Master in Health Psychology & Digital Interventions


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The study programme of the Master Health Psychology & Digital Interventions incorporates both theory and practice. The master adopts an active learning approach combining elements of traditional Problem-Based Learning with a more project-oriented learning approach, working around concrete cases from real-life public and community (health) institutions to provide an intervention solution.

As such, this master will train students to become all-around professionals who are able to apply scientific knowledge in practice. Graduates will have an advantage because of their good theoretical basis and excellent research and professional skills and competences (e.g., scientific integrity and transparency, knowledge brokery and valorization, communication skills, project management, etc).


The curriculum consists of three main courses. Each course is about specific themes related to the process of understanding and analyzing targeted behaviours, and designing, implementing and evaluating (digital) behaviour change interventions. In the first two courses, you will learn how psychological insights and theories can be used to stimulate behaviour change and improve health, and how to leverage technology and work together with relevant parties to design more effective health promotion interventions. The fourth course is uniform for all psychology masters: a course in advanced statistics.

In parallel to the main content courses, you will also attend two smaller courses focused on acquiring key professional and research skills in the field of (digital) behaviour change. Thus, the Health Psychology & Digital interventions Master not only provides students with the relevant content expertise but also helps them develop the skills necessary to work effectively in the field.

In the second semester, from February onwards, you will complete a practical internship and a research internship leading to your final thesis, either in external organizations and companies working in the field of e-health and/or digital technology for behaviour change or in the research areas of our faculty. Both internships can also be combined into a longer one, where both practical experience and research work can be integrated into a larger project.

All teaching and practice groups are taught in English. The lectures, study manual, examinations and used literature are also in English.

The educational program is subject to change.

Why study Master Health Psychology & Digital Interventions

The master Health Psychology & Digital Interventions focuses on leveraging technology to promote healthy behaviour and improve care. Our aim is to help you use psychological insights and evidence-based theory to create innovative technological solutions (eHealth).

Why study Master Health Psychology & Digital Interventions?

Erasmus University Rotterdam offers you one of the best master programmes in Psychology in the Netherlands. This master track is for anyone with an interest in the psychology of behaviour change, and the use of digital interventions to promote (mental) health or influence behaviour. In this master, you will learn how you can use psychological theory to design and evaluate effective interventions, as well as how technology can be leveraged to provide unique solutions for an increasingly complex society.

Together with our experts, you will take on the challenge to analyse, investigate and solve complex behavioural problems. You will start by exploring how psychological processes are linked to behaviours, and how we can use these insights to design interventions that promote healthier choices.

This master trains you to become an all-round professional who is able to apply scientific knowledge in practice. Graduates have an advantage because of their good theoretical basis and excellent research and practical skills.

What is this specialization about?

How can we effectively use technology to design innovative solutions for health problems? How do you motivate people to exercise more, eat better, and reduce their bad habits? Once motivated, how do you help individuals achieve their goals? In the master track Health Psychology and Digital Interventions, we look to answer these sorts of questions.

During this master track, you will study the latest trends in designing digital interventions. You will also gain knowledge about Health Psychology and behaviour change theories and techniques. You will explore, for example, how gamification and persuasive designs can be used to increase user engagement with the intervention platform. You will also gain practical skills for designing, implementing and evaluating digital interventions, including how to collaborate effectively with software developers and policymakers. The research interests of this specialisation include behaviour change theories, persuasive system design and the applied use of new technologies and research methods, such as wearable technologies and ecological momentary assessments.

"In this new master track, we focus on the intersection between behaviour and digital technology, by looking at the two sides of digitalisation: as an instrument to influence human behaviour, but also as a factor affecting how that behaviour unfolds."

Doctor Marilisa Boffo, Professor Semiha Denktas and André Mamede Soares Braga

The education in the master is organized on a small scale. In addition to the regular lectures, you will learn in small groups about influencing people’s choices and the potential of health promotion technology. An integral part of the program is the ability to familiarize yourself with the skills of a professional health psychologist and digital intervention specialist. These skills involve collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, the development and execution of a procedure for intervention development, and the carrying out of applied psychological research on digital interventions. In the second half of the year, you will be given the opportunity to do a practical or research internship and independently carry out empirical research about which you will write a graduation thesis.

Why study a Master in Health Psychology & Digital Interventions in Rotterdam?

  • You will gain theoretical and methodological knowledge on health psychology and on how to design, implement and evaluate behaviour change interventions in complex, real-life contexts.
  • Active education where you work in groups to address and solve real-life questions about behaviour change by designing an intervention in a multidisciplinary context.
  • Attention for the development of professional skills by following practical courses and an internship.

Why study in Rotterdam?

Welcome to the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), a highly ranked research university located in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Erasmus University was established in 1913. The university has become internationally recognised for its distinct social orientation in education and research.

Erasmus University Rotterdam. Make it happen.

Career opportunities for Master Health Psychology & Digital Interventions

After your master in Health Psychology & Digital Interventions, you can work as a psychologist in, for example, health care, business or education.

As a graduate of the Health Psychology & Digital Intervention Masters, you will be involved in designing, implementing and evaluating innovative health promotion interventions. Therefore, you will have many career opportunities in the field.

For example, you can start as a coordinator, policy officer or researcher in behaviour change interventions at health promotion institutions, such as the Trimbos institute. A job as a behavioural analyst, intervention developer, technical designer, or consultant with organisations in the field of eHealth, or public governance institutions such as the municipality of Rotterdam, is also possible. If you are more interested in research, you can also choose to apply for a PhD or get started as a teacher or researcher in your field.

Facts & Figures for Master Health Psychology & Digital Interventions

  • Instruction language: English
  • Mode of study: Full-time
  • Type: Master
  • Faculty: Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Location: Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam
  • Start date: September
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Study points (ECTS): 60
  • Degree: MSc
  • Double degree: No
  • Application Deadline (EEA): 1 June
  • Application Deadline (Non-EEA): 15 May
  • Internship: Yes
  • Funding: Government
  • Tuition fees (2019-2020):
    • €2.083 (Statutory fee: Dutch / EEA students)
    • €11.900 (Institutional fee: Dutch / EEA students)
    • €14.900 (Institutional fee: non-EEA students)
Last updated May 2020

About the School

ESSB is home to a vast diversity of study programmes and scientific disciplines: Public Administration, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS ... Read More

ESSB is home to a vast diversity of study programmes and scientific disciplines: Public Administration, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. Our education is small-scale and based around Problem Based Learning (PBL). Being connected to the professional field is another characteristic of our study programmes. Read less