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Academic Skills Tutorial (IBP)


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Tutoraat Academische Vaardigheden

Entry requirements



In the ‘Academic Skills Tutorial’ course students embark on their academic education. They are taught 3 important skills: how to write an article, how to give a presentation, and how to set up an experiment. In practicing these skills considerable attention is paid to argumentation, correct use of language, library use, correct referencing and compiling a bibliography. The ethical aspects of conducting research are also addressed in various contexts.

The Academic Skills Tutorial has a second objective: to offer students support in making sufficient progress in their psychology studies. This goal is closely linked to the ‘Binding Study Advice’ (BSA). The BSA is a recommendation given to students at the end of the first year, with regard to the continuation of their studies. For more information on the BSA, and the steps taken to support students, consult the Psychology website. By means of an inventory of the studying methods that a student uses a specific personal combination of online workshops about studying skills is recommended to the student. If the tutor notices a serious obstacle for successful continuation of the programme, the tutor can make completion of the associated online workshop mandatory for passing the course.

In order to obtain course credits for the Academic Skills Tutorial students are also required to take part in psychological experiments. This provides hands-on experience as a participant in psychological research. Furthermore, students are required to successfully complete a plagiarism quiz.

Course objectives

The aim of the Academic Skills Tutorial is to train students in 3 academic skills: how to write a scientific literature review, how to give a scientific presentation, and how to design a research proposal. These academic skills are assumed to be required for almost all occupations that follow the psychology programme.The practical skills taught include the following:

  1. Use of digital sources to search for relevant scientific literature (Web of Science, library facilities);
  2. Studying and interpreting scientific texts and articles;
  3. Paraphrasing and summarising relevant insights from these texts;
  4. Constructing an argument (logical reasoning);
  5. Formulating a viable research question;
  6. Conducting a literature review (article) using recent scientific publications to answer the research question;
  7. Referencing publications correctly (APA guidelines);
  8. Giving an oral presentation about the literature review in the article;
  9. Setting up a design for experimental research, and formulating a proposal for data analysis;
  10. Application of ethical guidelines in designing, carrying out, and reporting on psychological research;
  11. Correct use of language; andproviding and dealing with constructive feedback.
  12. Learning how to study in an efficient manner.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



First year psychology students are automatically enrolled for courses.

Other students do not only need to register for exams themselves, but also for lectures and work group sessions. For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration

Mode of instruction

The Academic Skills Tutorial consists of three individual mentor meetings, 12 work group sessions of 2 hours, and 8 hours of participation in psychological experiments. Besides that, students may request a meeting with their tutor during the course of the academic year, for example to talk about matters that hinder their study progress. Tutors may also take the initiative to set up additional meetings with a student. No web lectures will be made available.

Tutorial groups will consist of 12 students, with the instructor acting as both tutor and mentor. When skills are practiced the instructors’ role is that of a tutor: they provide explanation, give feedback on assignments, check, assess, and sanction. Students are thus guided in acquiring professional performance as is appropriate during and after the psychology programme. In their mentoring role instructors guide, advise, counsel, and help with any problems encountered.

Module 1 – to train students in the skills required for ‘how to write a short article’ (learning objective 1-7, 10-12). In the second semester 3 sessions will be devoted to ‘how to give a presentation’ (Module 2, learning objective 4, 8, 11), and another 3 sessions focus on ‘how to set up an experiment’ (Module 3, learning objective 2-5, 7, 9-12). Before each work group session students are required to work on an assignment that they hand in to the tutor. The tutor corrects the work before the work group session in question so that it can be discussed during the session.

Assessment method

In total, absence is tolerated on not more than one of the 12 sessions. This attendance rule deviates from the rule in most other courses because the course consists of three short modules with learning objectives varying from session to session. Attendance is also mandatory for the individual mentor meetings. Absence due to exceptional personal circumstances must always be communicated (in advance) to the tutor. Absence without permission or insufficient compliance with the rules can be a ground for exclusion from one module, or from the entire course.

All assignments and partial assignments must be completed and handed in. Students receive a grade for each module assignment. Pass grades are required for all 3 course modules. This means that a fail grade for one module cannot be compensated for by the grades for the other modules. The final grade for the Tutorial is the average of the grades for the 3 modules.

In addition, students need to:

  • successfully complete the quiz on “plagiarism” before the fourth session. Completing the plagiarism quiz is a requirement for passing Module 1.

  • complete the mandatory individually assigned online study skills workshop(s). Completing the workshop(s) is a requirement for passing Module 1.

  • spend 8 hours (= 16 participant credits) as a participant in the current research programmes of the Institute of Psychology. Enrolment and registration takes place via Sona. Taking part in research is a requirement for passing Module 3.

A pass grade for the Academic Skills Tutorial is worth 5 credits. These credits are awarded at the end of the year, once students have completed all three modules, and have met both of the additional requirements.

Participant credits have to be registered in SONA before July 1st of the current academic year to count as partial fulfillment for Module 3 of the Academic Skills Tutorial. Credits that are registered too late will be processed in the next academic year. This delay can have consequences for the BSA decision.
Students who do not show up, or show up too late, for participation in research registered in SONA can be sanctioned with the same number of negative credits as would have been earned for participation, with a maximum of three negative credits. This entails that sanctioned students will have to assemble the sanctioned credits on top of the 16 regular credits to meet the requirements of this part of Academic Skills Tutorial.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also 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 these three policies.

Reading list

Reader Academic Skills Tutorial 2021-2022. It contains the assignments students are required to complete, along with the necessary background information. The reader will be made available as a PDF file.

Contact information