Social and Organisational Psychology (MSc)
About the programme
The objective of the Social and Organisational specialisation is to equip students with advanced training in research methods and professional skills that prepare them both for a career involving psychological research as well as for the application of scientific knowledge and methods in various professional settings.
Tim van Os
Former Social and Organisational Psychology student
Using Social Psychology and the skills I acquired during my masters helps me to make a difference and to give unique insights in new or ongoing Human Resource Management projects, as I work at the Recruitment Department at Aegon in the Hague.
Prof. Dr. Eric van Dijk
Professor of Psychology and Social Decision Making
Our students work in small groups where they discuss the difficulties they encounter, present their ideas, and conduct their own research, together with our professional staff.
“How can we translate the insights of psychological theory into practice? This simple yet crucial question underlies most of the courses we offer at Leiden University. To be able to change behaviour, you first of all need a firm theoretical basis that helps you understand where it comes from.
It is not an easy task, however, to put theory into practice. To relate the complexities of daily life to psychological theory, you need to practise; you need to be able to simplify while maintaining enough detail to appreciate the uniqueness of the particular situation you wish to examine. You need to combine insights from different theories, and to approach the problem from different angles. To do this, new skills have to be developed.
The challenges are many. In my own specialisation, Social and Organisational Psychology, we study, for example, how people approach cultural diversity. When is it a threat? How can you make people realize that it also offers new opportunities? We can use our social psychological theories to find ways to reduce the threats and reap the benefits that lay ahead. The focus on the symbiosis between theory and practice is evident in all our specialisations. We strive for a fertile environment where sound theory results in good practice. Take a look at what we offer, and join us if you share our enthusiasm!”
We offer a very diverse programme that takes you through all the indispensable elements of Social and Organisational Psychology. You can find a short summary below; for a detailed overview of the Master, please read our Prospectus.
In the master's specialisation Social and Organisational 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 familiarize 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 a social and organisational 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.
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.