Psychology

Studying behaviour and wellbeing

Behaviour and wellbeing

In the VU bachelor Psychology, you will learn how to use various scientific methods to study human behaviour and wellbeing. You will learn to understand  behaviour—how we think, feel and act—and how those processes can go wrong. As a bachelor student you will acquire the methods and knowledge to address questions such as “What makes us who we are?” “What makes a person happy or depressed?", “How do we learn? and “Why do some people have healthy lifestyles and others do not?”. You will learn that such questions are embedded in a broader context of how people develop over the lifespan, how people perceive and make decisions, what drives people, how genetic and environmental influences interact to make us who we are, and how and which interventions or therapies may help people with psychological problems.

Basic foundation

The VU bachelor Psychology offers you courses in clinical psychology, neuro- and developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, biological psychology, and social and organizational psychology. In the first two years of the study, you will acquire a broad understanding of the field of psychology and its methodology, and of the various research questions that currently define the field.  Following this broad introduction, you will - towards the end of the second year - specialise by choosing a subject of your interest. In the subsequent bachelor year, you will pursue your subject both by acquiring knowledge and methods specific to your interests, and by learning general research skills, such reporting and communicating research results.

Looking beyond the bachelor

New scientific developments are continually shaping the field. For instance, such developments enable the study of the influence of physical activity on brain function and genetic influences on diseases such as autism, and they also give rise to new subjects such as e-health (healthcare by electronic processes). Psychology is a broad, multi-faceted discipline within the VU-wide research theme Human Health and Life Sciences. As students of psychology you will acquire a broad perspective, while focusing on the various application areas such as clinical (neuro) psychology, work and organizational psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology.

Intensive and active study

Studying psychology at VU Amsterdam calls for active interest and participation. We foster this in working groups, in which we supervise students in actively pursuing knowledge and learning. Students are expected to adopt an active learning attitude in general, to participate actively in group meetings and to prepare well for working groups and lectures.
By completing the bachelor psychology successfully you will acquire the title Bachelor of Science (BSc), and with this title,  a solid understanding of the scientific foundations of psychology. Following the bachelor many students choose to pursue a Master of psychology , which is also offered by VU Amsterdam.

Your subsequent career depends on your exact Master program, on your subsequent training and experience. Given a clinical Master, you may become a clinical psychologist, a clinical neuropsychologist or a development psychologist in a hospital or in mental health care organisations. There you would be involved in the treatment or diagnosis of clients with mental disorders and psychosocial problems. You can also choose to specialize as a work and organizational psychologist. You may pursue a career as a human resource manager or consultant at the personnel or managerial department of a large company or institute. As a social psychologist, you may work in communication or advisory positions in commercial organisations and government.

VU Amsterdam also offers two-year Research Master programs which  prepare student for an academic career in psychology. Having followed such programs, you may work as a junior researcher at a university or research institute, or you may continue your academic career by pursuing a PhD.

Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

You start the application procedure through the Studielink.nl national application system. You will then receive an e-mail inviting you to complete your application in the VU student portal, where you will also be asked to submit all documentation needed for the admission procedure. You do not have to complete your application in one session; you can save it and come back to it as often as you want before completing and submitting it.

Required application documents:

  • CV
  • Copy of valid passport or ID (ID for EEA students only)
  • Copy of your diploma (if obtained, can also be provided after conditional admission)
  • Copy of your latest transcript of records (if you have not graduated yet, please send us an official transcript listing the marks you have received to date). For A-level and IB applicants: include predicted Grade transcript if available.
  • Proof of sufficient English language test results (can also be provided after conditional admission)

A (to be obtained) secondary school diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO is a primary admission criteria.

Deadline
International students who require housing facilities, as well as all non-EEA students, must apply before 1 April 2018. EEA students who do not require housing facilities must apply before 1 May 2018. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).

Application fee
The (non-refundable) application fee for all applicants is €100. Please read the application fee procedure carefully.

English language requirements
VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application before 1 August 2018.

  • Exceptions are made for students who have completed their score as a part of the application before the given deadline.
  • Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English taught).

The following tests and scores are accepted: 

  • IELTS 6.5 
  • TOEFL paper based test: 580 
  • TOEFL computer based test: 237 
  • TOEFL internet based test: 92 
  • Cambridge Advanced English score A, B or C, or equivalent 

If you are already in the Netherlands, you can also register for a TOEFL test at VU Taalcentrum. Please note however that this test is only valid at VU Amsterdam. VU Amsterdam only accepts language tests that have been completed max. 2 years ago. The certificate of the test may not be older than 2 years, counted from the date you start the Psychology program at VU Amsterdam.

Applications to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are done completely online. You start the application procedure through the Studielink.nl national application system. You will then receive an e-mail inviting you to complete your application in the VU student portal, where you will also be asked to submit all documentation needed for the admission procedure. You do not have to complete your application in one session; you can save it and come back to it as often as you want before completing and submitting it.

Prepare documents and apply online. Please note that it is always possible to apply online, even if your English test results or your diploma are not yet available.

The VU Matching Programme enables you to check whether you have chosen the right degree programme. The matching programme consists of two steps: a digital questionnaire on VUnet, which is part of the application process, and a online matching activity. By taking part in the matching activity, you can check whether the programme is really the right one for you. For more information, please see the VU Matching Programme page.

For questions, please contact your International Student Advisor:

Frieda Schaufeli
E: bachelors.fbms@vu.nl
T: +31 (0)20 598 2883

ISA

This is what you will be doing

This VU bachelor Psychology is a three-year program. The teaching includes lectures and tutorials. By means of the lectures, you will gain knowledge and insights from the literature. In the supervised workgroups you will extend your knowledge by assignments and discussions with fellow students. The study will require about 40 hours a week, and will include about 12 teaching hours a week at VU Amsterdam.

The aim of the first year is to impart basic knowledge of psychology, and its various subdisciplines. The first years includes a general introduction to psychology, and introductions to basic skills in methods, statistics, and diagnostics.


Courses
Period 1
Introduction to Psychology
Research methods 1
Period 2
Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Statistics 1
Period 3
Biological and Cognitive Psychology
E-testing and Big Data
Period 4
Social Psychology
Measurement Theory and Assessment 1
Period 5
Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology
Personality Theory and Personality Assessment
Period 6
Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology
Psychological Interview Skills 1: Basic skills

More information about the first year can be found in our study guide.

In the second year, the emphasis is on deepening the knowledge acquired in the first year. For instance this will include an introduction to neuropsychology. In neuropsychology you study the effect of brain damage on people's behaviour (e.g., agnosia, aphasia, dementia). You also follow courses on Work and Organizational Psychology, Philosophy and Psychology, and the Interaction of Genes and Environment. Towards the end of the second year you may choose from three courses, reflecting the three third year specialisation tracks.  This will help you decide on your minor track, which will determine the content of your third year.


Courses
Period 1
Neuropsychology
Philosophy Psychology
Period 2
Work and Organizational Psychology
Measurement theory and assessment 2
Period 3
Work and Organizational Psychology
Psychological Interview Skills 2: Professional skills
Period 4
Genetic and Environmental Interaction
Statistics 2
Period 5
Research Methods 2
Preminor
Period 6
Research Methods 2
Preminor

During this so-called profiling year, you will immerse yourself into the minor track that you have chosen at the end of your second year. The Bachelor's program is concluded with the Bachelor-thesis. Following the Bachelors program, students can pursue their education by enrolling in the master program, which in turn builds on the minor track followed in the third year.

More detailed information about the third year can be found in our study guide.

The aim of the first year is to impart basic knowledge of psychology, and its various subdisciplines. The first years includes a general introduction to psychology, and introductions to basic skills in methods, statistics, and diagnostics.


Courses
Period 1
Introduction to Psychology
Research methods 1
Period 2
Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Statistics 1
Period 3
Biological and Cognitive Psychology
E-testing and Big Data
Period 4
Social Psychology
Measurement Theory and Assessment 1
Period 5
Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology
Personality Theory and Personality Assessment
Period 6
Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology
Psychological Interview Skills 1: Basic skills

More information about the first year can be found in our study guide.

In the second year, the emphasis is on deepening the knowledge acquired in the first year. For instance this will include an introduction to neuropsychology. In neuropsychology you study the effect of brain damage on people's behaviour (e.g., agnosia, aphasia, dementia). You also follow courses on Work and Organizational Psychology, Philosophy and Psychology, and the Interaction of Genes and Environment. Towards the end of the second year you may choose from three courses, reflecting the three third year specialisation tracks.  This will help you decide on your minor track, which will determine the content of your third year.


Courses
Period 1
Neuropsychology
Philosophy Psychology
Period 2
Work and Organizational Psychology
Measurement theory and assessment 2
Period 3
Work and Organizational Psychology
Psychological Interview Skills 2: Professional skills
Period 4
Genetic and Environmental Interaction
Statistics 2
Period 5
Research Methods 2
Preminor
Period 6
Research Methods 2
Preminor

During this so-called profiling year, you will immerse yourself into the minor track that you have chosen at the end of your second year. The Bachelor's program is concluded with the Bachelor-thesis. Following the Bachelors program, students can pursue their education by enrolling in the master program, which in turn builds on the minor track followed in the third year.

More detailed information about the third year can be found in our study guide.

Overview Psychology

Language of instruction

English

Duration

3 years (fulltime)

Application deadline

1 April 2018 (non-EEA students requiring visa and/or housing) / 1 May 2018 (all others)

Start date

1 September 2018

Study type

Full-time

Binding study advice

You need to obtain 48 ECTS

Field of Interest

Behavioural and Social Sciences

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