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Psychology (research): Clinical and Health Psychology


Students who choose to take the Research Master’s track Clinical and Health Psychology acquire in-depth knowledge of a broad range of theories and research domains in this area.


The major aim is to provide students with a theoretical background for clinical and health psychology research, assessment and interventions. This includes the acquisition of knowledge relevant to the assessment and treatment of psychopathology, as well as to health promotion and disease prevention and the self-management of chronic diseases. This track is the ideal start for a PhD programme in clinical and health psychology.Read more on the Research Master’s Programme – Clinical and Health Psychology.


General coursework

Eight obligatory general courses (40 EC) are taken by students of all four tracks. These courses cover the research skills needed in the empirical cycle. Students learn how to design an empirical study, how to collect data, how to analyse data with advanced statistical techniques, and how to report and present their findings.

Track coursework

The obligatory coursework consists of four advanced-level theoretical courses which will provide a theoretical background for clinical psychology and health psychology research, assessment and interventions.


Students can further specialize in their area of interest by choosing 20 EC from a wide range of relevant courses offered in the other three tracks of the Research Master’s program and/or from courses offered in the one-year MSc in Psychology. Research master students have access to all extensive courses offered in the one-year MSc program, and to intensive courses on the condition that there are places available for additional students. Students who wish to take electives outside the Institute of Psychology (or outside Leiden University) are required to ask approval from the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Psychology. Students are responsible for verifying whether an elective course fits into their schedule of obligatory coursework.

Internship and master thesis

In their second year, students acquire hands-on research experience. In their Research Internship (20 EC), they become acquainted with various research designs and/or methods of data collection and analysis. In addition, they carry out a relatively independent project to gain experience with all phases of empirical research in psychology, including the writing of a Master Thesis (20 EC) in the form of a research article. Students are encouraged to conduct the research for their Research Internship and/or Master Thesis at a research institute abroad.

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

First year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory coursework

Scientific Writing 5
Evaluating an Empirical Study 5
Experimentation I: Programming Psychological Experiments 5
Experimentation II: Neuroscientific Research Methods 5
Applied multivariate data analysis (fall and spring) 10 (2 x 5)

Track-specific compulsory coursework

Advanced Topics in Experimental Clinical Psychology 5
Evaluating Interventions in Patients with Chronic Disease 5
Research Topics in Health Promotion 5
Biological Underpinnings of Psychopathology 5

Relevant track-specific electives

Overview of all possible electives

e-Health Interventions in Mental Health Care 5
Health Psychology: From Research to Practice 5
Innovations in eHealth Care 5

General elective

Research Apprenticeship Psychology 5

Second year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory coursework

Master Thesis in Research Master Psychology 20
Responsible Research in Practice 5
Presenting Your Research 5
Research Internship Psychology (RMSc) 20

Post-master preparation

Post-master clinical training

The structure of the MSc Psychology (Research) programme allows research master’s students to prepare for post-master clinical training in the Netherlands (GZ-opleiding) and thus pursue a clinical registration:

  • The Clinical & Health Psychology track can be combined with parts of the 1-year MSc specialisations Clinical Psychology or Health and Medical Psychology.

  • The Developmental Psychology track can be combined with parts of the 1-year MSc specialisations Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Students need to choose the appropriate electives from these 1-year specialisations:

  • Clinical & Health Psychology students are advised to take the three clinical skills courses Basic Therapeutic Skills (mandatory); Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (mandatory); and Clinical Interviewing and Assessment (recommended).

  • Developmental Psychology students are advised to take the two clinical skills courses Child and Adolescent Psychology: Advanced Psychodiagnostics; and Behaviour Training with Children or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Young People.

In addition, research master’s students must carry out an extracurricular 20-ECTS clinical internship at the end of their programme, resulting in a total study load of 140 ETCS. As a consequence it is unlikely that students will complete the entire programme within 2 years. Students can contact their mentor for help with planning their personalized course schedule.


  1. The electives mentioned above are mandatory courses for students in the 1-year MSc specialisations.
  2. It is the student’s own responsibility to find a clinical internship. The clinical internship has the same requirements as for the 1-year MSc students.
  3. Whether students can apply for post-master clinical training and which electives they must take also depends on the courses that they took during their bachelor’s program. The criteria for this can be consulted here: Students may also consult the MSc study advisor Jack Wiltjer with specific questions on whether they fullfil the criteria.

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.

The research master’s specialisation in Clinical and Health Psychology provides students with an in-depth knowledge of theories and research domains in this area. This includes the acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to the assessment and treatment of psychopathology, as well as to health promotion and disease prevention and management of chronic diseases. Students acquire advanced research skills by participating in a clinical psychology or health psychology research projects and participating in labmeetings.

Please also see our website



Bart Verkuil

Internship and thesis coordinator

Henriët van Middendorp

Student representative

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