Child and Adolescent Psychology (MSc)
In the specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology , part of the Master in Psychology, you develop practical skills in assessing and managing developmental psychopathology.
Mental Health Care psychology
This specialisation qualifies students for the Dutch post-master training programme in Mental Health Care (MHC) psychology (GZ-opleiding).
Former Child & Adolescent Psychology student
The program offers a unique integration of theoretical and practical learning; the former is facilitated by world-class lecturers and the latter through direct work with children and adolescents.
I completed the Child and Adolescent Master’s Specialization in August 2017 and can thoroughly recommend it to prospective candidates considering postgraduate study. Participating in this program enriched my understanding of the developmental psychology field and sharpened both my interpersonal and intervention skills for psychological work with youth. Through the wealth of practical experience I gained across the past academic year, I have developed a keen awareness of the importance of creating a collaborative working relationship and developmentally tailoring interventions for children and adolescents. The program further broadened my professional interest in children and education, and it was an experience never to be forgotten.
Cristina García van Nood
'I am from Spain but ended up studying in Leiden University after talking to a friend who went to study there. It took me very little to make the application as I had always loved the idea of studying abroad. Not only for the adventure, but also because I wanted to connect with the 'Dutchie' that lived inside of me since my mother is Dutch. It turned out Leiden was the perfect city for my dream.'
'The whole experience was very enriching in both my personal life and in my professional side. The master specialisation in Children and Adolescent Pscyhology gave me very useful tools to start working with kids both in Spanish and English. Having an international degree with a good English level really helped me in my professional journey back in Spain. Also, I still treasure the friendship that was born with my classmates. '
What does this master's programme entail?
The mission of the ‘Child and Adolescent Psychology’ programme is to facilitate children’s and adolescents’ optimal development. We do this by empowering students to then empower young people to successfully negotiate the hurdles inherent to development. This requires accounting for the young person’s family and school contexts and the other contexts in which they live (e.g., culture and free time). In pursuing this mission, we focus on the following:
- Building students’ knowledge and skills, as well as a professional and scientific attitude, based on a strong theoretical background and real-life practice.
- Fostering student’s understanding of the transactions between young people, the systems around them, and the helping professional.
- Helping students stay informed about new developments in the field.
- Responding to each student’s needs by providing diverse solutions for academic and practical challenges, via individual mentoring.
- Ensuring that students wishing to enter the Mental Health (GZ) or School Psychologist post-Master’s programs are eligible.
The programme offers intensive courses in understanding, assessing, and treating the wide range of psychological and educational difficulties that may be experienced by young people.
Students can orient their study programme towards work with young people in clinical and/or educational settings.
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Reasons to choose Child and Adolescent Psychology at Leiden University
- You will receive personal guidance within the master specialisation and you will have a mentor who will help you with choices and progress.
- You will acquire sound knowledge, but you will also be trained in practical skills in the intensive courses that we offer.
- If you finish this master specialisation succesfully, you will be able to investigate, treat and make a connection with children with psychological and educational issues. Besides, you are also an expert in the field of normal development of children and youngsters; which makes you part of a dynamic group who holds our future in their hands.
Read more about Why Leiden University?
Child and Adolescent Psychology: the right programme for you?
Child and Adolescent Psychology could be the right programme for you if you would like to learn:
- about theoretical models of social-emotional and cognitive development and the interplay of risk and protective factors in atypical development;
- about ways to differentiate atypical from typical development and the use of classification systems of childhood disorders;
- how to carry out intelligence assessment with a child or adolescent;
- how to deliver behavioural training to a child;
- how to deliver cognitive therapy to an adolescent and/or solution-focused therapy with small groups of children;
- to choose and apply the most appropriate intervention strategy for each problem area
Mental Health Care Psychology
In the Dutch health care system, only MHC psychologists (GZ-psychologen) are licensed to practice psychology unsupervised. ‘GZ-psycholoog’ is a legally protected professional title in Dutch health care, 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 Jack Wiltjer.