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Education and Child Studies: Learning Problems and Impairments

Welcome to the specialisation Learning Problems and Impairments, which is part of the Master’s Degree Programme Education and Child Studies. Language of instruction in this specialisation is Dutch; English speaking students please refer to Learning Problems and Impairments: international track.

More than 15% of school-age children have learning problems; they experience severe difficulties in learning one or more basic skills or they fail to display general base requirements. Experts who treat these children must be aware of the way in which children learn, what can go wrong and what interventions are evidence-based.

The Master’s specialisation in Learning Problems and Impairments offers a combination of theoretical insights, diagnostic skills and treatment strategies. Students learn to recognise common learning problems such as dyslexia, hyperlexia and discalculia, as well as learning problems caused by ADHD, ADD or speech and language disorders. In the course of the programme they acquire the knowledge and skills required to work in research, teaching or clinical positions.

During the specialisation in Learning Problems and Impairments you will:

  • acquire in-depth knowledge of a socially crucial topic: not only do school drop-out and low literacy have economic consequences, learning problems also cause much personal suffering.

  • acquire knowledge of the way in which pupils between the ages of 3 and 18 learn, and what can go wrong in this process.

  • practise general ortho-pedagogical skills, looking for the best solution on the basis of the results of diagnostic research.

  • learn to recognise whether you are dealing with specific learning problems (dyslexia or discalculia) or learning problems caused by something else (for instance, weak cognitive control, attention disorders or stress-related problems).

  • learn to design and test action plans.

  • be able to participate intensively in designing and testing interventions in the early years in order to close the gap between high-achievers and low-achievers at an early stage.


Please refer to our website for the timetable. For more information you can contact our study counsellors

NVO registratie (only applicable for Dutch students)

De Leidse Masterspecialisatie Leerproblemen voldoet, in combinatie met de Leidse Bacheloropleiding Pedagogische Wetenschappen (specialisatie Leerproblemen), aan alle eisen die gesteld worden door de Nederlandse Vereniging van Pedagogen en Onderwijskundigen (NVO) voor de registratie Basis-Orthopedagoog. Ook is het mogelijk de NVO Basisaantekening Diagnostiek te behalen. Studenten die elders een universitaire Bacheloropleiding Pedagogische Wetenschappen hebben behaald kunnen, soms na het behalen van één of enkele extra vakken, ook in aanmerking komen voor de klinische NVO-registraties. Lees de Brochure Beroepsregistraties voor alle informatie.

NB Voor personen die via het Pre-master programma Pedagogische Wetenschappen in de Master instromen geldt een aparte regeling waarmee men zich kan kwalificeren voor de registratie als Basis-Orthopedagoog.