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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. Master’s Programmes – 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)


At the very start of your study programme all master’s students enrol for all courses at the Master’s introduction and course enrolment day. At this day the attendance of first year master’s students in Psychology is required if they start with a master’s programme.

Master’s course registration

First year

Vak 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)

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


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.

Professional skills
This specialisation Occupational Health Psychology provides you with advanced training in practical skills for interventions in the field of work and health. This includes: the acquisition of principles and methods relevant to, for instance: •Health promotion and stress prevention in the workplace (worksite health promotion) •Management of social psychological issues in organisational behaviour (e.g. leadership, motivation, dealing with diversity) •Risk management of organisational accidents (engineering a safety culture) •Optimisation of performance and work productivity (e.g. cognitive enhancement)

Research skills
In line with the profile of Leiden University as a research-intensive institution, the teaching programme is based on state-of-the art scientific research. It maintains a strong emphasis on the acquisition of academic and research skills. Training is provided in all relevant skills, including: •Reviewing the relevant literature •Applying theoretical knowledge to analyse practical problems •Developing hypotheses and writing research proposals •Designing and carrying out empirical studies •Designing and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions •Conducting advanced statistical analyses •Presenting results and recommendations

See our website for possible career positions.