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Study Programme

The Bachelor's programme is structured to include approximately 40 study hours per week. During the first year, you will have approximately 12 hours of teaching each week. The remaining time is spent on self-study. Self-study may include assignments, searching for and reading study materials in the library, and preparing for exams and write essays.

The first year: introduction

The first year of study, known as the propaedeutic year, consists of a substantive component and a research component

  • During the substantive component, you are introduced to the field of psychology and all its sub-disciplines: neuropsychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, work and organisational psychology, clinical psychology, research methods and cognitive psychology.
  • In the research component, you will learn academic and writing skills during Research Methods and Statistics and practical training groups. At the end of the year, you will also write a propaedeutic thesis.

After completing all components in the propaedeutic year, you will receive the first-year diploma.

The second year

In the first half of the second year, the focus is on learning how to conduct research:

  • translating psychological questions into a research design
  • compiling a study
  • statistically analyzing the data
  • writing a research report

In addition, you will attend practical training in psychological communication skills.

In the second half of the second year you will choose your major: your specialisation. You can choose from a variety of specialisations: 

  • Work and Organisational Psychology
  • Psychological Methods
  • Brain and Cognition
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology 
  • Clinical Neuropsychology (Dutch)
  • Clinical Developmental Psychology 

The third year

Your Bachelor's thesis will take up a grand part of the first half of your third year. In the second half, you can choose between doing a second specialisation, a minor (for example Communication Science or Law) or an exchange programme. You can use this last part of the Bachelor's programme to tweak the programme to your individual wishes.

Teaching methods, Binding Study Advice, Minors and Electives, Honours Programme

Find more info below.

  • Teaching methods: lectures, tutorials and practical training
    • As a Psychology student, you will attend lectures, tutorials and practical training. During a lecture, the lecturer will do most of the speaking, explaining the literature that you will have studied in advance. 
    • Tutorials are offered in both English-language and Dutch-language versions.
    • Practical training focuses on acquiring special research skills, such as learning to handle psycho-physiological and audiovisual measurement equipment, learning to conduct and interpret tests and practising therapeutic interviews.
    • Most courses culminate in one or multiple tests. These may consist of a written or oral exam, an essay or a presentation.
  • Binding Study Advice (BSA)

    The propaedeutic year of all Bachelor’s programmes at the UvA includes what is known as Binding Study Advice (BSA). This is used at the end of the first year of study (following the summer resits) to determine whether the student genuinely has the motivation and capability to succeed on the degree programme.

    • First-year students who have obtained 48 EC (or more) at the end of the first year of study are permitted to continue with their Bachelor in the subsequent academic year.
    • During the propaedeutic year, all first-year students are issued with several provisional recommendations on the progress of their study, on the basis of which they can take urgent remedial action or decide to end the programme.
    • Students who receive a negative BSA are not permitted to re-enrol for the Bachelor's programme in Psychology at the UvA or other Psychology degree programmes with an enrolment restriction (numerus fixus) for the next three academic years. 
    • If, as a result of exceptional circumstances, such as illness or other personal factors, a student is unable to obtain the number of credits required to achieve a positive BSA, it is possible to lodge an appeal against a negative BSA with the Examinations Board.
  • Minors and electives

    There are various opportunities during the Bachelor’s programme for you to shape your programme to your liking. You can gain 30 elective study credits with courses that are part of the Bachelor's programme in Psychology thereby doing a second specialisation.

    Also you can choose a minor: a cohesive programme lasting half a year (30 credits) taken outside your own degree programme. You could choose a minor in Communication Science or Business Economics, for example. Last but not least, it is possible to take part in an exchange programme during your Bachelor's programme. By choosing these options, you can create a combination that perfectly matches your interests, ambitions and talents.

  • Honours Programme: looking for an additional challenge?

    Are you prepared for and capable of more than the demands of the regular study programme? You can choose to take part in the Honours programme as an addition to your Bachelor's programme in Psychology. 

    The Honours programme consists of additional courses with a workload of at least half a year (30 ec), which are taken during the Bachelor’s programme. If you achieve a GPA of 7.5 or higher for the regular courses (180 ec), you will also receive an Honours diploma in addition to your Bachelor's degree certificate.

    You can begin the Psychology Honours programme in the second year of your Psychology Bachelor’s. It consists of the mandatory parts of the course Breaking Borders, 12 ec of interdisciplinary electives and courses of your choice that are relevant for Psychology in terms of content. Honours students finish the Honours programme in their third year.

    The Honours programme enables you to approach the subject more intensively and with greater breadth. Equally, an Honours Bachelor's degree opens up better opportunities for internships, Master's programmes in the Netherlands and abroad, and also improves your career prospects.