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Internship Psychology


Entry requirements

  • Open to students enrolled in the MSc in Psychology

  • One or more mandatory courses, as specified in the Course and Examination Regulations.


In the mandatory internship of 10 EC, students gain hands-on practical and/or research experience in an area of their own interest within the domain of their master’s specialisation. As one of the final parts of their training to become a ‘scientist - practitioner’, students have to familiarize themselves with the professional activities of a psychologist, either by focusing on applying scientific insights in the field, by focusing on conducting applied or fundamental research, or by a combination of both.
Students may focus on applying their scientific knowledge, understanding and problem solving abilities in new and unfamiliar task environments within a broader (or multi-disciplinary) context. To the extent that students focus on conducting applied or fundamental research, they become acquainted with research designs, methods of data collection and/or methods of analysis that may extend those employed for their master’s thesis. Irrespective of their focus, the internship provides students with an opportunity to learn how to communicate their application of scientific knowledge and/or the results of their research clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences. Students’ internship activities and deliverables should always reflect social and ethical responsibilities according to the APA ethical rules of conduct.
Within the internship providing organisation (outside or inside Leiden University), a qualified staff member is responsible for the daily supervision of the student. To formally describe the mutual agreement on the requirements for the internship, the Internship Contract has to be signed by the field supervisor at the internship organisation, the university supervisor (examiner) at the Institute of Psychology and the student him- or herself. The university supervisor at the Institute of Psychology is responsible for the final grading of the internship. As a part of the intake procedure of the intern, the supervisor at the Institute of Psychology clarifies the criteria for his or her final assessment and grading of the internship.
In most cases, mastery of the Dutch language is necessary to intern in a Dutch organisation outside Leiden University. Non Dutch-speaking students are advised to look for internship possibilities in international organisations in the Netherlands or in another country whose language they speak. The internship coordinator of the master’s specialisation will provide students with information on English-speaking internship possibilities inside Leiden University.

Course objectives

In the internship, students learn to:

  • apply their knowledge, understanding and problem solving abilities in a new and unfamiliar task environment within a broader (or multi-disciplinary) context related to their field of specialisation.

  • integrate knowledge and handle complexity by formulating judgements with incomplete or limited information. These judgments should reflect social and ethical responsibilities.

  • the internship also provides students an opportunity to learn how to communicate their judgements (and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these judgments) clearly and unambiguously to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Time table

The Internship Contract has to be signed by all parties involved before the actual start of the internship. Within 80 hours after the start of the internship, students submit the Internship Working Plan, with a specification of the learning objectives of the student (in terms of professional, personal, academic and career development). Latest after 140 hours through the internship the field supervisor gives a Midterm Internship Evaluation that has to be discussed with the intern. At the end, the Internship Assessment is made by the university supervisor of the Institute of Psychology.


Registration with the internship coordinator of the student’s specialisation.

Mode of instruction

The internship supervisor at the Institute of Psychology will supervise the internship on an individual basis or in group meetings, depending on the student’s master’s specialisation.

Assessment method

The student writes an internship report. The final assessment by the internship supervisor (examiner) of the Institute of Psychology is based on a set of evaluation criteria specific for the master’s specialisation of the student. If applicable, the internship supervisor at the organisation in which the internship has taken place provides the examiner qualitative input about his or her evaluation of the intern’s activities and deliverables.
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that examiners use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

Relevant literature on the topic of the research.

For both Dutch and international students the ethical code of the Dutch Association of Psychologists or the American Association of Psychologists is required reading for the internship:

Contact information

Internship coordinator of the Master specialisation.