Programme Structure (students starting in 2014 and after)

Core Courses, Specialisation Courses and Elective Courses for students who began the programme in or after 2014.

The International Bachelor Psychology (IBP) programme consists of mandatory core courses, and courses which you choose according to interest (specialisation courses and elective courses). In the first year of the programme you are introduced to the wide field of psychology with 12 mandatory core courses. In the first semester of the second year you enroll in mandatory core courses at a higher level. During the second half of second year and in the third year you are able to choose courses according to interest to meet the specialisation and elective course requirement. In your third year, you will complete the specialisation and elective requirement and also join a research project and write your bachelor’s thesis on that topic.

Completion of the degree in 3 years assumes that a student completes 60 ec per academic year. We recommend a study pace of 15 ec per Block. Information for students who began their psychology study in 2013

Types of Courses

Mandatory Core Courses: (120ec)
The first year of the programme is set and all 60 ec of courses are mandatory. In the second year students must complete 45 ec of mandatory core courses and in the third year the Bachelor Project of 15ec is mandatory. The remaining 60ec of credit to complete the bachelor’s degree is made up of Specialisation and

Specialisation and Elective courses: Courses you choose: (60ec)
In the programme there is 60 ec of courses which you can choose according to interest. Specialisation courses make up 30 ec of this credit and elective courses within or outside of psychology make up the other 30ec. See the e-Prospectus for a list of specialisation courses, and elective courses within or outside of psychology.
  • Specialisation Courses (30ec)
    Students must complete 30 ec of specialisation courses. Completion of the first year diploma (propedeuse) is required for entry into all specialisation courses. Note: uSis must indicate the propedeuse is completed at the time of registration.Students should make sure to take the specialisation course for their intended master's specialisation.

  • Electives within or outside Psychology: Your Choice (30ec)
    The elective requirement is met by taking 30 ec of courses which can be chosen from the psychology electives offered in the programme, or from outside of the Psychology programme. Of the 30 ec of elective courses at least 5 ec must be taken at the 300 level or higher.

More information on minors, interdisciplinary minors, study abroad, and taking courses at other Dutch universities is below. You are allowed to take courses from all university programmes, as long as the subjects are offered at an academic level and do not overlap with the topics that are covered as a part of the psychology programme.

These courses do not need to be related in subject matter to each other and they do not have to be related to psychology. The e-Prospectus contains a list of elective courses that Leiden University offers: Courses that teach English language proficiency may not be included.

Request Permission via uSis
You must request permission in uSis to take elective courses outside of psychology (link to new webpage)


You can also fill elective requirement by completing a minor. A minor is a coherent package of courses from another programme. Minors in Psychology add no value if you are studying psychology and are not allowed.
Minors include 30 ec of credit. More than half of the 50 minors offered at Leiden University are offered in the English language.
English language minors

Once a student has been officially accepted into a minor he/she should inform the Student Services Centre at

You need not officially petition for this minor in uSis.

Interdisciplinary minors
The Institute of Psychology participates in two multidisciplinary minors, which are open to psychology students:

  • Brain and Cognition

  • Kindermishandeling en Verwaarlozing: een levensloopperspectief (in Dutch)

e-Prospectus - minors

Minor with overlap
Please note! The below (Dutch language) minor have one course that has significant overlap with a compulsory subject of the psychology programme. This course can therefore not be included in the electives requirement. This means students following the below minor would earn a maximum of 25 ec, instead of 30 ec:

  • Minor Tweedetaalverwerving (overlap with the course, Statistics)

For questions please contact your Study Advisor

More info
All information about the minors, the admission and registration procedure can be found on the minors

Studying Abroad

You can also choose to fill the elective requirement at a university abroad. You can take electives within or outside of psychology during this study abroad experience. However, you should not take a Specialisation courses abroad. If you are seeking for an international experience, see:
study abroad opportunities

Courses at another Dutch university

It is also possible to take elective courses at another Dutch university if Leiden University does not offer these courses. As you have already paid tuition at the University of Leiden, you will not need to pay tuition to take these courses. This policy is applicable for elective courses within and outside of psychology. You will of course also need to have the permission of the other University.

Request permission in uSis
You will need to request permission in uSis to be allowed to have elective courses taken at another faculty or university count toward your elective requirement.
Request permission to take electives (in uSis)

Last Modified: 17-05-2016