MSc in Psychology (research)

The MSc in Psychology (research) is a two-year programme that is focused on acquiring research skills in a particular field of psychology. The programme provides students with a rigorous training in the methodological and practical skills necessary to carry out scientific research on human behaviour.

Students gain hands-on experience with how psychological theory can contribute to the analysis and solution of practical problems and how the application of existing theory guides further theoretical development. Students can specialise in the psychological subdiscipline of their choice, but are also trained in a broad multidiscipinary research approach.

Aim of the programme

The programme gives students the opportunity to:

  • acquire hands-on research experience in one of Europe's leading psychology labs;
  • get involved in, and learn how to carry out cutting-edge research;
  • improve methodological and statistical skills in a broad range of research areas;
  • learn about scientific writing and presentation from world class researchers;
  • prepare for a career as a top researcher in psychology.

Clinical and Health Psychology

In the specialisation in Clinical and Health Psychology, students learn how to investigate theoretical models, diagnostics and treatment methods for psychiatric disorders. This type of research has direct consequences for the practice of health care. The quality of available therapies depends on high-quality research into effects and mechanisms. The results of this research can be seen in guidelines for treatment. Diagnostics is also the object of continuous interest, and now even more so with the planned revision of the DSM-IV diagnostic system in 2013.

Post-master vocational training

If students wish, they can combine their RM specialisation Clinical and Health psychology with courses from the programme of the one-year MSc Clinical Psychology in order to qualify for post-master vocational training in the field of mental health care. A very limited number of Dutch-speaking students who complete their RM combined with fulfilling the training requirements for post-master vocational training in health care are offered the possibility to follow a paid clinical internship at the Parnassia Bavo Groep after completion of their RM. If they complete this clinical internship with a rating of good to excellent performance they will be offered the possibility - after formal approval by the accrediting organisations - of starting post-master training within the Parnassia Bavo Groep, leading to the BIG-qualified title of ‘Gezondheidszorgpsycholoog’.

Successful completion of this extended programme results in one master diploma (RM) with additional certificates to prove that the student meets the requirements for post-master vocational training for ‘Psychotherapeut’ or ‘Gezondheidszorgpsycholoog’.

Prof. dr. Ph. Spinhoven

Cognitive Neuroscience

Interested in mind and brain research? The specialisation Cognitive Neuroscience focuses on the investigation of the psychological, computational, and neuroscientific bases of human cognition by means of mind and brain research. The research and teaching are based on the conviction that cognitive processes can only be understood in the context of their function and purpose for action control. That is, for the adaptation of intentional, goal-directed actions to environmental demands. 

Developmental Psychology

The Developmental Psychology specialisation offers a strong theoretical background to provide the varied knowledge-base needed for a thorough understanding of emotional and cognitive development across childhood and adolescence.
Students will gain hands-on experience with various assessment procedures: self-report, behavioural observation, experimental manipulations, psychophysiological assessment (skin conductance, heart rate, cortisol, etc.), EEG, and fMRI. The multi-method approach in the training programme is realised in the context of four research programmes.

Social and Organisational Psychology

The Social and Organisational Psychology specialisation offers in-depth knowledge of a broad range of theories and research domains in this area, all concerning the way people’s social environment influences thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. This specialisation focuses specifically on processes within and between groups. Examples of theory development and research in each of these areas are conflict management, leadership, social dilemmas, diversity, stereotyping and prejudice, individual and group decision making. Relevant fields for application are organisation and management in particular, but also economic behaviour and environmental issues.

Curriculum MSc in Psychology (research)

The curriculum consists of:

  • General courses (40 EC)
  • Specialisation-specific courses (20 EC)
  • Electives (20 EC)
  • Research internship and master thesis (40 EC)

General courses (40 EC)

The general coursework consists of advanced training in academic and research skills:

  • Applied Data Analysis - Mini Courses in Statistics
  • Analysis of Own Data
  • Desiging an Emperical Study
  • Experimentation I: Programming Psychological Experiments
  • Experimentation II: Neuroscientific Research Methods
  • Presenting your Research
  • Scientific Writing


Students can choose electives (20 ECTS) from the range of courses offered in the different (research) master’s programmes at the Institute of Psychology, either to concentrate further on the specialisation of their choice (by choosing additional specialisation-specific electives) or to broaden their view. It is possible to follow electives outside the Institute of Psychology and at a different university, but students need to ask approval from the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Psychology. Please contact the .

Brain and Cognition
Students who wish to expand their expertise in the domain of Brain and Cognition can choose from a wide range of elective courses offered within and outside the Institute of Psychology.
Electives in Profile Brain and Cognition

For courses and schedules, please, consult the e-Prospectus

More information on MSc in Psychology (research)

Course and Examination Regulation

For further information, please, contact the coordinator: 
Dr. S. Nieuwenhuis

Last Modified: 15-07-2013