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Theory and History of Psychology MSc


University of Groningen    Behavioural and Social Sciences

Full time September, February MSc 1 year full time

About the course

Theory and History of Psychology (formerly “Reflecting on Psychology”) studies psychology as a science, a discipline, and a profession. It's the only programme of its kind in Europe.

Our aim is to understand why psychology became the way it is, how it has been understood, how it negotiates its boundaries with other allied sciences, and how it could be improved. We focus on the social, methodological, philosophical, and conceptual issues that underlie contemporary psychology. For this reason, our programme will appeal particularly to students who wonder why things are the way they are, dare to question established truths, and dream about how they could be different.

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

In addition to the general requirements, some tracks have specific admission requirements. This means that it depends on your previous education and the track you have chosen whether you are eligible for admission or whether you need to do something extra. If you have a regular Bachelor's degree in Psychology from a Dutch university, you will meet the admission requirements for most tracks (depending on the courses you took).


 Course Content


Where is University of Groningen

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Students about the master's track Theory and History of Psychology Students about the master's track Theory and History of Psychology 19/11/2019 11:26:12
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Theory and History of Psychology MSc

Student Profile(s)

Saskia Wiegant

I started studying Psychology at the beginning of the 90's in Groningen. Initially, I wanted to specialize in Clinical Psychology, and I almost finished that programme. However, I wasn't very satisfied with the courses, and I kept running into the same problems. I had a lot of questions concerning the field of Clinical Psychology, and I didn't receive satisfying answers to them.

At a certain point, I took a course at the Department of Theory and History of Psychology (now part of the Master's programme 'Reflecting on Psychology') and I found that so interesting that I decided to complete that programme instead of Clinical Psychology. At that department my critical attitude was very welcome. I learned, for example, how research is conducted and why in that way, or where knowledge comes from.

After finishing my studies, I worked as a researcher and teacher for a while in Maastricht, until I fell in love with a boy from Groningen and moved back to the north. I started a job there as a student counsellor at the university. A student counsellor helps students with problems, for example, with a handicap. I talked with such students; and I was also involved in policymaking: how can we make sure that handicapped students are able to study successfully. I, together with others, made sure that things are much better organized for this type of students, by now.

The things I learned during my studies were very useful for my job. It influenced the way I looked at students diagnosed with, for example, adhd or autism. I could see that those diagnoses were just a little piece of their reality into which I could introduce another piece of reality, so they could study successfully. It's a way of thinking I learned during the Master's programme.

I have never regretted my choice to switch to Theory and History of Psychology. It was great to attend classes taught by people like Trudy Dehue and Douwe Draaisma, they are such inspiring teachers, and they really taught me how to write.

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