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Psychology: Occupational Health Psychology


Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) is a rapidly developing area within psychology. In the broadest terms, OHP refers to the application of psychology to protecting and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of workers, and to improving the quality of working life. To demonstrate the diversity of work within the inherently multidisciplinary area of occupational health and safety, the MSc programme draws upon and integrates knowledge of several disciplines in psychology, such as cognitive psychology, health and clinical psychology and organisational psychology. Courses are taught by experts in the respective areas and will consist of coursework, research, and supervised practicum/internship work in OHP.

The MSc programme is designed to reflect the contemporary societal concerns in occupational health and safety and to offer not only a theoretical background, but also a range of research and practical skills for research and interventions in the field of work, safety and health. This includes the acquisition of principles and methods relevant to, for instance, health promotion and stress prevention in the workplace, risk management of organisational accidents, and engineering a safety culture.


The interdisciplinary approach and the combination of theory with analysis of realistic case studies makes the masters in OHP at Leiden University distinctive and useful for careers in education and training, consultancy, management or organizational development, and in research.Visit our Masters In Leiden page for more information about Occupational Health Psychology.


The professional master programme has a duration of two semesters (60 EC), and consists of:

  • 3 mandatory courses (15 EC)

  • thesis (20 EC)

  • internship (10 EC)

  • 3 courses of which at least one has to be chosen from the 3 recommended courses (15 EC)

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

Work and Stress 5
Improving Human Performance in Practice (HPP) 5
Interventions in Occupational Health 5
Master Thesis in MSc. Psychology 20

Choose one of the following options as internship

Internal Practical Internship (IPI) 10
Internship Psychology 10

Add 3 electives (15 EC)

At least one of the below mentioned, recommended courses had to be part of the study programme.
See an overview of all electives

Motivation, Power and Leadership 5
Negotiation and Social Decision Making 5
Organisational Management 5

More info

Additional information


General, internship, thesis and mentor coordinator

Dr. Margot van der Doef

Student representative

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

Career Perspective

Career preparation in the master specialisation Occupational Health 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 Occupational Health 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:


  • Internship

Practical experience

  • Improving Human Performance in Practice

  • Interventions in Occupational Health

  • Organisational Management

  • Internship

  • Master Thesis

Labour market orientation

  • Improving Human Performance in Practice

  • Organisational Management

  • Internship

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:

  • Occupational Health Psychology Event (organized twice a year), focusing on internship/career, a.o. involving a panel of OHP alumni.

  • Workshops and (faculty) career events organised by the (faculty) Career Services

  • Workshops and career events of study association Labyrint and SPS NIP

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.