Clinical Psychology (MSc)
In the specialisation Clinical Psychology, part of the Master in Psychology, you gain extensive knowledge on the asessment and treatment of mental disorders.
Mental Health Care psychology
This specialisation qualifies students for the Dutch post-master training programme in Mental Health Care (MHC) psychology (GZ-opleiding).
Rho von Liebenstein
I graduated in 2015 and I am now working as a psychologist at GGZ Rivierduinen. My colleagues tell me I have a scientific way of thinking: research-minded, inclined to analyse and test before I draw a conclusion. I owe that to my education.
What does this master's programme entail?
Aim of the programme
The aim of this programme is to offer a balanced combination of theory and skills training – with regards to both psychotherapy and research. The specialisation prepares you for further training programmes to become a licensed practitioner in The Netherlands. The program may also be a suitable first step for a career as trainer or counsellor.
In this one-year program you will learn three things:
- Clinical Interviewing: the skills and knowledge to conduct mental status examinations and to classify signs and symptoms into diagnostic categories.
- Basic therapeutic skills: the skills and knowledge to organize and conduct therapeutic consultations.
- Scientific thinking: the skills and knowledge to evaluate the scientific literature on clinical psychology; skills and knowledge to formulate research questions, design clinical research, analyse data and report on findings.
Clinical Psychology at Leiden University is a Master’s program at the interface of science and practice. The program is one-third coursework, one-third thesis, one-third internship. Please note that the current number of internship vacancies is insufficient and there is fierce competition among students.
The content of our teaching is informed by the department’s research program, which focuses on mood disorders, anxiety disorders, traumatic stress and personality disorders.
Theory is combined with practical clinical training in small groups (12 students). You will gain knowledge on the science of Clinical Psychology and also learn to apply this knowledge in assessment and treatment. The teaching staff consists of young and established researchers who are internationally visible and who contribute to the development of their field. Professional skills will be taught by experienced clinicians.
This Master’s degree does not lead to an independent license to practice, but after completion of this program you will fulfil the requirements for further training to become a licensed psychologist (GZ-psycholoog) in The Netherlands. Please note that admittance to this 2-year post-master training is highly competitive and far from guaranteed. Graduates often need to gain several years of work experience first.
The requirements for further training and licensing might be different in other countries. Please check the local requirements carefully. We allow students to complete an internship abroad, provided the quality can be assessed and adequate supervision is available.
Finally, students may opt for a research internship and our graduates also qualify for PhD student positions.
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Mental Health Care Psychology
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 Jack Wiltjer.