Psychology

Studying behaviour and wellbeing

Research and analyse human behaviour and wellbeing

Why do people lash out at relief workers during emergencies? How can you help someone who no longer feels life is worth living? Do genes play a role in ADHD or addiction? The Bachelor’s in Psychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam focuses on the intersection between health, behavioural patterns and ways of thinking. How do these differ from one person to the next, and how we can influence them? Human behaviour in all its forms is endlessly fascinating.

Discover your Psychology study programme

During the Psychology programme you gain a deeper understanding of human behaviour and how to change it. The degree qualifies you as a junior psychologist with a solid foundation of knowledge. You also acquire research skills, such as designing different types of studies and analysing statistical data. Is our behaviour really driven by free will — what do you think?

Active learning

Asking questions and listening to the answers—really listening—is second nature to you. You are curious and open-minded. You want to know how things work. In the Bachelor’s programme in Psychology, you take a scientific approach to unravelling the challenges we face as people. The programme is demanding and the lectures call for active participation. You are constantly challenged to get the best out of yourself, to reflect critically on your observations and opinions. In the first two years you acquire a solid foundation of knowledge, and subsequently choose the specialisation that suits you best: Clinical Psychology; Social and Organizational Psychology; Biological and Cognitive Psychology; or Psychopathology, Prevention and Health. Everything is focused on your future—and as a psychologist, your future is as versatile as it is bright.

Numerus Fixus

For students who want to start the bachelor's programme in Psychology starting September 2020, a selection procedure (Numerus Fixus) applies. Deadline for application is 15 January 2020. For detailed information see the menu below.

Start working
After the Bachelor’s in Psychology you have a broad understanding of the different fields within psychology. You have insight into individual differences and understand how people and groups influence one another. What’s more, you can identify thought and behavioural patterns that have become self-evident to others. In addition, you have well-developed communication and research skills, making you broadly employable. You can advise organizations on their human resources policy, conduct research or implement projects aiming to change a company’s organizational culture. As such, you can work at research agencies, or in the HR and organization departments of large companies and institutions.

  • Possible positions:
  • Junior researcher 
  • Trainer/coach 
  • HR officer
  • Policy adviser

Further your education
After your Bachelor’s in Psychology you can choose different Master’s and Research Master’s programmes that fit with your specialisation. 

Are you interested in people and what drives them? Do you wonder about the mechanisms and influences underlying human behaviour? Do you want to share your insights with and inspire others, enabling them to function better? Then the Psychology programme is for you. Check here whether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

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. Recent A-levels in Psychology (obtained after 2015) are also accepted.
  • 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.

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a VWO Mathematics C exam and Biology exam. 
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers a VWO 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 of the last completed year of secondary school
  • 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: the application deadline for all students is 15 January. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).

Ready to apply?
The bachelor's programme in Psychology is a Numerus Fixus study programme, apply before 15 January. Read more about the selection rules and deadlines for programmes with a selection procedure on our website on numerus fixus.

Numerus Fixus
For students who want to start the bachelor's programme in Psychology starting September 2020, a selection procedure (Numerus Fixus) applies. There are 600 places available at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This may mean that not everyone who wishes to study Psychology at VU Amsterdam can be admitted. Apart from Psychology, you can apply for one other Numerus Fixus study programme in the Netherlands. In case you have been admitted to two programmes, you can only accept one place.

What does the selection look like?
If you have applied for the programme between 1 October 2019 and 15 January 2020 (23.59 CET), you can participate in the selection procedure. You will receive further information about this procedure by e-mail after we received your application.

We use two criteria to select students: 

  1. Average final grade of your secondary school programme. For this purpose, the grades of the last completed year of secondary school are taken into account. 

  2. A selection test, consisting of a:

            - Psychology knowledge test
            - Research methods test

The selection test is based on study materials, which are representative for the first year of the bachelor's programme in Psychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. For the successful completion of the programme, sufficient proficiency in the English language is very important.

The online selection test
The online selection test will only be accessible during 24 hours from Friday 14 February, 12.00 noon (CET)  until Saturday 15 February, 12 noon (CET). The activity will take you a few hours to finish so reserve enough time in your schedule. 

The selection test can only be made and has to be completed within this 24 hour time frame. There is no exception to this rule. If you are unable to take the selection test, we will unfortunately not be able to give you a ranking number. Without a ranking number it is not possible to start the programme. 

Read more about the selection rules and deadlines for programmes with a selection procedure on our website on numerus fixus

Literature and practice assignments
About two weeks in advance of the test you will receive access to the necessary literature by e-mail.

How will the results be determined?
The score that we determine based on your grades from your previous education counts for 30%. The scores based on your results on the Psychology and Research methods tests each count for 35%. The three scores together determine your position on the ranking list. Your position on the ranking list determines your chances of being placed. The lower your ranking number, the better your chances of being offered a place in our programme.

Important dates: 

  • 15 January 2020 23.59 uur CET: registration deadline in Studielink, including uploading required documents for admission
  • 14-15 February 2020: taking the online test 
  • 15 April 2020: results of the selection procedure will be announced through Studielink
  • 15 July 2020: meet admission requirements and pay tuition fees

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

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. More information can be found in our study guide.

You begin with a broad basis in social and clinical psychology. You also dive into the different methods involved in psychology, such as interviewing and statistics, including techniques for the use of big data. You study personality theory and personality research, developmental psychology and psychopathology. You develop your communication skills and work independently and in groups. And of course, during lectures and tutorials you learn a lot about yourself and your role in the group process.

More information can be found in our study guide.

In the second year you expand your knowledge, learn how to conduct an interview and practice your listening skills. You deepen your understanding of various methodologies and follow lectures on work and organizational psychology, neuropsychology and philosophy. VU Amsterdam is known for its expertise in the interaction between genes and the environment; in your second year you learn how this interaction influences behaviour. In addition, you can follow one of the three ‘pre-minors’: subjects that provide an introduction to the minor you can choose in the third year

More information can be found in our study guide.

In the third year you choose a minor within Psychology or from another study programme at VU Amsterdam or another university. You may also decide to study abroad — the choice is yours. Whatever you choose, you will follow one of the programme’s four specialisations. Clinical Psychology is for those students who intend to work as a therapist here in the Netherlands. Psychopathology, Health and Prevention provides a broader clinical picture, whereas Social and Organizational Psychology focuses on the behaviour of people in organizations and society. Lastly, Biological and Cognitive Psychology revolves around the biological and cognitive processes that play a role in behaviour and health. At the end of the third year, all students write their Bachelor’s thesis on a topic in which they have been fully immersed.

More information can be found in our study guide.

You begin with a broad basis in social and clinical psychology. You also dive into the different methods involved in psychology, such as interviewing and statistics, including techniques for the use of big data. You study personality theory and personality research, developmental psychology and psychopathology. You develop your communication skills and work independently and in groups. And of course, during lectures and tutorials you learn a lot about yourself and your role in the group process.

More information can be found in our study guide.

In the second year you expand your knowledge, learn how to conduct an interview and practice your listening skills. You deepen your understanding of various methodologies and follow lectures on work and organizational psychology, neuropsychology and philosophy. VU Amsterdam is known for its expertise in the interaction between genes and the environment; in your second year you learn how this interaction influences behaviour. In addition, you can follow one of the three ‘pre-minors’: subjects that provide an introduction to the minor you can choose in the third year

More information can be found in our study guide.

In the third year you choose a minor within Psychology or from another study programme at VU Amsterdam or another university. You may also decide to study abroad — the choice is yours. Whatever you choose, you will follow one of the programme’s four specialisations. Clinical Psychology is for those students who intend to work as a therapist here in the Netherlands. Psychopathology, Health and Prevention provides a broader clinical picture, whereas Social and Organizational Psychology focuses on the behaviour of people in organizations and society. Lastly, Biological and Cognitive Psychology revolves around the biological and cognitive processes that play a role in behaviour and health. At the end of the third year, all students write their Bachelor’s thesis on a topic in which they have been fully immersed.

More information can be found in our study guide.

Overview Psychology

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (full-time)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

15 January - Note: from 2020-2021 this study has a Numerus Fixus!

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

BINDING STUDY ADVICE

A minimum of 42 credits

FIELD OF INTEREST

Behavioural and Social Sciences

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