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.

If you have obtained or will obtain a Dutch diploma, please check the criteria on our Dutch webpage.

Applicants holding a diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements:

  1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma
    See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
    See the General Admission Requirements for the English language requirement.

  3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
    After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma and whether your mathematics level is sufficient. 

These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the required level of mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Math Studies, Math Standard Level or Math Higher Level.
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-levels or AS-level in Mathematics with a grade A, B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife 
  • European Baccalaureate: Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 3 hours during the Orientation Cycle. 

If your diploma is not considered to be at the right level and/or if your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates.
When advised to sit (an) entry exam(s), the following certificates are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics C and Biology*.

*Applicants who do not meet the first criterion (equivalent diploma to the Dutch VWO diploma) may be asked to sit a Biology entry exam to prove they are eligible for admission.

International Exams

  • International Baccalaureate certificate in Math Studies, Math Standard Level or Math Higher Level and/or Biology.
  • Another option for obtaining a separate course certificate in the required subjects is to take an A-level in Biology and/or AS-level in Mathematics examination at a registered Cambridge school. Find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.


Exams in the Netherlands

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a VWO Mathematics C exam and Biology exam in December, May and July. 
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX also offers a VWO Mathematics C exam and Biology exam.

Application procedure
Please check our step-by-step application guide for more information.

International applicants will be asked to submit the following documents:

  • Transcript(s) of records (e.g. High School grade list)
  • Curriculum Vitae (your personal details, previous education and any relevant work experience in approximately one A4 page)
  • Copy of valid passport
  • English language test results (if already obtained) 

Deadline: International students who require university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 April. Students who do not require university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 May. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).

Ready to apply?
Great! All applicants must start the application procedure through the Studielink.nl portal.

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.

Bachelor's day
Join us on the Bachelor's day on the 10th of February, learn everything about this programme and the VU an ask your questions to students and teachers.

Taster day
A Taster day will be organised on wednesday 22 November 2017.

Contact
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

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

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

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

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 (full-time)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April (students requiring visa and/or housing services) / 1 May (students who do not require visa and/or housing services)

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

BINDING STUDY ADVICE

A minimum of 48 credits

FIELD OF INTEREST

Behavioural and Social Sciences

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