Clinical Psychology (MSc)
A master's degree in Psychology at Leiden University combines theoretical knowledge with academic and professional skills, making you an attractive candidate for many employers. However, there are far more graduates than vacancies, especially in mental health care, and competition is therefore fierce.
Skills after graduation
After this MSc specialisation, you will have the basic skills needed for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. In addition, you will have theoretical knowledge of clinical research and of the psychological factors that are involved in the development and maintenance of common mental disorders. You will be able to analyze psychological problems, to evaluate clinical research and report on clinical issues. With these knowledge and skills you may work as a clinician under supervision and you qualify for further post-master training. You are also prepared for a career in psychological research.
Where do our former students work?
Possible career positions include:
- General psychologist in a medical center, nursing home, psychiatric hospital or forensic clinic;
- School counselor;
- Assessment specialist at a health center or commercial institute;
- Lecturer / researcher at a university, university medical center or research institute;
- Policy maker / adviser to government and municipal services;
- Trainer / coach.
Most students in this specialisation aspire to become a clinician. Many students who complete this programme find work as a clinician (‘basic psychologist’) in Dutch mental health centers. In the Netherlands, Clinical Psychologist is a protected title for which you will have to complete further studies. Firstly, a two-year post-master training program as ‘healthcare psychologist’(GZ-psycholoog, also a protected title). This is a ‘training on the job’(four days clinical work (salaried) and one day coursework per week). Vacancies for this training programme are scarce. When you are licensed as GZ-psycholoog, you may go on to pursue a license as specialist in Clinical Psychology (another four years of training on the job).
Go to the LU Career Zone for more information on positons and organisations where alumni of Clinical Psychology work.
Research Career or PhD
If you consider a career in research or would like to pursue a PhD, please also check the research master programme. Graduates from this master specialisation are also eligible for PhD positions, but they are in a weaker position to obtain one in the Netherlands than graduates from the research master programme. You may qualify for PhD positions outside the Netherlands.
Please note that admission to both post-master opportunities – further clinical training or PhD research – is highly competitive in the Netherlands. The skills and knowledge acquired in this programme also open career opportunities in teaching, training and coaching, and counselling.
Master’s students of this specialisation in Leiden qualify for the post-master’s clinical training programmes depending on their choices in the bachelor’s and master’s programme. They need to follow an extended clinical clinical internship (20 EC) and acquire either the "Verklaring Psychodiagnostiek" or the "Basisaantekening Psychodiagnostiek"(BAPD). Furthermore, there are some bachelor’s electives besides the general master’s curriculum courses required for entrance to post-master’s professional programmes. If not already completed, these electives can be taken in parallel with the general master’s curriculum.