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First Year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory courses

Emotions and (Ir)rationality in Economic Behaviour 5
The Psychology of Economic Behaviour 5
The Psychology of Selling and Advertising 5
Applied Data Analysis 5
Internship Psychology 10 / 20
Master Thesis in MSc. Psychology 20

Electives: add two electives of 5 EC

See overview of all electives

Motivation, Power and Leadership 5
Environmental Psychology (previously Policy and Social Behaviour) 5
Decision Making: Theory and Practice 5

More info


Timetables Master’s

Additional information

About Economic and Consumer Psychology

We are constantly making choices and decisions. We choose a master’s specialisation, select a health care insurance, and decide to skip dessert for a healthier lifestyle. Some of our choices require intentional decisions, whether to buy or rent a house, to save or spend our money after a day’s work, who to date (and who not to date). Other choices and decisions may be more habitual, such as switching on the news at eight or accessing Google to look up some information. Our days are filled with countless decisions and the consequences of these decisions, from having tea or coffee in the morning to choosing a movie to watch in the evening. And if this is not already hard enough by itself, companies and organisations try to influence our choices and decisions, through marketing and advertising. These persuasion attempts range from how to tempt us to buy their (new and improved) product to how to make us save energy or donate money to charity. But how do we decide? How rational are our choices? Are our emotions useful in making decisions or not? How do we sell our own products and ideas to others? As economic behaviours overlap to a large extent with social behaviours, the master’s specialisation in Economic and Consumer Psychology has a lot to offer in answering these questions.

Aim and description of 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. It aims at providing students with high-level training (i.e., comprehensive knowledge and excellent skills) in economic and consumer psychology, which will enable them to work independently at a professional level in a relevant field.

The Leiden programme in Economic and Consumer Psychology has a core curriculum with a focus on the integration of psychological and economic theories and practice. The programme provides students in their first semester with in-depth knowledge of the field by emphasizing general principles that underlie economic and consumer behaviour. This is reflected in courses that stress the basic principles of these behaviours (The Psychology of Economic Behaviour) and build on these basic principles (Emotions and (Ir)rationality in Economic Behaviour, The Psychology of Selling and Advertising). The elective courses enable students to bridge this knowledge to other sub-disciplines. At the same time, there is an emphasis on acquiring data analysis skills (Applied Data Analysis). In their second semester students learn to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired during their coursework, on a topic in domains relevant to economic and consumer psychology (Thesis). Moreover, students are offered the opportunity to apply their knowledge in practice in order to help them transition to becoming a professional economic and consumer psychologist (Internship).


The programme covers two semesters (with a total of 60 EC) and has three main parts:

  • Obligatory coursework (20 EC)

  • Elective courses (10 EC)

  • Thesis proposal, thesis and internship (30 EC)


Choose up to 10 EC from the elective courses. Students can choose from elective courses in the domain of social and organisational psychology, or from the elective courses offered in the context of other master’s programmes. The choice of electives will depend on the specific interests of the student.


During their first semester after entry in the programme students develop a research proposal for their thesis research in close interaction with their supervisor, mostly on an individual basis. They learn to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired during their coursework, on a topic in the domain of economic and consumer psychology. After approval by the supervisor, this thesis proposal will be carried out during their second semester: data will be collected (in the laboratory or in a field setting, for example, in an organisation), analysed and reported in the thesis.


In the final stage of the master’s specialisation students do an internship that enables them to apply their knowledge in practice and to experience and practice the role of a professional economic and consumer psychologist. Students secure their own placement in an organization where they can carry out a specific task or project that fits their professional interests and career stage. Students are jointly supervised by a professional from the host organization and by a faculty member. In their internship, students apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the master’s programme in a more practical context, in order to help them transition to becoming professional economic and consumer psychologists.


For more detailed information about the specialisation Economic and Consumer Psychology please contact:

Purchasing study material

The books are available at a discount via the study association Labyrint on presentation of your Labyrint membership pass. Otherwise they can be bought from academic booksellers.