas is supported by more than 20 research laboratories and two laboratory technicians in the Department.
The Department’s scientific production enjoys a solid reputation in the national and international scientific community, as evidenced by the excellent results achieved in the VQR 2011-14, in which the Department ranked first in Psychology (ex aequo with 4 other Departments) in the ANVUR ranking of the best departments in Italy.
The Department has an extensive teaching programme, comprising two Bachelor’s Degree Courses and four Master’s Degree Courses.
Specifically, Bachelor’s Degree Courses include Psychological Sciences and Techniques (STP), with a planned number of 500 places for the first year, and Psychosocial Sciences of Communication (SPC), with a planned number of 120 places.
The Master’s Degree Courses are Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology in the Life Span (PCN), with a planned number of 240 places in the first year, Psychology of Social, Decision-Making and Economic Behavioural Processes (PPSDCE), with 120 places, Developmental Psychology and Educational Processes (PSPE), with 120 places, and Applied Experimental Psychological Sciences (AEPS) with 60 places. The latter is a newly established Master’s Degree course characterised by its innovative curriculum and the fact that it is entirely taught in English.
The Department also contributes to the Master’s Degree programme in Theory and Technology of Communication (TTC), which is organised together with the Department of Informatics, Systems and Communication in which the programme is integrated. Finally, for third-level teaching, the Department has a Doctoral School (Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience) and two Postgraduate Schools (Neuropsychology and Psychology in the Life Span).
Finally, the Department is very active in the Third Mission for the enhancement of research, in particular through its third-party activities (research and teaching) and public engagement initiatives, all aimed at fostering relations with society and the local area. These include activities such as the production of publications and dissemination activities on psychological topics of public interest (e.g, Meet Me Tonight), the organisation of open study days on research and intervention topics, the central role in the University’s Orientation Services Network, participation in radio and television broadcasts and ‘science cafés’, a presence in the media – local, national, and international as experts and opinion makers, and collaboration with public bodies, including the Municipality, the Region and the Order of Psychologists of Lombardy in drawing up guidelines that help to define public policies.