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Master Thesis in MSc. Psychology


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 student's master specialisation. The participating faculty members offer research topics related to their own research interests and/or related to those of external organisations within the field of the master specialisation. The procedure of allocation of the topics over students differs per master specialisation, but all students will be offered a suitable research project. Students carry out their own research, 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 adviser to the student, next to being the first examiner.

At first the studentswork 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) by a second examiner 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 all requirements.

Course objectives

Students obtain experience with empirical research in psychology and with applying some of the basicknowledge and skills acquired in previously completed course work. 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 clear overview;

  • 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;

  • 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.


Supervision sessions may be in small groups and/or on an individual basis.


Registration with the thesis coordinator of the master specialisation.

Mode of instruction

Supervision sessions may be in small groups and/or on an individual basis.

Assessment method

Written research report and, if applicable, proof of fulfilling the additional requirements of the master specialisation. See Brightspace (per master specialisation) for guidelines for the research proposal, criteria for reviewing the thesis and the assessment procedure followed by the first and second examiner.

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. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. 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.