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Psychology (research)

The master’s programme in Psychology (research) is a two-year programme that is focused on acquiring research skills in a particular field of psychology. Students choose one out of four tracks within the research master’s programme. All students, irrespective of their track, receive advanced training in methodology specific for psychological research and in scientific writing and presentation. Students may choose relevant courses offered within the Institute of Psychology as electives. If this concerns a compulsory course offered in another research master track or master specialisation, students should always contact the course coordinator in a timely manner to request participation. Students who wish to gain more specialised knowledge of cognitive and brain sciences may choose from a wide range of elective courses offered in other master’s programmes at Leiden University (See profile Brain and Cognition).

This master’s programme offers the following tracks:

See also MSc in Psychology

Master's Kick Off

At this day (beginning of September for students starting in September / late January 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. A representative of your specialisation will be present. You do not want to miss this!

Master's Kick-Off


In addition to the obligatory general (40 EC) and track-specific courses (20 EC), the Research Internship (20 EC) and Master Thesis (20 EC), research master’s students can choose electives (20 EC) from a range of courses. Students are responsible for verifying whether an elective course fits into their schedule of compulsory coursework. This also applies to the ‘Relevant track-specific electives’ listed for each track.

  1. The general elective Research Apprenticeship Psychology (5 EC)
  2. Most courses from the other three tracks of the research master’s programme (check entry requirements in the Prospectus)
  3. Electives from the 1-year MSc Psychology programme
  4. Students from the Clinical and Health Psychology track and Developmental Psychology track who wish to prepare for post-master clinical training take as electives the required clinical skills courses from the 1-year MSc Psychology programme.
  5. Students who wish to gain more specialised knowledge of cognitive and brain sciences may choose from a wide range of elective courses offered in other master’s programmes at Leiden University (see ‘Elective courses from the profile Brain and Cognition’).
  6. Students who wish to take other courses offered at Leiden University or courses offered at other universities in the Netherlands or abroad should request permission from the Board of Examiners, preferably well in advance of the start of the course. Requests should include a motivation statement and a link to the Prospectus page of the course. The Board of Examiners evaluates the students’ requests by assessing the academic level and relevance for the student’s domain of specialisation.

Petition in uSis

Students who take a course outside the Institute of Psychology should not forget to submit a petition (request) in uSis as soon as they have completed a course, to make sure the course is added to their elective course requirements.

Elective courses from the profile Brain and Cognition

Research master’s students may expand their expertise in the domain of brain and cognition by choosing from a wide range of courses offered in the research master’s programmes of Education and Child Studies, Linguistics, Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science, and Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciences:

From Master programme Education and Child Studies

From Master programme Linguistics

From Master programme Biomedical Sciences

From Master programme Computer Science

From Master programme Statistical Science for the Life and Behavioural Sciences


For the courses listed under the profile Brain and Cognition, research master’s students are exempt from the normal requirement to ask approval from the Board of Examiners to take elective courses from other master’s programmes.

Students who wish to take one or more of these elective courses are advised to discuss this with their mentor. The next step is to contact the course coordinator to request admission to the course. Admission requests will typically be considered on an individual basis and take into account whether there is sufficient space and whether the student has sufficient prior knowledge to successfully complete the course.

Enrolment in these elective courses is not possible in uSis; students should enrol according to the customs and rules of the institute that offers the course.

E-mail a request for elective courses offered by Biomedical Sciences

Students who would like to take part in one of the elective courses offered by Biomedical Sciences should e-mail a request to enrol to They need to confirm that they meet the admission requirements (if any) for the course, which are indicated in the Prospectus. There is a strict limit to the number of students who may enrol in these courses, and students of the master in Biomedical Sciences have priority. If the student is admissible to the course, they will be placed on a waitlist. If there are sufficient spaces, the student administration will enrol the student on uSis and email the student further information about the course. Be aware that admission to the course can only be granted 1-2 months before the start of the course.

Career Perspective

A master's degree in Psychology at Leiden University combines theoretical knowledge with academic and professional skills, making you an attractive candidate for many employers.

More information can be found per track.