Social Psychology

Advanced insights and research training in Social Psychology by top-scholars

This world-class Research Master’s programme offers advanced insights and research training in Social Psychology by top-scholars


This Research Master’s programme takes a multidisciplinary approach to the fundamental social psychological processes that illuminate how people are influenced by their social environment. New insights are obtained by incorporating biological, cognitive and evolutionary perspectives in the study of social psychological phenomena. These include situations that involve interpersonal trust, leadership, and cooperation. Social psychology is the core psychological discipline that sheds light on human behavior and attitudes in social situations and settings.

In this programme you will acquire in-depth theoretical knowledge of social psychology and the skills to apply this knowledge to social phenomena in the real world. Moreover, you will also develop the essential skills needed to conduct innovative research of the highest quality. There is a substantial focus on research and presentation skills throughout the programme, as well as related questions such as application of social psychology to real-world problems, and bridging social psychology with insights from adjacent disciplines. The programme provides an excellent opportunity for in-depth exploration of central theories in social psychology and its related disciplines, and offers students the opportunity to gain substantial research experience that will make them competitive for PhD studentship positions, or other research-oriented jobs either within or outside of academia.

This program has been awarded the label "Top Master" in the 'Keuzegids 2017' of C.H.O.I. (Higher education information centre). The decision of granting this award is based on the ratings given by experts and students to the quality of the program.

Topprogram

The Social Psychology department of VU Amsterdam offers talented and motivated students a challenging and unique, two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Psychology. 

Features of the curriculum include:    

  • Teaching in small classes and individual meetings
  • Expert courses and workshops by leading social psychologists
  • Extensive academic skills training
  • Advanced experimental research training
  • High quality research and study facilities 

Interdisciplinary approach 
The program takes a multi-disciplinary, integrative approach to fundamental social psychological processes. The underlying idea is that new insights can be generated by incorporating biological, cognitive, neuroscience, and evolutionary perspectives within the study of social psychological phenomena such as communication, cooperative behaviour, interpersonal relations, the self, and emotions. 

Research and presentation skills 
The teaching program aims at providing specialization in social psychology and creating bridges between social psychology and neighbouring disciplines. During the whole teaching program there will be a strong emphasis on both research skills and presentation skills.

Social Psychology: research master courses in the study guide

A job as... a researcher, a policy officer, a consultant... 
Because Social Psychology combines understanding human behaviour with training in advanced research methods, the career prospects for its graduates are excellent. Students who have completed our research Master’s are especially suited to advanced PhD work. Many social psychologists conduct research and teach at universities or colleges, not only in departments of Psychology but also in Cognitive Science, Business, Education, Political Science, Justice Studies, Law, Health Sciences and Medicine. Others are employed in the private sector as consultants, researchers, marketing directors and managers. Psychologists also work for government and non-profit organizations, designing and evaluating policies or programmes in areas like education, conflict resolution and environmental protection. Our graduates are extremely well-placed for jobs of this kind. 

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

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. We have created several special facilities for students, including a dedicated research lab and a study room. 
  
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 social psychology and associated disciplines. All of our teaching staff receive consistently excellent educational evaluations. 

Internationally oriented 
The Master’s has a strong international orientation. It is taught entirely in English, with the staff including highly respected international researchers. Half of all new students come from outside the Netherlands, making the programme truly international in character. Your second year provides you with the opportunity to conduct one or two research projects at a university abroad, under the supervision of a prominent international expert.

Social Psychology

Overview Social Psychology: 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

Admission requirements

 

Field of Interest

Behavioural and Social Sciences

More information
Information days
Order the brochure       

 

Ana Levordashka

Student

Photo_Ana_Levordaska_good_practice_RMSP

"The programme is challenging but highly rewarding... and fun!"

The aim of the programme is to provide students with a solid theoretical foundation along with advanced research skills that permit them to translate a theoretically driven idea into a research design that can be implemented. 

Throughout the first year, there is a continuous emphasis on oral and written communication skills. These skills will be assessed and refined in the theoretical courses through assignments. 
The second year of the teaching program is designed to further integrate theoretical knowledge from the basic principles and advanced courses in the first year and to locate basic social psychological principles in a broader, trans-disciplinary context. Moreover, the second year entails further advanced methodology, as well as two major research projects to be conducted by each student, to which a substantial part of the second year will be dedicated. These two projects are expected to be original contributions culminating in one written research report in the form of a journal article. This article could in principle be submitted for publication and serve as a starting point for a PhD-project. 

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. 

Course descriptions 

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

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.  

"I chose the Research Master’s in Social Psychology at VU Amsterdam because I was fascinated by the question of how other people influence the thoughts, feelings and actions of the individual. The programme provided many valuable answers, both practical and theoretical, and even spurred the interest to further pursue a career in that field. 

Besides a wide theoretic input such as a thorough foundation of statistical skills, I have benefited from the diverse mixture of students in an international city like Amsterdam. Practically, our group of Research Master’s students was one big experiment of joint learning, both with and from each another. This experiment was a great experience through which I made good friends whose input I still cherish. Furthermore, the direct contact with the teaching staff improved the learning output even more. By being able to communicate easily with the professors it was possible to study the phenomenon that I personally found most interesting. 

So, if you are interested in getting a detailed look into which social factors shape people’s life and if you enjoy an international learning environment, the Research Master’s in Social Psychology at VU Amsterdam might be the perfect fit for you."

Nils Köbis, PhD-student


"I decided for this Research Master’s, because I was looking for a programme that would challenge my research skills and help me deepen my knowledge about social psychological processes, particularly in the area of leadership and group processes. During the two years, not only did I attend interesting classes, but I also worked closely together with experts in the field on several research projects. 

I gained a lot of experience in scientific writing and was supported in developing my own research ideas. I liked how I was encouraged to publish research articles even before I had finished my Master’s. Also, I appreciated that we were a small group of students from all over the world which made working to together very inspiring and fun. Looking back, I’m glad I took this opportunity and got to experience such a great study environment. 

Working now as a research associate and PhD student I can’t think of another Master’s programme that could have prepared me any better for a career in research. Therefore, I would highly recommend it to everyone who is interested in social psychology and wishes to pursue a PhD in this field."

Amelie Güntner, research associate and PhD student at Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany 

Dutch students

Who is the Master’s for?  
We are looking for students who are motivated, committed and have potential for growth. They should have a genuine interest in empirical research in the field of social psychology.   
   
Admission Requirements

  • An academic bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Psychology or a related discipline, preferably with an emphasis on social psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, economics, neurosciences or cognitive sciences and a focus on methodology, statistics and research. Applications from students with a background in other disciplines will be considered, but these candidates must have completed courses in statistics and methodology and have experience of conducting and reporting on experimental research. Prospective students in this category are strongly advised to seek a preliminary advice before proceeding with their application (see below).
  • Good grades: Preferably you have an average grade for your academic bachelor of 7.5 or higher (or international equivalent, e.g. a B or a GPA of 3.3). It is possible to be admitted if your average grade is lower; however, in such cases you will need to complete the entry assignment in a highly satisfactory manner.
  • A satisfactory result in the entrance assignment (see below).
  • 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.
  • The Admissions Committee will take into account recommendations from universities and other relevant information.

How to apply?

Selection assignment   
Soon after we have received your request for admission you will be sent the selection assignment. This involves the study of an empirical scientific article and the discussion of research ideas related to it. You will have two weeks to complete the assignment and return it to us. The Admissions Committee will then evaluate your assignment, as well as the information you provided with your request of admission. You will be notified of the result in two weeks time, and we also notify the central student administration, so they can update your status in Studylink.

Preliminary advice  
If you would like to receive preliminary advice on your chances of being admitted to this programme, please send us (admissionsfpe@vu.nl) the following documents. We need to receive these at least a month in advance of your application deadline.

  • Your CV
  • A list of the higher education courses you have taken and the grades obtained

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 2017: VU Master's evening 

International students

Who is the Master’s for? 
We are looking for students who are motivated, committed and have potential for growth. They should have a genuine interest in empirical research in the field of social psychology.  
  
Admission Requirements

  • An academic bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Psychology or a related discipline, preferably with an emphasis on social psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, economics, neurosciences or cognitive sciences and a focus on methodology, statistics and research. Applications from students with a background in other disciplines will be considered, but these candidates must have completed courses in statistics and methodology and have experience of conducting and reporting on experimental research. Prospective students in this category are strongly advised to seek a preliminary advice before proceeding with their application (see below).
  • Good grades: Preferably you have an average grade for your academic bachelor of 7.5 or higher (or international equivalent, e.g. a B or a GPA of 3.3). It is possible to be admitted if your average grade is lower; however, in such cases you will need to complete the entry assignment in a highly satisfactory manner.
  • A satisfactory result in the entrance assignment (see below).
  • 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.
  • The Admissions Committee will take into account recommendations from universities and other relevant information.


How to apply?

Selection assignment  
Soon after we have received your request for admission you will be sent the selection assignment. This involves the study of an empirical scientific article and the discussion of research ideas related to it. You will have two weeks to complete the assignment and return it to us. The Admissions Committee will then evaluate your assignment, as well as the information you provided with your request of admission. You will be notified of the result in two weeks time, and we also notify the central student administration, so they can update your status in Studylink.

Preliminary advice 
If you would like to receive preliminary advice on your chances of being admitted to this programme, please send us (admissionsfbms@vu.nl) the following documents. We need to receive these at least a month in advance of your application deadline.

  • Your CV
  • A list of the higher education courses you have taken and the grades obtained

Annual tuition fees 

Grants available 

Non-Dutch students

  • VU Amsterdam provides scholarships through the VU Fellowship Programme. This scholarship is for students who have excellent study results and are strongly motivated. 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.): 
Wytske 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 

Contact our student ambassadors
If you are wondering what it is like to live and study in Amsterdam from a current student perspective, do not hesitate to contact our student ambassadors; they would love to share their experiences with you!

Graduate School Faculty of Behavioural and Human Movement Sciences
Read more about objectives and activities of the School and PhD training track, the PhD Education Committee (PEC) and the organization of the Graduate School.

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Information Days