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Master Thesis in MSc. Psychology


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Admission requirements

Open only to master students in Psychology.


The student will be allocated to a research topic of interest and a supervisor from the range of ongoing projects within the domain of the specialisation. The participating faculty members will offer research topics related to their own research interests and/or related to those of external organizations within the field of the specialization. The procedure of distribution of the topics over students differs per specialization, but all students will be offered a suitable research project. Students carry out their own study, and supervisors guide them through all phases of the thesis project, starting from the formulation of a research question. Supervisors also monitor the feasibility of the intended research throughout the thesis project. As such, they function, as an advisor to the student, next to being examiner.

At first the student work on the development of a research question and research design, and write a research proposal on the basis of the relevant literature. The research proposal is evaluated (go/no-go) before the start of the second phase. During the second phase the student focuses on (in most instances) data collection and on (always) data analysis. During the third phase the student prepares a written research report (Master thesis).

In addition to the Master thesis, some additional requirements may be part of the final evaluation, e.g., attending a number of colloquia, or presenting the research to other students and staff members. Credits for the master thesis will only be given in case of completion of this requirement.

Course objectives

Students obtain experience with empirical research in psychology and with applying some of the basicknowledge and skills acquired in different course modules. On the completion of the thesis, students:

  • can communicate the core of their own research in writing to colleagues and to the general public;can integrate and discuss literature resulting from a literature search in a state-of-the-art overview in an overarching / transcending manner;

  • can formulate a clear research question which is based on previous literature and psychological theory;

  • can substantiate the relevance of the research question;

  • can report the methods used clearly and completely so that replication is possible;

  • can adequately report the results of statistical analyses;

  • are able to interpret the results in a correct and nuanced manner, both theoretically and methodologically (within the framework of the applied research paradigm);

  • show a good understanding of the strengths and limitations of the applied research paradigm;

  • are able to describe the implications of their research;

  • can write scientifically: i.e. clear, concise, readable, with good structure;

  • can properly organize their thesis and format it according to APA rules; and

  • show an adequate work attitude during all phases of their thesis project.


Individual supervision sessions


Registration with the thesis coordinator of the specialisation.

Mode of instruction

Individual supervision sessions.

Assessment method

Written research report and if applicable proof of fulfilling the additional requirements. See also the criteria for reviewing the thesis. See for assessment the Procedure Master Thesis Psychology Assessment on Brightspace.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Relevant literature on the topic of the research.

Contact information

Thesis coordinator of the Master specialisation