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Research and analyse human behaviour and wellbeing

Contribute to positive behaviour change 

What methods are available for treating post-traumatic stress disorder? How effective is a short-term therapy delivered online? What is the relationship between heredity and bullying? Why do some people—and not others—lead healthy lifestyles? How you develop, what you observe, what decisions you make: everything is behaviour. That behaviour is influenced by where and how we grow up and the predispositions passed on to us by our parents. The interplay between all these factors shapes who we are, what we do, and how we view the world.

Asking questions and listening to the answers—really listening—is second nature to you. You are curious and open-minded. You want to know how things work. In the Bachelor’s programme in Psychology, you take a scientific approach to unravelling the challenges we face as people. The programme is demanding and the lectures call for active participation. You are constantly challenged to get the best out of yourself and to reflect critically on your observations and opinions. In the first two years you acquire a solid foundation of knowledge, and subsequently choose the specialisation that suits you best: Clinical Psychology; Social and Organisational Psychology; Biological and Cognitive Psychology; or Psychopathology, Prevention, and Health. Everything is focused on your future—and as a psychologist, your future is as versatile as it is bright. 

The lectures are given by inspiring experts and, in the tutorials, you explore the subject matter in more depth. The English language plays an important role in the programme. This programme is entirely in English, but you can also choose to follow the standard Psychologie programme where part of the curriculum is given in Dutch. 

Facts and Figures

First year

You will begin with a broad basis in social and clinical psychology. You will also dive into the different methods involved in psychology, such as interviewing and statistics, including techniques for the use of big data. You will study personality theory and personality research, developmental psychology and psychopathology. You will develop your communication skills and work independently and in groups. And of course, during lectures and tutorials you will learn a lot about yourself and your role in the group process.

Second year

In the second year you will expand your knowledge, learn how to conduct an interview, and practice your listening skills. You will deepen your understanding of various methodologies and follow lectures on work and organisational psychology, neuro-psychology, and philosophy. VU Amsterdam is known for its expertise in the interaction between genes and the environment; in your second year you will be learning how this interaction influences behaviour. In addition, you can follow one of the three ‘pre-minors’: subjects that provide an introduction to the minor that you will select in the third year.

Subjects

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Third year

In the third year you will select a minor. You may also decide to study abroad. You will follow one of the programme’s four specialisations. Clinical Psychology is for those students who intend to work as a therapist here in the Netherlands. Psychopathology, Prevention, and Health, provides a broader clinical picture, Social and Organisational Psychology focuses on the behaviour of people in organisations and society. Biological and Cognitive Psychology revolves around the biological and cognitive processes that play a role in behaviour and health. Finally, you will write your bachelor’s thesis.

Subjects

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 1st year

    First year

    You will begin with a broad basis in social and clinical psychology. You will also dive into the different methods involved in psychology, such as interviewing and statistics, including techniques for the use of big data. You will study personality theory and personality research, developmental psychology and psychopathology. You will develop your communication skills and work independently and in groups. And of course, during lectures and tutorials you will learn a lot about yourself and your role in the group process.

    Subjects

  • 2nd year

    Second year

    In the second year you will expand your knowledge, learn how to conduct an interview, and practice your listening skills. You will deepen your understanding of various methodologies and follow lectures on work and organisational psychology, neuro-psychology, and philosophy. VU Amsterdam is known for its expertise in the interaction between genes and the environment; in your second year you will be learning how this interaction influences behaviour. In addition, you can follow one of the three ‘pre-minors’: subjects that provide an introduction to the minor that you will select in the third year.

    Subjects

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

  • 3rd year

    Third year

    In the third year you will select a minor. You may also decide to study abroad. You will follow one of the programme’s four specialisations. Clinical Psychology is for those students who intend to work as a therapist here in the Netherlands. Psychopathology, Prevention, and Health, provides a broader clinical picture, Social and Organisational Psychology focuses on the behaviour of people in organisations and society. Biological and Cognitive Psychology revolves around the biological and cognitive processes that play a role in behaviour and health. Finally, you will write your bachelor’s thesis.

    Subjects

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the Study guide

Change your future with Psychology

After a Bachelor of Psychology degree you can specialise further by joining one of the master’s programmes on offer at VU Amsterdam.

As a qualified junior psychologist you can also pass straight into the workforce, for example as an assistant researcher at a hospital or mental healthcare institution, or as an HR advisor, a career advisor, or a health and safety supervisor.

Discover your future