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Psychology: Training & Development

Study programme

In this master's track you will be trained as a trainer who is broadly employable. You will start the programme with the Trainer Skills Practical, where you will learn the basics of how to interactively teach a group to learn social skills. Then in the internship you’ll learn how to apply the theory in practice.

Afterwards you will learn to set up a programme for a workshop or training in the course Developing training courses. You will finish the programme by by writing your master's thesis, in which you will do independent research. In this way, you can immerse yourself in and specialise in a subject that is relevant to being a trainer. The master’s track has room for 10 students starting in September.


  • Master’s thesis Training & Development
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  • Trainer skills practicum
  • Literature assignment
  • Internship
  • Applying research methods
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  • Developing training courses
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The Trainer Skills Practicum

The Trainer Skills Practicum is an intensive course that lays the foundation for being a trainer. You learn how to create the most effective trainer behaviour on the basis of psychological theories. You will immediately convert the material from the articles into a lesson or an exercise. You will develop both personally and professionally on the basis of feedback and your own reflection.

The Trainer Skills Practicum covers literature on the following subjects, among others

  • didactics
  • group dynamics;
  • social anxiety
  • resistance;
  • leadership;
  • self-esteem;
  • trainer attitudes;
  • various training methods;
  • dyadic conversations.

  The following questions are also dealt with in the Trainer Skills Practicum:

  • How do you deal with a participant who is resistant?
  • What do you do when the group disengages?
  • How do you apply different training methods?
  • How can you increase the chances that the participants actually learn?

Internship under supervision

After the Trainer Skills Practicum, you do an internship as a psychologist trainer at the UvA. This means that you will directly gain experience as a trainer. You supervise the 4-week course ‘Practical Training Psychological Communication’ for second-year students twice, where the focus is on both professional and personal conversation. You are responsible for the preparation, the lessons, the communication with the participants and the evaluation. During your internship, you will have a supervisor. During the supervision meetings, you discuss how the PTPC practice is going and how you can improve it.

You learn more about the background of resistance and opposition in training situations, group cohesion, group norms, and the development stages of a group and how to respond to this.

Literature assignment

Based on the reflections from the internship period, you will write a paper that examines the literature. You will make a critical analysis about your own learning goal that came forward during the internship.

Developing training courses

After your internship, you follow the module 'Developing Training Courses'. You have now become theoretically and practically acquainted with the profession of a psychologist-trainer. This provides the basis to design your own training. You go through the development phases of a training course: you do literature research on a social-psychological subject and, based on this, convert learning objectives into methodologies. Finally, you give the workshop to your own group so that the script can actually be tested.

Applying research methods

This course is designed to support the preparation of your master's thesis. You learn which research methods you can use to conduct research, for example to measure the effect of your training.

Master’s thesis

You will conclude the programme by making a Master's thesis in which you do independent research. In this way you can immerse yourself and specialize in a subject that is relevant to being a trainer. Your research question is about to a scientific topic related to training, which enables you to get expertise in addition to the Trainer Skills Practicum.