nl en

Advanced Topics in Experimental Clinical Psychology


Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students


In this course we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various experimental and observational study designs, as well as the standards of conducting and reporting research in clinical psychology. New developments in research methodology will be discussed, in addition to more traditional methods. Papers on recent developments in psychotherapy and psychopharmacology research will be used as examples. Students will learn to express their critical views on design, reporting, and other aspects of etiological and interventional research (which have their own pitfalls and problems) in the form of peer reviews. The course prepares students for scientific work, including writing the Master’s thesis and designing and reporting clinical psychological studies, especially studies into assessment of therapeutic effectiveness. It will also prepare students to make evidence based evaluations of (novel) psychological treatments and interventions and their place in (clinical) health care policy, according to rigorous scientific methodology.

Course objectives

In this course, students learn:

  • To express a critical view on strengths and weaknesses of research designs typically used in clinical psychology;

  • To critically assess research papers on the merits of their chosen research strategies, design, ethical aspects, and adherence to reporting, and express this critical assessment in a peer review (skills that are important for a cientific career); and

  • To assess the value of recently developed research methods and understand to which type of studies they are applicable (skills that are important for decision making in (clinical) health care policy).


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis.
You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from early August. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December. The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC)

By registering for a course you are also automatically registered for the Brightspace module. Anyone who is not registered for a course therefore does not have access to the Brightspace module and cannot participate in the first sit of the exam of that course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

Mode of instruction

  • 6 2-hour lectures

  • 7 2-hour seminars

100% attendance to the seminars is mandatory.

Assessment method

Final grade is based on:

  • Graded assignments (40%)

  • Participation in seminars (20%)

  • Final assignment (40%)

The final ‘take-home’ assignment (in English) will require students to master and integrate all course material as covered in the seven weeks of lectures, assignments and course literature.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken.

Reading list

The book that is used in this course is: Kazdin, Alan E. (2017). Research Design in Clinical Psychology, Books a la Carte Edition, 5th Edition. New York: Pearson ISBN13: 9780205992089 (Please note: this book has been changed and updated significantly compared to the 4th edition). You might be able to find a second hand copy, but this title is no longer printed by the publisher. However, we have arranged for a custom made book (containing only the chapters that you need). This book can be purchased via as the title: "Experimental Clinical Psychology", author: "Putman, Peter", ISBN: 9781787645332.”

Furthermore, assignment papers from peer-reviewed scientific journals will be made available on Blackboard.

Contact information

Dr. Peter Putman