What's the Master of Psychology all about?
Students of the research master will obtain:
- a thorough training in statistics and research methodology
- the in-depth study of the basic disciplines of psychology, supplemented with a specialization in perception, cognition and language, emotion, cross-cultural psychology, neuroscience, learning psychology, or quantitative psychology.
In addition to individual and group-based coursework, students become immersed in ongoing multidisciplinary research at the faculty.
- Master’s thesis: You conduct independent psychological research in line with your own interests. Topics can range from fundamental to applied and frequently lead to publication in scientific peer-reviewed journals.
- Internship: You complete an internship (120 days) at one of our faculty research groups or one of many top universities and institutes worldwide.
Acknowledging the increasing importance of international research experience in scientific and career development, students may complete their internship at one of the research groups of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at KU Leuven, or they can complete part or all of their internship outside Leuven. Internship coordinators and faculty members help students locate and arrange internships at international research groups around the world.
Our students have conducted their internships at top universities and institutes worldwide, including:
- Students will acquire advanced knowledge of the basic domains of psychological research. They will understand how research results are established, from the conception of research questions to the dissemination of results.
- Students will become proficient to gather relevant information from the research literature, critically evaluate information, and actively use this information to generate novel research and theory. They will learn how to deal with questions about psychological functioning in an independent and scientific way. This will involve analyzing concrete problems, asking critical questions, designing and implementing appropriate methodologies and interventions, and developing well-reasoned arguments about their social views.
- Students will be prepared to independently develop their skills in psychology as a science and as an evidence-based practice.
General learning outcomes
- Students can gain insight in theory and research in the basic domains of psychology and their chosen areas of specialization.
- Students can critically examine scientific developments in psychology and argue their scientific views and decisions. They can apply this knowledge the analysis of specific psychological problems.
- Students know and understand the methodology of behavioral science research, both in terms of general principles and data analysis, its potential and limitations. They can apply this knowledge both in the processing of their own research data and in the critical reading of that of others.
- Students acquire a general scientific attitude, effective communication and reporting skills, personal maturity and sensitivity to ethical and moral issues associated with psychology and the scientific profession.
The primary purpose of the Master of Psychology: Theory and Research is to prepare students to pursue a PhD project. Many of our graduates go on to pursue academic careers at top universities. The programme also provides a solid background for international careers in a variety of other settings, which may include:
- scientific research and policy functions in research institutes
- somatic and mental health treatment institutions
- centres for educational research and counselling
- insurance providers
- government agencies
- pharmaceutical, food, and medical technology industries.