The master’s programme in Psychology focuses both on in-depth study of theory and on the acquisition of professional and research skills. The distinctive feature of the Leiden master’s programme is that the teaching is not restricted to only the functioning of psychological processes; these processes are always connected to their behavioural consequences, with the aim of understanding self-regulation and behavioural control. In this way, students not only develop their knowledge of psychology as a science, but also learn to apply this knowledge in order to understand practical problems and to develop effective interventions for dealing with these problems.
The one year master’s programme in Psychology offers five clinical specialisations that qualify students for the Dutch post-master training programme in Mental Health Care psychology (GZ-opleiding). These are Child and Adolescent Psychology, School Psychology, Health and Medical Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology.
Mental Health Care psychology in The Netherlands
In the Dutch healthcare system, only MHC psychologists (GZ-psychologen) are licensed to practice psychology unsupervised. ‘GZ-psycholoog’ is a legally protected professional title in Dutch healthcare, registered in the BIG-register. MHC psychologists are generalists who can work in several different settings, for example private practices, somatic health care (medical psychology), psychiatry, institutions for disabled people, forensic psychology, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centres.
To become a licensed MHC psychologist in The Netherlands, you need to complete a 2-year post-master training programme (GZ-opleiding). The programme consists of a theoretical part (20%) and a practical part (80%). The latter requires a job position under supervision of a licenced MHC psychologist-teacher. Vacancies for this programme are scarce and only a minority of master graduates manages to get into the programme. Although it is hard, it is not impossible.
After graduating from one of our five clinical specialisations including a 20 EC clinical internship, you meet the entry requirements of the post-master MHC training programme. Each specialisation ensures you have the required theoretical background and basic diagnostic skills. Within each specialisation, students need to opt for the 560-hour (20 EC) clinical internship in order to meet the entry requirements regarding practical training. Please note that these internship positions are scarce and there is a lot of competition between students applying for these positions.
Students who are not fluent in Dutch are unlikely to find a clinical internship position in The Netherlands. An alternative option is to find a clinical internship abroad. For international students who wish to pursue a career in MHC in their home country, it is recommended to find an internship where they can speak their native language. International students who wish to do an internship in The Netherlands are advised to apply for a 10 EC internship, for example in research, or apply for the Internal Practical Internship. For more information, please contact the internship coordinator of your preferred specialisation.
How current students can prepare for the post-master MHC training
When applying for the GZ-opleiding, you need to prove that you fulfil all entry requirements by showing the LOGO-verklaring. Please see the website for the application process and all requirements. One of them is having a certificate stating that you have sufficient skills in diagnostics, the Verklaring Psychodiagnostiek. You can acquire this certificate after a clinical (20 EC) internship covering diagnostic cases. Qualified internship supervisors (as specified on the form) can sign the certificate. Another requirement is a declaration of your theoretical knowledge, the Verklaring Vooropleiding. If you graduate from one of our MCH specialisations and have completed a 20 EC clinical internship, all theoretical requirements are covered. You can have the certificate signed by study adviser Evelien Wolthuis.
Profile of the master's programme in Psychology
In line with the profile of Leiden University as a research-intensive institution, the teaching programme of the master’s programme in Psychology is based on state-of-the art scientific research and maintains a strong emphasis on the acquisition of academic and research skills. Completion of the MSc degree prepares students for subsequent academic master’s degrees, including a PhD.
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Objectives of the master’s programme in Psychology
The objective of the master’s programme in Psychology is to equip students with advanced training in research methods and professional skills that prepare them both for a career involving psychological research as well as for the application of scientific knowledge and methods in various professional settings. Training is provided in all relevant skills, including reviewing the relevant literature, applying theoretical knowledge to analyse practical problems, developing hypotheses and writing research proposals, designing and carrying out empirical studies, designing and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, conducting advanced statistical analyses, and presenting results and recommendations.
Chat with a student
Do you have a question about student life in Leiden, studying at Leiden University or do you want more information about the Psychology master's programme? You can get in contact with a student from this programme directly!