Cognitive Neuropsychology

Explore the intricacies of the brain, combine insights from cognitive psychology and neuropsychology, deepen your understanding of normal and abnormal brain function

The Master in Cognitive Neuropsychology is a two-year Research Master’s programme that operates on the cutting edge between cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology. While cognitive psychology is geared towards general theories of human functioning, neuropsychology focuses on individual patients with brain damage, whose condition can often provide new insights into how the human brain works. Combining these two approaches into one Master’s programme is unique in the Netherlands.

The curriculum combines in-depth courses about normal and abnormal cognitive functioning across the life span with essential research skills in the neurosciences. You will learn how to interpret fascinating clinical cases using solid cognitive and neuropsychological theories, but also how to critically evaluate these theories. You will have the opportunity to make excursions into the emerging fields of educational neuropsychology, social cognition and other related research areas. Look at our selection of exciting scientific questions we are working on. After choosing the research master in cognitive neuropsychology you might be working on this as well!

The Master’s in Cognitive Neuropsychology is a two-year research Master’s programme, combining in-depth courses about cognitive function in the general and clinical populations with broad-based general and neuroscientific research skills.

Features of the curriculum include:

  • Elective courses (3)  
  • Seminars 
  • Research internship
  • Writing a Master’s thesis  

Electives and independent research
Three of the 14 subjects are electives. You will be able to select courses that allow you to explore specific areas. In addition, you will be free in the choice of your research topics. The Practical Skills for Researchers course contains a large research internship, for which you can choose from a range of research lines. And you will have the freedom to choose your own topics in the final phase, when you complete a literature survey and conduct your own thesis project. You can also choose where to do your thesis research; abroad or in Amsterdam. You will conclude your studies by writing a Master’s thesis under the supervision of one of our research staff. Your final thesis assessment will be carried out by two senior researchers.

Clinical internship for Dutch students
Dutch students can enhance their study programme by doing a clinical internship. In combination with the courses already in the programme and some of the elective courses, this will enable them to live up to the admission requirements for the Dutch GZ-opleiding after graduating from the Research Master Cognitive Neuropsychology. Minimal requirements (in addition to the general requirements for this Research Master). 

A challenging mix of clinical cases and cognitive theory
The study programme will give you the opportunity to obtain knowledge and skills in the area where cognitive psychology and neuropsychology meet. Cognitive neuropsychology is gaining in international prominence and offers you the best of two fields of study.  
You will interpret clinical cases within cognitive-neuropsychological theories and put these theories to the test in a real-life clinical environment. In doing so, you will make use of behavioural measurements, neuropsychological tests and neurophysiological techniques such as EEG and fMRI. The programme also has a strong focus on general skills, such as critical analysis and presenting your own research.

Cognitive Neuropsychology courses in study guide

A job as... a researcher, a psychogeriatric research consultant, a human factors consultant
Ultimately you will be trained to become a versatile and skilled researcher who is capable of pursuing a successful career in the Netherlands or internationally within universities, research institutes or a clinical setting. The pharmacological industry also offers good job opportunities for Cognitive Neuropsychological researchers.

Neuropsychologist in a clinical setting (Dutch students) 
Within the Research Master's in Cognitive Neuropsychology Dutch students have the possibility to enhance their study programme by doing a clinical internship. In addition to the general requirements for this Master's programme, there are also specific requirements for the clinical internship.

Master of Science
Once you have completed the programme, you will be awarded the title of Master of Science (MSc) in Cognitive Neuropsychology.

Excellent education
Teaching takes place on a small scale and is of the highest quality. The tutors take great care in monitoring and mentoring students. You are assigned an individual mentor who provides you with personal guidance and supervision.

Unique programme
The Master’s in Cognitive Neuropsychology at VU Amsterdam operates on the interface between cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology. This approach is unique in the Netherlands 
 
Internationally oriented

The programme is taught in English and its unique approach attracts students from many different countries. In addition to the standard programme, you will also have the opportunity to take subjects at other faculties, if you so wish. Many of the lecturers on the Master’s programme have contact with foreign universities, mostly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. This improves your prospects of being able to do graduate research abroad.

Leading scientists
You are taught by scientists who have made unique contributions to the areas of research featured in the programme. All enjoy international recognition as prominent researchers in diverse fields of cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology. All of our teaching staff receives consistently excellent educational evaluations.

Student Experiences

Overview Cognitive Neuropsychology: Research

Language of instruction

English

Duration

2 years

Tuition fee

Application deadline

1 June for Dutch students. For International students who apply after April 1 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam can not guarantee that accommodation will be available for them

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Field of Interest

Behavioural and Social Sciences

Lot Verburg

PhD-student

Photo_LotVerburg_RM_CNP

"I chose the Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuropsychology because I wanted to obtain more knowledge about the brain, its functioning and how to research it. The Research Master’s is a great combination of theory and practice, with for example interesting in-depth courses on brain imaging techniques, human perception and neuro-anatomy, as well as more practical courses on anatomy, dementia, and statistics. I never forget our first brain dissection class! 

Other advantages of this Research Master’s are the small group of students enrolled in the programme (about 20 in my year), the openness of the teachers and the personal communication with members of both departments. We were also invited to contribute to research of PhD-students of the departments of Cognitive Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology, which gave me the opportunity to get familiar with doing research in the field of pediatric neuropsychology."

The aim of the Research Master's is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to interpret clinical neuropsychological cases in terms of cognitive and neuropsychological theories; to become professional researchers within the area of Cognitive Neuropsychology. The curriculum consists of multiple courses in cognitive psychology, clinical neuropsychology, neuroscience, and general academic skills concerning methodology, writing, and modern brain imaging techniques.

The curriculum consists of:

  • Obligatory courses
  • Elective courses
  • For a couple of courses specific previous knowledge is required. Students lacking this knowledge may have to follow an extra (deficiency) course.

Methods and Statistics
Methods and statistics are an essential part of our programme. Here you find a quick test that will give you an insight in what skills and knowledge are required to successfully take part in our programme.

For more information on the individual courses see the online study guide.

Emotion and motivation

Why do you think that others are often irrational in their decisions? How is it that we still remember what we were wearing on September 11th, but have no clue what we wore last week? Are you telling the truth when you reassure parents of a premature infant that it will be able to graduate from University one day?

Mapping the Brain

What happens in the brain while people have a brilliant new idea? Is it true that your visual cortex knows about a sound before the auditory cortex does? An how could you measure that? Why does brain damage more often lead to visual problems on the left side than on the right side? Can we build computer models of pharmacological effects on the brain so that in the future we can simulate the effects of drugs rather than test them on human subjects?

Changing cognition

Can we protect our brains from deteriorating as we get older? Does daily exercise have an effect on brain function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease?

Ever wondered whether the ‘brain training’ devices available on the market really work? And what about omega-3 in your diet, does it really boost your memory? Are neurofeedback sessions effective in treating ADHD? Will we be able to predict substance abuse based on someone’s genetic make-up?

All Master’s degree programmes of VU Amsterdam are accredited by NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie), the accreditation organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders.

NVAO is entrusted by law to accredit all existing bachelor’s and master’s degree courses and to validate new study programmes at government-funded higher education institutions as well as institutions approved (but not funded) by the Dutch government. 

  


  

Meet the staff

Artem Belopolsky- fotostudio

Dr. Artem Belopolsky, Assistant Professor

What fascinates you in the area of cognitive neuropsychology?
The workings of the human mind remains one of the least understood and the most fascinating area of research. To understand the human mind we need to examine the brain mechanisms and connect them to behavior. Cognitive neuropsychology possesses the methods to study the human mind in a scientific manner and will allow us in the future to explain and predict human behavior.  Cognitive neuropsychology stands on a scientific frontier and this makes it the most fascinating area of research.

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
I am primarily interested in a very basic, but crucial question: to which extent are we in control over what information we select? We often believe that we pay attention only to the things that are relevant and important to us, but my research has shown that our control is rather limited. Instead, we are often attracted by events in our environment despite our will and often without awareness.  In my recent research I have also examined the role of the oculomotor system in supporting visual-spatial working memory. I have found that the oculomotor system is actively involved in maintenance and updating the information held in memory. This is not in line with the traditional view of working memory as a higher cognitive function, but suggests that it is "embodied" by the oculomotor system.

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am continuing working on these two subjects. Specifically, I am investigating the extent to which our attention is shaped and controlled by our experience, by things that we had done in the past and bypassing our voluntary control. Furthermore, together with my PhD student Paul Boon we are looking into how memory representations are updated when we move our eyes or when the objects in the environment move. These movements pose quite a challenge for our brain. Together with my PhD student Lisette Schmidt we are looking into how and to which extent our attention is controlled by stimuli with emotional content, such as angry faces.

Personal page 

Erik van der Burg 

Dr. Erik van der Burg, docent Research Master Cognitive Neuropsychology

What fascinates you in the area of clinical and cognitive psychology?
Every day we receive an overwhelming amount of information via our different senses. I find it interesting to understand how we can deal with such an influx of information provided that we can only process a limited number of events/objects at the same time. Furthermore, I find it fascinating how our brain integrates, or combines information from different sensory modalities in order to create a coherent picture of the world.
 
What are recent accomplishments in your research?

I have shown that information from different sensory modalities, like touch, audition and vision, interact in many different ways, depending on the sematic content, the temporal as well as spatial properties of the multisensory information. For instance, I have shown that an auditory signal can aid visual search dramatically when the auditory signal coincides with the target event (a colour change). Furthermore, I have also shown that we rapidly adapt to motion signals, multisensory signals and faces. For instance, I have recently shown that the attractiveness of a face depends on the attractiveness of a face you saw recently.
 
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I apply artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to better understand human behavior in densely cluttered environments. Based on human performance I evolve the displays to extract those parameters detrimental for a given task. Furthermore, I conduct several experiments to understand how our multisensory and unisensory percept depends on the immediate past (i.e., sensory adaptation).

Foto_MiekeDonk 

Dr. Mieke Donk, Associate Professor

What fascinates you in the area of cognitive neuropsychology?
Recently introduced brain-imaging techniques allow for a fast development of our understanding of the brain and how its activity relates to normal and abnormal functioning. The activity of the brain underlies of our functioning: how we perceive the world, how the think, and how we act. It is immensely interesting to participate in the enterprise aimed to understand how the brain accomplishes these tasks.

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
During the past few years I have been working in the area of visual attention and eye movements. We are continuously confronted with an enormous amount of information. Yet, our brain has a limited information processing capacity. To cope with the overflow of information, the brain selects some information and ignores other information. That is, some information is attended to whereas other information is ignored. A major question I have been working on is how the brain, in particular the visual system of the brain, accomplishes this task. What attributes in the world are important in determining whether or not information is selected? To investigate this issue, I have been doing multiple behavioral studies registering reaction times and eye movements.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, I am working on the effects of saliency on visual selection. Salient objects in the visual field tend to attract our attention and eyes. To explain these findings, most models of visual search assume that saliency is represented in our visual system in some sort of location-based saliency map that continuously holds information about the relative salience of objects in the visual field. This information allows an observer to visually select those locations in space that contain salient objects. Current results of our lab suggest that saliency is not continuously represented in our brains. Instead, the representation of saliency appears to be only transiently present.

Personal page

Hanneke van Ewijk

Hanneke van Ewijk

What fascinates you in the area of cognitive neuropsychology? 

It becomes more and more important to integrate different fields of knowledge, and to integrate scientific research and clinical practice. Cognitive neuropsychology is a perfect example where different fields blend together to gain a more integrated insight into the human brain, and to bridge the gap between fundamental scientific knowledge and clinical patient work. Using fundamental knowledge in the field of cognitive and neuropsychology, and using this knowledge to learn how the brain works in healthy as well as clinical populations, will bring us insight into the mystery of the human mind and will help us to better understand, treat, and possibly even prevent different psychiatric disorders.
   
What are recent accomplishments in your research? 


During my PhD, I was part of a large multicenter consortium that coordinates research into ADHD from different perspectives. Within this project, all levels of ADHD were investigated in a large number of families: genotyping, brain imaging, neurocognitive functioning, and phenotypical information about ADHD, its treatment, comorbid disorders, and broader social-emotional and societal functioning. A perfect example of integrating cognitive and neuropsychology in science and clinical practice. Within this project, I focused on brain white matter microstructure (as measured by Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)), amongst other things. DTI was a relatively new technique at the time, and I found that individuals with ADHD suffer from widespread white matter abnormalities that were partly related to a genetic or environmental risk for the disorder, but also partly related to the symptoms and to comorbid conditions. This provided new insights into brain dysfunctioning in ADHD, and has stimulated further research in this area.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, I am working as an assistant professor on two different research lines: On the one hand, I am continuing to work in the field of ADHD, but I am now focusing on topics closer to clinical practice. Together with a PhD student, I am investigating whether we can optimize pharmacological treatment in ADHD by investigating and implementing a new titration technique into clinical practice. On the other hand, I am doing research at the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of the Emma children's hospital, to investigate the effects of sedative treatment on brain development in young children. We are assessing PICU survivors between 6-12 years og age on neurocognitive, social-emotional, and school functioning, to see if sedative treatment during their early childhood years may have affected their brain development in the long run.

Richard Godijn

Richard Godijn

What fascinates you in the area of clinical and cognitive psychology?
How is it possible that we can mentally travel back in time to a moment in our distant past? How is it possible that we can look at a scene and rapidly identify numerous objects present? How is it possible that out of all the information provided to us we can select what is of interest to us? The brain is an amazing organ and I am particularly interested in how it allows us to perceive, attend and memorize information in order to interact with our environment. The beauty of cognitive neuroscience is that it utilizes a wide variety of techniques, some traditional, some new, in order to study brain and behavior from different perspectives. 
 
What are you working on at the moment?

In addition to my interest in perception, attention and memory I have a passion for teaching. I teach courses on brain and behaviour, perception and attention, memory and memory disorders, and thinking and emotions. For the Research Master Cognitive Neuroscience I also coordinate the thesis work of the students.

Thomas_Knapen

Dr. Tomas Knapen

What fascinates you in the area of cognitive neuropsychology?
My fascination for cognitive neuroscience stems from the realisation that everything that we perceive, think and feel is rooted in the physical mechanisms implemented by the brain. Thus, I am interested in how the brain performs the computations that allow it to perceive and act, and how these computations are learned.

Specific topics of interest are 1. reward processing and neural plasticity, 2. brain mechanism underlying attention and eye movements, leading into 3. the mechanisms of motor and perceptual learning. 4. I am also still very much involved in the investigation of bistable perception and the neural correlates of consciousness.

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
Present projects investigate the flexible encoding of visual space in the human brain, under the influence of attention, expectations and reward. Furthermore, recent results in bistable perception elucidate the role of frontal and parietal cortex in visual decision-making. And lastly, we have developed techniques to track brain state by reading out pupil size fluctuations.

What are you working on at the moment?
My research focus is on precise mapping of the visual system using retinotopic mapping techniques, and a detailed understanding of the responses we see in fMRI. For these broad interests, the methods I use range from behaviour and psychophysics, to eye movement and pupil size recordings, EEG/MEG and fMRI. In terms of data analysis, I prefer to use fully open-source and documented methods (implemented in python) for the implementation of finite impulse-response and encoding model estimation. At the master’s level, I teach functional imaging.

Martijn Kruijne

Wouter Kruijne

What fascinates you in the area of clinical and cognitive psychology?
The visual system is a fascinating sensory system that transforms the wealth of information that falls on our retina into a neural representation. This representation can be used to detect and recognize objects and make simple judgments about them, determine how we should act on these objects, and importantly, where we should look or attend next.

What intrigues me about the visual system is how dynamic it is. The same visual input can lead to very different neural representations under different task demands, or if we perceive it more than once.
At the same time, we can use the visual system to temporarily store and retrieve visual information, called visual Short-term Memory.
I amazed that we have the sensation of a stable and robust visual world, even though we have such a volatile system that can represent very different kinds of information at the same time. 

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
Last year I defended my thesis titled 'The Effects of Experience on Visual Processing', in which I investigated several means by which previous visual sensation or previous deployments of attention impact the way we perceive future stimuli. These effects can be short-lived, (for example neural adaptation to visual input) but sometimes the effects can last for days or weeks (for example through traces formed in long-term memory). Interestingly, we are usually not aware of these changes taking place.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, I work as a post-doc for Chris Olivers, in collaboration with Sander Bohte and Pieter Roelfsema. Primarily, we are interesting in how the brain manages to maintain different items in visual working memory at the same time without interference.
To this end we construct neural network models that are trained via reinforcement learning, to compare the models with data gathered from primate studies.
Anouk van Loon

Dr. Anouk van Loon

What fascinates you in the area of clinical and cognitive psychology?
One of the most important features of human vision is that it is selective and dynamic. It flexibly samples the environment on the basis of what is relevant to our current tasks, such as finding a friend in the crowd.This means that the brain maintains some representation of what we arecurrently looking for, aface. This “picture in your head”, or “template”, remains a huge mystery. I’m intrigued how neuralinteractions across the visual corticalhierarchy guide our visual perception and how our brain integrates the “picture in our head” with incoming sensory information.

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
During my PhD, I have studied the dynamics between bottom-up and top-down visual processes, with the focus on visual awareness and consciousness. For example, I have used backwardmasking and different pharmacological manipulations while recording EEG to disentangle feedforward from feedbackprocesses. In anotherproject, I have looked at the role of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (by means of MRS and pharmacology) in bistable perception or visual illusion such as binocular rivalry. I have also used Mooney images, which are images that are hard to recognize at first sight, to see whether objectrepresentations in the brain (as assessed with multi-voxel pattern analysis) changes with recognition and the NMDA-receptor antagonist ketamine.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, I am working as a Post-Doc on the ERC-project ‘Depicting the picture in your head’ in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Chris Olivers. I’m investigating the interplay between attention, perception and working memory using different research methods such as fMRI, EEG and eye tracking.

Foto_SanderLos 

Dr. Sander A. Los, Assistant Professor

What fascinates you in the area of Cognitive Neuropsychology?
Over the past decades, we have learned a lot about mental processes from measuring reaction times in simple reaction tasks. Additional measurements of brain potentials or functional MRI have enhanced our knowledge about the implementation of these processes in the brain. The challenge remains to integrate this knowledge into a cognitive architecture that describes how elementary mental processes operate in concert, thus enabling skillful human performance. To this end, Cognitive Neuropsychologists have developed inferential methods that enable critical tests of specific cognitive architectures on the basis of experimental data. I think this is a fascinating and promising approach, which may significantly contribute to the integration of the field in the years to come.

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
In my research I have focused on an elementary process, known as nonspecific preparation. This process corresponds to the preparatory process of an athlete who prepares for action to the "starting" signal when primed by the "ready" signal. Simulations of this process in the laboratory, using simple key press tasks, have revealed that the reaction time to the starting signal is influenced by the duration of the preparation interval on both the present trial and the immediately preceding trial(s). On the basis of these findings I have characterized nonspecific preparation as an unintentional process driven by associative learning rules.

What are you working on at the moment?
Recently I have broadened my view on nonspecific preparation by addressing the question how this process develops relative to other mental processes. I have become excited about the inferential power of what I call the underadditive-factor method, which provides a window on nonspecific preparation as it develops in parallel with elementary processes involved in the perceptual analysis of stimuli. My major conclusion so far has been that the development of nonspecific does not stop when the starting signal is presented but continues in parallel with the perceptual analysis of the starting signal to support a process occurring later in time.

Personal page

maarten_milders

Dr. Maarten Milders

What fascinates you in the area of cognitive neuropsychology?
Cognitive neuropsychology is a broad subject and within the subject there are several topics that interest me. These include impairments in social cognition following brain injury or in psychiatric disorders and the relationship between these impairments and clinical symptoms or changes in behaviour following brain injury. Further insight into the disorders that may underlie the behavioural changes can be relevant for predicting or treating those changes. Another topic that interests me concerns psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and their informal caregivers. In the absence of a cure for dementia and with limitations of current medication, non-drug or psychosocial interventions provide the best available option for support.

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
Recently, my co-workers and I finished a number of studies. One study was the first to show that patients with depression were less likely to detect the presence of an image with a positive meaning (a happy face) than healthy participants, using a task from experimental psychology, the attentional blink.  In another study we showed that that people with dementia had not trouble to interact with a computer using natural speech, while carrying cognitive stimulation activities on the computer. Speaking may be an easier way to operate a computer for elderly people with dementia than using a keyboard or mouse.

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am focussing on a study to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an intervention for caregivers of people with dementia in a randomised controlled trial. The caregivers will learn more about dementia, how to communicate with a person with dementia and about activities they can do at home with the person with dementia. The study is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Innovation (ZonMw) and Alzheimer Nederland.  I am also writing up a study on impairments in social cognition in people with traumatic brain injury. Most associations between performance on social cognition tasks and social behaviour post-injury were weak, which is not what models of social behaviour would have predicted.

Foto_ErikScherder

Prof. dr. Erik Scherder

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Foto_JanTheeuwes 

Dr. Jan Theeuwes, Full Professor

What fascinates you in the area of cognitive neuropsychology?
To me the fascinating aspect of Cognitive Neuropsychology is to link behaviour of the normal-functioning as well as the brain-damaged people to the functioning of the brain. Currently there are new and existing techniques that allow us to examine brain activity while people perform a task. Theories of normal cognition are applied to the study of cognitive disorders arising from brain damage. When possible findings from patients (i.e., unilateral visual neglect and extinction) are related to data from functional neuroimaging of normal humans,  and to data from single-cell and lesions studies in primates. I mainly work in the area of attention (visual and auditory) and eye movement control

What are recent accomplishments in your research?
During the past 10 years I developed a task referred to as the oculomotor capture task in which we can determine the extent to which people are able to suppress automatic reflexive eye movements to salient events. This task provides an important indication of top-down control.This task was tested on patients with Parkinson, on ADHD children and the elderly. The results show that especially ADHD kids and Parkinson patients have trouble with inhibiting reflexive eye movements. Interestingly, elderly people are able to control the reflexive eye movements.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently, with my student Manon Mulckhuyse and post-doc Durk Talsma we participate in a large international project called Human Frontiers Sciences investigating the basic mechanism underlying eye movement control. We collaborate with researchers from the United States, Canada and Japan. In this project we use brain imaging in humans (fMRI and ERP), single cell recordings in awake monkeys and neural network modeling to determine exactly how the brain controls our eyes.

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Priscilla Martinez Cedillo

Student


Priscilla_Martinez

"Making the decision to apply for a master's programme at VU Amsterdam wasn't complicated for me at all. When I was writing my bachelor thesis I realized that many articles I had picked as reference had the corresponding address of VU Amsterdam on it. I was so impressed by the quantity and quality of the articles published by VU, that I knew for sure that the researchers who’d work there had to be very passionate about their work. This isn't reflected just in the papers they write, but also in the way they share their knowledge and experiences with their students. Our professors are always very happy to help us anytime.  

The programme itself is really challenging: combining research with cognitive neuropsychology says enough. Sometimes when I get frustrated because I cannot solve a study task, I look back and think about all the knowledge I have already acquired, and I realize that the tools this programme offers will make me a very competent researcher in the future. 

Without hesitation VU Amsterdam was my first choice!"

Dutch students

Who is the Master’s for?

We require our students to be highly motivated and to have a genuine interest in research in the field of Cognitive Neuropsychology. We are looking for students who are committed and who have potential for growth.

Admission requirements 

  • An academic bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Medicine or a closely related subject area. Students may also apply in the final year of their academic bachelor’s program, provided that the degree will be conferred prior to September 1, when the Master's program starts. These students will have to provide a provisional record of courses and grades, signed by the university's student administrator. 
  • Good grades: Your average grade for your academic bachelor's is 7.5 or higher (or the international equivalent, e.g. a B+ or a GPA of 3.3). In its assessment, the admission board focuses at the grades obtained for courses on statistics, research methods, and (cognitive-) neuroscience (e.g., cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, biological psychology). In addition, the board pays close attention to evidence for good scientific writing skills (e.g., a high grade for a final thesis / research report).
  • Proficiency in English. Please take a close look at the language proficiency requirements.
    Note: Nederlandse studenten met een Nederlands Bachelordiploma hoeven geen taaltoets te doen.
  • An active interest in research as indicated by the type of courses attended at undergraduate levels (i.e. a strong presence of science-oriented courses and skill-oriented practical classes).

Admission procedure 

The Admission Board of the RMCNP meets four times to evaluate running applications. In case the Board decides positively on your application, you will receive an official admission letter and the central student administration will accordingly update your status in Studielink. In case of a negative decision, you will receive an email message in which this decision is explained.

How to apply?

Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee will evaluate your application, and in case of a positive decision, send you an official Admission letter. We will also inform the central student administration, and they will update your status in Studielink .

Contact
General information:
studiekeuze.fgb@vu.nl

Information on study related issues as courses, study programme and study choice:
Study advisor
studieadvies.fgb@vu.nl

Order a brochure 

Information days 
7 December: VU Master's Evening

International students

Who is the Master’s for?

We require our students to be highly motivated and to have a genuine interest in research in the field of Cognitive Neuropsychology. We are looking for students who are committed and who have potential for growth.

Admission requirements 

  • An academic bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Medicine or a closely related subject area. Students may also apply in the final year of their academic bachelor’s program, provided that the degree will be conferred prior to September 1, when the Master's program starts. These students will have to provide a provisional record of courses and grades, signed by the university's student administrator. 
  • Good grades: Your average grade for your academic bachelor's is 7.5 or higher (or the international equivalent, e.g. a B+ or a GPA of 3.3). In its assessment, the admission board focuses at the grades obtained for courses on statistics, research methods, and (cognitive-) neuroscience (e.g., cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, biological psychology). In addition, the board pays close attention to evidence for good scientific writing skills (e.g., a high grade for a final thesis / research report).
  • Proficiency in English. Please take a close look at the language proficiency requirements.
    Note: Nederlandse studenten met een Nederlands Bachelordiploma hoeven geen taaltoets te doen.
  • An active interest in research as indicated by the type of courses attended at undergraduate levels (i.e. a strong presence of science-oriented courses and skill-oriented practical classes).

Admission procedure 

The Admission Board of the RMCNP meets four times to evaluate running applications. In case the Board decides positively on your application, you will receive an official admission letter and the central student administration will accordingly update your status in Studielink. In case of a negative decision, you will receive an email message in which this decision is explained.

How to apply?

Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee will evaluate your application, and in case of a positive decision, send you an official Admission letter. We will also inform the central student administration, and they will update your status in Studielink.

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fees       

VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)

VU Amsterdam provides scholarships through the VU Fellowship Programme. This scholarship is for students who have excellent study results and are strongly motivated. Students admitted to the Research Master’s programme, will automatically receive an application form for the VU FPP Scholarship. We aim to notify successful applicants by the end of June.
More information and application VUFP

Other grants

  • Students in China and Taiwan can contact their local NESO offices (Netherlands Education Support Office) in either Beijing or Taipei: NESO Office Beijing or NESO Office Taipei.
  • Indonesian students can contact their NESO Office Jakarta for more detailed information.
  • All other students may contact Nuffic, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education, or visit Grantfinder, about studying in the Netherlands and financial aid, or their local Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Contact
Information on practical matters (application & registration procedure, admission requirements, scholarships, etc.):
Wytkse Siegersma
International student advisor
admissionsfbms@vu.nl

Information on study related issues as courses, study programme and study choice:
Study advisor
studieadvies.fgb@vu.nl

Order a brochure
Information Days

Studying in Amsterdam
Do you want to know more about living and studying in Amsterdam?
Student Anna Henschel is from Germany and pursues a Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuropsychology at the VU Amsterdam.
Read more: Amsterdam Students Blog