Psychology Department

  1. Background OF THE PROGRAM

 The department of psychology was one of the oldest departments in Debre Markos university which was launched with the foundation of the university. It was merged with the department of education till 2006 and was formally  launched as an independent department in 2007. The department of psychology  started its activity by training of undergraduate students in Educational Psychology minoring  either English or Biology in the regular, extension and summer programs.

However training of students in educational psychology terminated out  soon  due to changes of  training modality at national level. This was due to  the government’s need to have graduates in different fields of applied science.  As a result,  the department  of psychology began to admit students in applied psychology since 2008.

The department  of psychology gradually progressed in the number and qualification of its teaching staff  and  fulfilled its human resources in different specializations of Psychology like  developmental psychology; social psychology, counselling psychology, clinical psychology; health psychology; special needs and inclusive education.

After six years of its foundation, the department of psychology launched its MA program in developmental psychology in 2014 and produced competent graduates who have currently been teaching  in different higher education  institutions of Ethiopia. Some of these graduates have also  been employed in different governmental and non governmental organizations such as the Ethiopian Airlines; Save the children, refugee camps  and so on.

The department of psychology had been functioning under the college of social science and humanities till 2015. However, together with the department of education, the department of psychology was made to form the Institute of educational and behavioral sciences.

The institute of educational and behavioral sciences planned to contribute more in the field of teaching and learning , doing research and providing community services. One of the means to achieve these objectives was to establish two more departments. As a result, special needs and inclusive education and early childhood care and education were established as separate departments.

  1. Missions, Vision and Values of the Department


  • Prepare sufficient, knowledge, skilled, and attitudinally matured graduates in relevant disciplines with competence to support peace, democracy and national development that can make the country internationally competitive.
  • Promote and enhance research focusing on knowledge and technology transfer consistent with the country’s priority needs.
  • Establish a system to create and enhance institution who can be emulated as center of excellence for mission attainment and good governance.


  • Psychology Department strives to have a transformative impact on society by 2040


Psychology Department  is guided by the following core values:

  • Quality first;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Academic freedom;
  • Promote indigenous knowledge;
  • Inclusiveness;
  • Internationalization; and Social development
  1. Programs Offered in the Department of Psychology

The department of psychology has one under graduate program and two post graduate programs. In the post graduate program, the department has offered developmental psychology in both MA and PhD degree level.

3.1 Undergraduate Program

3.1.1.Program Objectives

General objectives

The general objective of the program is to:

  • Train personnel who can become competent professionals in Psychology
  • Produce qualified psychologists who work in various governmental, nongovernmental, and private agencies;
  • Carry out quality research on various psychological, educational and social issues,
  • Offer community services to individuals, institutions, and groups regarding problems and issues pertaining to the field of psychology
  • Provide professional assistance as well as consultation for external stakeholders and interested organizations.

 Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the training program are to produce professionals who:

  • Can provide psychological services in governmental, nongovernmental, and private institutions
  • Would be able to work in various educational, social as well as humanitarian settings
  • Can initiate, organize, and evaluate various educational and social development programs
  • Render rehabilitation services
  • Prepare psychologists that can plan and conduct seminars, workshops and trainings in psychological and related issues for stakeholders
  • Can conduct research on various psychological, educational and social issues
  • Can provide demand-based trainings, consultation and technical advice to individuals, groups, legal centers and concerned institutions
  • Can involve in the assessment and intervention of children with special needs
  • Can plan and deliver interventions with children and families in various settings
  • Can offer psychosocial counseling and rehabilitation services.
  • Address the educational, social and behavioral challenges that many children, youth and adults experience.

3.1.2. Professionals Profile

In this four year long undergraduate program, graduates will be equipped with basic psychological theories, common and supportive courses, applications as well as behavioral research methods. Students will have the opportunity to take such courses as general psychology, school psychology, educational psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, guidance and counseling, counseling skills and techniques, vocational psychology, special needs education, abnormal psychology, health psychology, clinical psychology, research methods, statistical methods, psychological testing, project planning and implementation, organizational management and fifteen freshman common courses. The major psychology courses will enable them to be knowledgeable in basic theories, child and adolescent development, issues such as child neglect and abuse, sexual abuse, developmental challenges, abnormalities and their treatment approaches, parenting styles, child and adolescent therapy, family therapy, marriage and divorce issues, HIV/AIDS counseling modalities, cross cultural affairs and so on. Freshman common courses will enable to be well-informed in crtical thinking, Enterprinership, the physical background and natural resource endowment of Ethiopia and the Horn nations, states, some mathematical applications in social science national interest, language development, citizenship, cooperation and conflict among states, and the role of state and non-state actors in the international system.

The program prepares trainees to become professional psychologists competent to serve in various organizations. The curriculum ensures that they will get strong background in the basic and applied aspects of psychology. The trainees will receive courses in relation to counseling, special needs education, human development, child education, care and protection, assessment and research method. Graduates of this program are assumed to best fit at and effective in organizations where counseling, testing and assessment, research, human development, child education and care, statistical methods, psychological testing, rehabilitation services and educational matters are areas of interest.

These graduates are, therefore, qualified members of their professional community; they could serve as distinguished school guidance and counselors, researchers, testing experts, consultants, case managers, educators, and trainers in health-care, academic and business settings. Professional psychologists, counselors and counseling psychologists are commonly found in institutional settings such as high schools and colleges, private industry, community agencies, humanitarian agencies, prisons, the military, as well as in many private practices.

3.1.3. Graduate Profile

Upon successful completion of this program, these Psychology graduates are, in accordance with the internationally recognized professional profiles and job description of Psychologists, therefore, trained professionals who would be able to:

  • Provide professional assistance to individuals with personal, social, family, and educational problems
  • Offer guidance and counseling services to students and other special groups such as street children, people living with HIV/AIDS, displaced individuals, orphans etc.
  • Provide professional assistance on psychosocial and educational issues to school teachers, managers, administrators, health professionals and relevant others
  • Act as a resource person in test development and statistical techniques at the academic and non-academic institutions.
  • Identify, assess and develop early intervention programs for persons with special needs
  • Help individuals with disabilities to gain optimum vocational adjustment to rehabilitate themselves to fullest physical, mental, social, vocational, and economic usefulness
  • Offer courses in various educational settings (Universities, colleges, etc).
  • Optimize human potential in residential, community, and institutional settings
  • Conduct experimental laboratories and research for scientific and replicable issues in psychology such as: biological functions of the body, cognition and perception, principles of learning, and therapies at clinical and non-clinical level.
  • Provide counseling related services to reproductive health, correctional centers, marital issues, career and developmental aspects, and so on.
  • Conduct research on various psychological, social, and educational issues
  • Offer consultancy and advisory services to organizations working with children, youth, adults and elderly
  • Produce practical guides and manuals for practitioners working with children, youth, adults, and elderly
  • Design projects related to psychological, social and educational issues.
  • Assist criminal investigation in various settings, including family courts, criminal courts, etc by applying psychological principles, methods, theory and practices.
  • Apply psychotherapeutic techniques that can help people become healthier.
  • Give support concerned with sports and exercise, focusing on performance, motivation, and the psychological benefits of sports and athletics.
  • Work on workplace motivation, job performance, occupational safety, human resources, and leadership training.
  • Design, implement and evaluate projects on psychosocial and educational issues.
  • Design, organize and run workshops, seminars and short term training programs on psychosocial and developmental issues in academic & non-academic settings.
  • Develop critical thinking in solving problems and effective communication skills
  • Adapt and use appropriate technologies



The course code will have four alphabets and four digit numbers. The four alphabets code indicates the name of the program with the first alphabet capital letter; i.e., Psyc and Enla indicate abbreviations of program of Psychology and English Language respectively. The four digits indicate the year of the course offering (the first number indicates the level of the course in terms of the year; accordingly, ‘1’ for 1st year, ‘2’ for 2 nd year, ‘3’ for 3rd year ‘4’ for 4th year courses), the middle numbers indicate module code number in the program (for example, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10), the last number indicates order of the course within the module.


Module Number and Title
Course Title Course Code Cr. Hr. CP


Introduction to Emerging Technologies EmTe1012 3 5
Communicative English Language Skills I FLEn1011 3 5
Geography of Ethiopia and the Horn GeES1011 3 5
Economics Econ1011 3 5
Entrepreneurship MGMT1012 3 5
Global trends GlTr1012 2 4
Social Anthropology Anth1012 2 4
Mathematics for Social Sciences Math1011 3 5
Communicative English Language Skills II FLEn1012 3 5
History of Ethiopia and the Horn Hist1012 3 5
Physical Fitness SpSc1011 P/F P/F
Critical Thinking LoCT1011 3 5
Module 01:Common
General Psychology Psyc1011 3 5
courses (Fresh man
Moral and Civic Education MCiE1012 2 4
Inclusive Education Incl1012 2 4
Total 38 66
Module 02:Lifespan Physiological Psychology Psyc2021 3 5
Human Development
Psychology of Childhood Psyc2022 3 5
Psychology of Adolescence Psyc2023 3 5
Psychology of Adulthood And Aging Psyc2024 3 5
Total 12 20
Module Psychology of Learning Psyc2031 3 5
03:Psychology of
Educational Psychology Psyc2032 3 5
Education and
Cognitive Psychology Psyc2033 3 5
Early Childhood Education & Care Psyc2034 3 5
Educational Assessment and Evaluation Psyc2035 3 5
Psychological Testing Psyc2036 3 5
Experimental Psychology Psyc2037 3 5
Total 21 35
Module 04:Research Statistical Methods in Psychology and Psyc3041 3 5
and Statistical Education  I
Methods in
Statistical Methods in Psychology and Psyc3042 3 5
Psychology Education  II
Qualitative Research Methods Psyc3043 3 5
Total 9 15
Module 05:Social Introduction to Social Psychology Psyc3051 3 5
Industrial/Organizational Psychology Psyc3052 3 5
Community Psychology Psyc3053 3 5
Gender and Human Sexuality Psyc3054 3 5
Forensic Psychology Psyc3055 3 5
Cross Cultural Psychology Psyc3056 3 5
Total 18 30
Module Introduction to Guidance and Counseling Psyc3061 3 5
Theories and Techniques of Counseling Psyc3062 3 5
Crises and Trauma Counseling Psyc3063 3 5
Marriage and Family Counseling Psyc3064 3 5
Counseling for People with HIV/AIDS and Psyc3065 3 5
Special Population
Career Development and Counseling Psyc3066 3 5
Total 18 30
Module 07:Health Psychopathology Psyc4071 3 5
and Clinical
Clinical Psychology Psyc4072 3 5
Psychopharmacology Psyc4073 3 5
Health Psychology Psyc4074 3 5
Personality Psychology Psyc4075 3 5
Sport Psychology Psyc4076 3 5
Total 18 30
Module 08: Project Design and Management Psyc4081 3 5
Project Management
Seminar in Contemporary Issues Psyc4082 3 5
and Professional
Practicum in Psychology Psyc4083 3 5
Senior Essay in Psychology Psyc4084 4 6
Total 13 21

Post Graduate Program in Development Psychology (MA)

General Objective

The general objective of the developmental psychology program is: To train (produce) qualified and competent Psychologists working in educational, organizational, community and social settings.

 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the MA Program in Developmental Psychology shall enable the graduates to:

  • Develop knowledge of the major developmental milestones throughout the life-span, factors affecting these milestones, and strategies for making psychosocial care and support to promote them
  • Contribute towards an understanding of the problems of the Ethiopian children, adolescents, youth, adults and the elderly
  • Conduct developmental psychological research on infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly
  • Understand the policy, educational, social, economical, etc…. implications of the developmental needs of the growing persons in Ethiopia
  • understand and engage in scientific methods of research
  • develop problem-solving and decision-making skills with regard to psychological research and issues
  • develop critical analysis and dialectical thinking skills, including the ability to evaluate and resolve human development -related issues
  • communicate effectively to share their understanding and ideas, and to share and defend their opinions
  • Develop skills in working independently, as well as collaboratively and cooperatively.

Graduate Profile

Upon successful completion of their training, the graduates are expected to perform the following tasks effectively and efficiently:

  • Work with institutionalized settings including orphanages, foster homes, and others
  • Play important roles in fighting gender based violence and alleviating gender-related problems.
  • Design effective strategies for prevention and rehabilitation of drug dependency
  • Conduct scientific researches that address individual problems and needs, societal issues, and organizational problems.
  • Design and implement various social intervention and community-based programs;
  • Design, conduct and analyze studies on various social, psychological and educational problems;
  • Conduct evaluation research about various social service programs and projects;
  • Coordinate various social service programs;
  • Teach various psychology courses in higher education and teacher training institutions;
  • Test and screen children of various intellectual abilities;
  • Coordinate various intervention programs catering for different groups (street children, youth, etc…).
  • Provide professional assistance to children in especially difficult circumstances; and caregivers.
  • Conduct research on psychological and educational problems
  • Evaluate various rehabilitation centers and other educational programs;
  • Assist in the design of programs and curricula for early childhood education and beyond;
  • Prepare reports, materials, manuals, guidelines and related documents concerning children, adolescents, youth and adults in Ethiopia;
  • Organize and conduct workshops, seminars and training programs in various psychological issues.

Graduate requirements

To graduate with Master of Arts Degree in Developmental Psychology students have to take 24credit hours of training and have to pass in all the courses. They are also required to have the minimum of 3 points CGPA upon graduation as well as has to score a minimum of “B” grade in every courses taken will graduate. And also a minimum of scoring “Satisfactory” is required in their thesis work.

 Degree Nomenclature

Degree of Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology (የአርት  ማስተር  ድግሪ  በባሕርይ  እድገት ሳይኮሎጅ) will be offered to students after successful completion of the program.

  1. List of Courses for the M.A. Program in Developmental Psychology

Table 1: List of Developmental Psychology Courses: First Year First Semester

S/N Course Title Course Code Credit Hours
1 Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology Dpsy 511 3
2 Advanced Research Methods in Psychology Dpsy 512 3
3 Theories of Developmental Psychology Dpsy 513 3
4 Advanced Psychology of Childhood Dpsy 514 3

Table 2: List of Developmental Psychology Courses: First Year Second Semester

S/N Course Title Course Code Credit Hours
1 Advanced Psychology of Adolescence and Youth Dpsy 525 3
2 Advanced Psychology of Adulthood and Aging Dpsy 526 3
3 Cross-cultural Developmental Psychology Dpsy 527 3
4 Professional Practices in Developmental Psychology Dpsy 528 3

Table 3: Thesis Work: Second Year; First and Second Semester

S/N Course Title Course Code Credit Hours
1 Theses Dpsy 600 6

PhD in Developmental Psychology

Program Objectives

The objective of this PhD Program is to produce high-level professionals in the area of Developmental Psychology, with efficient research, assessment, and intervention skills that can be translated into practice in the context of problems in lifespan human development. More specifically, the program aims to:

Professional profile

Developmental Psychology professionals can apply their theoretical and practical knowledge and experiences in a wide range of areas, including Higher Education Institutions, mothers, in prenatal and postnatal development; hospitals and clinics, consultancy activities, marriage and family counselling services and other different governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Graduates’ profile

After successful completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Understand the developmental characteristics of infants, children, adolescents, adults and older people.
  • Recognize the interrelationship among the physical, cognitive and socioemotional development
  • conduct research on infants, children, adolescents, adults and older people.
  • Make intervention on children having developmental delays and disabilities.
  • Develop and validate culturally relevant assessment tools  of  human development
  • Design projects that would help solve practical societal problems
  • teach different courses in the under and post graduate programs in the field of developmental psychology
  • Supervise research projects in the under and postgraduate programs
  • apply developmental principles and practices in the identification, assessment, and development of early intervention programs for children in need of services
  • Conduct community based intervention in areas related to physical, cognitive and socioemotional development.

specific objectives of the Program are to produce:

  • highly qualified human power in the area of lifespan human development
  • Professionals who can conduct research to make intervention on human development across the lifespan.
  • Scholars who can develop and integrate a theories/models of Developmental Psychology in research, assessment, and intervention practices, particularly in   issues of human development.
  • manpower who can organize workshops, seminars and other training programs in developmental issues.
  • scholars who can assist in the preparation of diagnostic and training programs in developmental and educational issues at national and regional levels of the Country.
  • Scholars who  conduct rigorous research to discover basic principles of psychological development.
  • Graduates who  are competitive in the job market and secure positions in  academic institutions, as well as within governmental and non-governmental organizations

Table 1: Modules, Courses, credit hours and ECTS



Course code Course Name Credit hrs ECTS credits
Module 1 DPSY 711 Child development in context 3 5
DPSY 712 Adolescent development in the contemporary world 3 5
DPSY  713 Adult development and Geropsychology 3 5
Module 2: Research and Seminar DPSY 721 Seminar in developmental psychology 1 2
DPSY 722 Advanced quantitative research in Developmental Psychology 3 5
DPSY 723 Advanced Qualititative research in developmental Psychology 3 5

Module 3:  assessment and Intervention

DPSY 851 Childhood developmental delay and disabillity intervention 1 2
DPSY 852 Adolescent development  health, and  behavioral  intervention 1 2
DPSY 861 Dissertation 12 20
Total 30 50.1

Table: 1 Profile of Academic  Staffs in the Department of Psychology

No Name of instructor Status /MA/PhD Specialization Remark
1 Wohabie Birhan Associate Professor (PhD) Developmental Psychology
2 Demeke Binalf PhD Developmental Psychology
3 Abatihun Alehegn PhD Didactics
4 Tesera Bitew Associate Professor (PhD) Mental Health Epidemiology
5 Askalemariam Adamu PhD Didactics
6 Temesgen Demissie PhD Social Psychology
7 Mebratie Belachew PhD Developmental Psychology
8 Temesgen  Adam Assistant Professor Counseling Psychology
9 Amgnew Fetene Lecturer Social Psychology
10 Belay Getaneh Lecturer Developmental  Psychology
11 Alemayehu Wendie Lecturer Clinical Psychology
10 Shimelis Aniley Lecturer Developmental  Psychology
11 Abraham Abeje Lecturer Health Psychology
12 Haregewoin Tiruye Lecturer Social Psychology
13 Dessei Jeginaw Lecturer Social Psychology
14 Mengistu Tebkew Lecturer Developmental Psychology
15 Eskedar Ashagrie Lecturer Early Childhood Care & Education
16 Addiszemen Hawaz Lecturer Measurement & Evaluation
17 Shumet Asress Lecturer Developmental Psychology
18 Kefie Manaye Lecturer Clinical Psychology
19 Girmachew Gedamu Lecturer Counseling Psychology
20 Tadele Demelash Lecturer Measurement & Evaluation
21 Yihun Getachew Lecturer Counseling Psychology

Department of Psychology

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