Clinical and Health Psychology (research) (MSc)
About the programme
This research master specialisation involves general courses, specialisation-specific courses, electives, research internship and your thesis.
We offer a very diverse programme that takes you through all the indispensable elements of Clinical and Health Psychology. You can find a short summary below; for a detailed overview of the research master, please read our e-prospectus.
The general coursework (40 ECTS) consists of advanced training in academic and research skills. The design and timing of these courses is such that students can immediately apply their newly acquired skills to their own research project. Besides lectures, the programme offers seminars, work in small groups, and practicals.
The obligatory specialisation-specific coursework (20 ECTS) consists of four advanced content-specific courses, in which students acquire in-depth knowledge of a range of theories, issues and research domains in clinical psychology and health psychology.
For the most up to date course overview, see the e-Prospectus.
Students can choose electives (20 ECTS) from the range of modules 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. 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.
Students who wish to pursue a career as scientist-practitioner / clinician may combine the research master with specific parts of the professional one-year master’s programmes in Clinical Psychology or in Health Psychology to qualify for post-master psychotherapy training programmes (PDO in Dutch).
The aim of the internship is for students to gain hands-on experience in their area of interest by learning from expert researchers in the field. It is recommended that students become acquainted with various research designs and/or methods of data collection and analysis that extend those employed for their thesis. Students could do this by participating, for example, in designing a study, data collection and data analyses, observing lab and testing situations and reading the involved research proposals. Preparations for the internship that are directly work-related (reading, communication with supervisor, writing funding letters) are part of the internship. You can find more information about the internship in the e-Prospectus.
In the second year you focus on writing a master’s thesis (20 ECTS). During the first semester, the research master’s thesis focuses on the preparation of a literature review and the development of a research question, resulting in a written research proposal. During the second semester, students implement the research, collect and analyse the data, and write their thesis.
Ties Gaurang Fakkel
Clinical & Health Psychology Research Master
I would recommend it to anyone who gets excited about research and about challenging oneself to follow the Research Master. Initially, I started the Research Master myself with the intention to become a therapist, that is capable of distinguishing good from bad research. Gradually I noticed that I think more like a researcher than a therapist. A huge advantage is that you can always go both ways.
I am happy to follow the Clinical & Health Psychology Research Master. It can be tough, but also highly motivating to slowly but surely see myself develop research skills.
The Research Master is seen by some as a somewhat competitive track: everyone is smart and used to getting high grades. However, in my experience everyone is always open for cooperation; thinking together, tackling problems and finding solutions together. I personally find that valuable in a group setting. In fact, everyone tries to get the best out of themselves, and I believe that is why fellow students are more willing to help others to get the best out of themselves as well. At least, that is my attitude, and that is how I experienced it from others towards myself. One of the professors said it beautifully last year: 'science is a social affair'. And so it is, I think.
I regularly speak Bachelor students (for statistics tutoring) or other (one-year) Master students (at my internship and during electives, amongst others) and regularly get the question if the Research Master is difficult 'with so much statistics and many research topics'. I always answer that in fact the Research Master offers all the possibilities to (finally) get it right: we have a lot more lectures and work groups by the best professors of the university, compared to the one-year Master. From what I understand, there are no (obligatory) statistics courses given in the one-year Masters, so there you have to figure out a lot more yourself (for example, your thesis analyses)...
I would recommend everyone who gets excited about research and about challenging oneself to follow the Research Master. Initially, I started the RM myself with the intention to become a therapist, that is capable of distinguishing good from bad research. Gradually I noticed that I think more like a researcher than a therapist. A huge advantage is that you can always go both ways. For example, during my internship at the research department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry / Psychology at the Erasmus MC someone recently obtained her PhD and will now start the vocational therapist training (GZ-opleiding) immediately.
We use various modes of instruction to augment the learning experience:
- In the lectures the literature you have read will be applied to real life, by examples, to enhance your knowledge of the subject at hand.
- In the small (10 to 24 students, depending on your specialisation) work group sessions you'll delve deeper into the course material. There is room for discussion. Work groups sessions require active participation and attendance is therefore mandatory.
- In practical sessions you'll work on your skills. You'll gain, for example, skills in interviewing, observation and using statistical computer programmes (depending on your specialisation). Attendance is also mandatory in these practical sessions.
In the online course environment students review their peers’ assignments and prepare for examinations with online mock exams and recorded lectures.
Student support services
Perhaps you have questions about your master’s, or could use some extra help, or maybe you’d like some support of a more personal nature? At Leiden University we have people and departments who will be glad to help in any and all of these areas.
Your study adviser is an expert on all aspects of your study programme, for example exam regulations, planning, academic issues, study delay etc. With the study adviser you discuss problems of any kind relating to the studies or any personal circumstances which might trouble your study.