Economic and Consumer Psychology (MSc)
About the programme
In the master’s specialisation in Economic and Consumer Psychology, students will study the psychological mechanisms that underlie many of our choices and decisions concerning consumption and other economic behaviours.
We offer a very diverse programme that takes you through all the indispensable elements of Economic and Consumer Psychology. You can find a short summary below; for a detailed overview of this Master, please read our Prospectus.
In the master's specialisation Economic and Consumer Psychology you will take four mandatory courses. Please read more information about the programme structure.
Students need to do an internship of 10 ECTS. A 10-ECTS internship has to be supplemented by two elective courses. In the mandatory internship, students gain hands-on practical experience or research experience in an area of their own interest within the domain of their master’s specialisation. As one of the final parts of their training to become a ‘scientist - practitioner’, students have to familiarise themselves with the professional activities of a psychologist, either by focusing on applying scientific insights in the field or by focusing on conducting applied or fundamental research. You can find more information about the internship in the Prospectus.
Your master's thesis will be the crown on your university education. Your thesis will enable you to go in depth on an economic and consumer related topic and you may get the opportunity to obtain experience with all the phases of empirical research. Alternatively, some staff members have access to large and rich datasets, which will enable you to write a thesis without collecting new data. Staff members will offer research topics related to their own research interests, for which students can sign up. The exact topics and the participating staff varies from year to year.
Wilco van Dijk
Professor by Special Appointment of Psychological Determinants of Economic Decision Making
“Economics is at least 50% Psychology.”
“We are all consumers, making more or less important decisions and choices on a daily basis. Models of human decision-making have been dominated by economic theories and the view of people as Homo Economicus. But we are not homo economicus; we are Homo Sapiens with desires, beliefs, and emotions.
Economics is at least 50% psychology, and psychology can help to broaden the view of human nature. Fortunately, more and more elements from psychology are becoming introduced into economics. The psychologist Daniel Kahneman received the Nobel Prize for economics. Behavioural economists Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein wrote a best-selling book (Nudge) on how policy making can be improved by combining insights from economics and psychology.
So, psychology is starting to make a difference, but there is still a long way to go. Our master’s specialisation in Economic and Consumer Psychology will train students to build bridges between economics and psychology.
And can we make a difference? Yes, we can!”
Former Economic & Consumer Psychology student
This programme centres around the predictability of consumer human behaviour and explains how people predictably respond to certain factors.
In the summer of 2016 I graduated from the Master's specialisation Economic & Consumer Psychology at the University of Leiden. During the programme I was surprised how up-to-date the information was in the Master (sometimes the discussed article was published in the same year in which I took the course). The result of this is that you will be trained in a very specific Economic and Consumer Psychology specialist, were you learn things that are not known for the general public, which is a big plus!
Currently am I working at a media company in Amsterdam. My job is to find the best way is to reach the consumer. So, at what specific moment and with what specific channel. The theoretical and psychological part learned during my Master's programme play a big role in this task, because how do you deliver the right message at the right moment sounds a lot like Psychology, right?
For my advice in your future job after this Master: Do not think you will be inventing ‘the wheel’ with psychological insights, but offer a new and refreshing point-of-view which many businesses haven't seen before and often are willing to listen to!
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.