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Psychology: Child and Adolescent Psychology


Children and adolescents may experience a wide range of psychological difficulties.

This Master’s specialisation offers intensive studies in developmental psychopathology, helps students translate theory into practice in addressing the varied needs and difficulties experienced by children and adolescents, fosters the development of key skills for clinical work with young people, and prepares students for entry into Post-Masters training programmes and employment in education and mental health settings.

The focus of the Master’s programme is on psychological and educational problems in childhood and adolescence, but good understanding of atypical development requires a solid understanding of normal development.

In the process, students will have developed skills to empower young people and their families and teachers to overcome psychological problems that can occur among children and adolescents. Students will be expert in both the normal development of children and adolescents, and in the psychological problems that may arise.

This program can also help prepare students for entry into Post-Masters training programmes and employment in education and mental health settings.


Child and Adolescent Psychology prepares students for the assessment and treatment of psychological difficulties that may be experienced by children and adolescents. Students acquire in depth knowledge about:

  • theoretical models of social and cognitive development and the interplay of risk and protective factors in atypical development;

  • ways to differentiate atypical from typical development and the use of classification systems of childhood disorders; and

  • choosing and applying the most appropriate intervention strategy for each problem area.


The curriculum of 60 EC offers a variety of courses and a supervised master thesis. The specialisation consists of:

  • 4 mandatory courses (20 EC)

  • thesis (20 EC)

  • practical internship (10 EC) and 10 EC elective course(s) or a clinical practical internship (20 EC)

Master's Kick Off

At this day (beginning of September for students starting in September / late January for students starting in February) your attendance is strongly advised.

During the Master's Kick Off you will be handed important information on how to organise your studies at Leiden University. A representative of your specialisation will be present. You do not want to miss this!

Master's Kick-Off

First year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory coursework

Advanced Psychodiagnostics in Children and Adolescents 5
Behaviour Training with Children 5
Solution Focused Therapy 5
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Young People 5
Master Thesis in MSc. Psychology 20

Choose one of the following options as internship

Clinical Practical Internship Psychology 20
Internal Practical Internship (IPI) 10
Internship Psychology 10

Recommended electives

If an internship of 10 EC is chosen, add 10 EC electives.
See overview of all electives

Trainers Course Communication Skills 10
Child Neuropsychology: Theory and Assessment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 5
Advanced Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 5
e-Health Interventions in Mental Health Care 5

More info

Additional information


Clinical practical internship coordinator

Femke Stad, MSc

Internal practical internship coordinator

Dr. Harrie Boelens

Thesis coordinator

Dr. Kiki Zanolie

Mentor coordinator

Dr. Harrie Boelens
Dr. Marieke Bos

Student representative

Find your student representative in the overview of programme committee members: Student representative

General coordinator

Dr. M.G.N. Bos


A master's degree in Psychology at Leiden University combines theoretical knowledge with academic and professional skills, making you an attractive candidate for many employers.

Students who complete this master’s specialisation are qualified for any position requiring a degree in psychology, as well as for general research positions and academic policy-making positions. They can come to work in mental health care or education and will come in contact with a wide range of people dedicated to the psychological wellbeing of children and adolescents.

On our website you can find a list with some examples of career opportunities.