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Psychology: Clinical Psychology


Clinical Psychology is “a field that is concerned with the application of psychological science to the assessment and treatment of mental disorders” (American Psychological Association, 1991). In clinical psychological research, factors that are causally involved in the occurrence, maintenance, and treatment of mental disorders are studied. In evidence-based clinical practice this knowledge is applied in the treatment of different forms of psychopathology in various settings.


The major aim of this specialisation is to provide students with a theoretical background and basic skills for clinical psychology research, assessment and interventions. This includes the acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology. Students acquire advanced research skills by participating in a clinical psychology research project. Completion of the MSc degree will prepare the student for subsequent academic degrees, including a PhD. Visit our Masters In Leiden page for more information about Clinical Psychology.


The curriculum of 60 EC offers a variety of courses and a supervised master thesis. The specialisation consists of:

  • 4 mandatory courses (20 EC)

  • thesis (20 EC)

  • practical internship (10 EC) ánd 10 EC elective course(s) or a clinical practical internship (20 EC)


A mentor is assigned to all students doing a Clinical Master. Appointments with the mentor are mandatory. The mentor supervises the student and the progress of the study. The mentor is the person to contact if the student has questions about the study. He can also be approached for personal questions about study and profession.

Master's Kick Off

At this day (31 August 2023 for students starting in September and 1 February 2024 for students starting in February) your attendance is strongly advised.

During the Master's Kick Off you will be handed important information on how to organise your studies at Leiden University. The coordinator of your specialisation will be present. You do not want to miss this!

You can find the event page of the Master's Kick Off on the right-hand side of this page.

First year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory coursework

Psychopathology and Therapeutic Skills 5
Experimental Clinical Psychology 5
Clinical Interviewing and Assessment 5
Cognitive Behaviour Interventions (CP) 5
Master Thesis in MSc. Psychology 20

Choose one of the following options as internship

Clinical Practical Internship Psychology 20
Internship Psychology 10
Internal Practical Internship (IPI) 10

Recommended electives

See overview of all electives

Trainers Course Communication Skills 10
e-Health Interventions in Mental Health Care 5

More info

Additional information



A mentor is assigned to all students doing a Clinical Master. Appointments with the mentor are mandatory. The mentor supervises the student and the progress of the study. The mentor is the person to contact if the student has questions about the study. She can also be approached for personal questions about study and profession.
Dr. Anne van Giezen
Dr. N. Garnefski

Thesis coordinator

Dr. Anne van Giezen

Internship coordinator

Dr. Anne van Giezen

Study coordinator

Dr. Joanne Mouthaan

Student representative

Find your student representative in the overview of programme committee members: Student representative

Career Perspective

Career preparation in the master specialisation Clinical Psychology

In addition to offering you a solid university education, Leiden University aims to prepare you as well as possible for the labour market, and in doing so contribute to the development of your employability. In this way, it will become easier for you to make the transition to the labour market, to remain employable in a dynamic labour market, in a (career) job that suits your own personal values, preferences and development.

'Employability' consists of the following aspects that you will develop within your study programme, among others:

  1. Discipline-specific knowledge and skills
    Knowledge and skills specific to your study programme.

  2. Transferable skills
    These are skills that are relevant to every student and that you can use in all kinds of jobs irrespective of your study programme, for example: researching, analysing, project-based working, generating solutions, digital skills, collaborating, oral communication, written communication, presenting, societal awareness, independent learning, resilience. But also think of job application skills: preparing a CV, formulating a cover letter, compiling a LinkedIn profile, networking, practising job interviews, preparing and holding a pitch.

  3. Self-reflection
    This involves reflecting on your own (study) career (choices), reflecting on your own profile and your personal and professional development. Gaining insight into, among other things, your competences and personality, your (work) values and motives. what can you do with your knowledge and skills on the labour market?
    Who are you, what can you do well, what do you find interesting, what suits you, what do you find important, what do you want to do?

  4. Practical experience
    Gaining practical experience through practical and social internships and work placements, external research internships and projects, practical assignments, which are integrated into an elective, minor or graduation assignment, business challenges etc.

  5. Labour market orientation
    Gaining insight into the labour market, fields of work, jobs and career paths through, for example, guest speakers from the work field, alumni presentations and experiences, career events within the study programme, the use of the alumni mentor network, interviewing people from the work field, and shadowing/visiting companies in the context of a particular subject.

Employability in the master specialisation Clinical Psychology

In your programme, you will also find these employability elements.

Subject-specific and transferable skills
These skills are addressed in the various courses of the programme. Check the specific course descriptions in the study guide to see which skills are involved.

Examples of courses that pay attention to the other employability elements are:


Practical experience

Labour market orientation

Activities to prepare for the labour market outside the curriculum

Every year, various activities take place, within, alongside and outside of your study programme, which contribute to your preparation for the labour market, especially where it concerns orientation towards the work field/the labour market, (career) skills and self-reflection. These may be information meetings on decision moments within your programme, but also career workshops and events organised by your own programme, the faculty Career Service or your study association.

For example:

Career Service, LU Career Zone and career workshops calendar

Faculty Career Service
The Career Service of your faculty offers information and advice on study (re)orientation and master's choice, (study) career planning, orientation on the labour market and job applications.

Leiden University Career Zone Leiden University Career Zone is the website for students and alumni of Leiden University to support their (study) career. You can find advice, information, (career) tests and tools in the area of (study) career planning, career possibilities with your study, job market orientation, job applications, the Alumni Mentor network, job portal, workshops and events and career services.

Workshops and events
On the course calendar you will find an overview of career and application workshops, organised by the Career services.