Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Christine Lapoujade,
University Paris Descartes,



The poster will present an overview of the educational proposals for professionals in the fields of psychology led by Paris Descartes University for the last 10 years.

Besides fundamental education, congresses, and seminars, the University has created local certificates at the post-graduate level. These certificates are awarded in recognition of complementary training to enhance and update knowledge, or to obtain a specialization.

The courses are generally one year long, and are taken part time for a total of about 100 class hours, plus a training placement. Assessment of student learning may be done by examinations, but most frequently by a small essay or case study articulating theories and practice. Fees are high, but French law encourages employers to support the cost for the professionals who work in their institutions.

These courses are specially designed to enable qualified professionals to continue their professional development, to enlarge and adapt their practice to the needs of their clients and institutions, and to facilitate their integration and professional mobility.

Thus, hundreds of health professionals have benefited from the programs set up by the Department of Psychology through 10 diplomas, and Medicine through 29 within the department of Lifelong Education at Paris Descartes University.

The courses are designed to meet the needs of three main groups of professionals:

  • some courses are designed only for qualified psychologists;
  • the most important category, the second one is designed for psychologists, physicians and paramedics (under certain conditions). These come mainly from the mental health sector. The pluridisciplinary dimension is integrated, in order to facilitate the understanding and the cooperation of the team in taking care of the client;
  • the third category is designed for professionals coming from educational and social fields.


To present the lifelong education offerings in Paris Descartes University in the context of the French Universities proposals and to clarify which kind of politics of the lifelong learning for the qualified psychologists is set up.


Information was collected about the lifelong learning programs offered by 30 universities in France, and a questionnaire was sent to all the participants who took part in Paris Descartes trainings. In addition, interviews were conducted with some of the teachers in charge of the Lifelong Certificates program.

The results were analyzed in terms of:

  • the contents of the programs related to the participants
  • the background and other characteristics of the participants
  • the specific expectations that participants had about their training


The results will show to what extent the educational offerings of Paris Descartes correspond to the needs and demands of participants and how our University scores concerning Lifelong education proposals of for psychologists among the other universities in France.

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev