The research masters program aims at guiding students to become independent researchers in psychological science. The faculty offers a challenging and dynamic study environment with a strong link between research and teaching. Its degree programs provide a varied, appealing and research-based education of high academic quality.
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.
Application deadline for 2018-2019
- 1 March 2018 (for non-EEA citizens)
- 1 June 2018 (for EEA citizens)
KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via www.kuleuven.be/application. Students with a Flemish degree can consult www.kuleuven.be/studentenadministratie.
All requested documents need to be submitted through the online application system before the deadline in order to be eligible. Unlike some other KU Leuven-programs, you are not granted an additional month after the deadline to complete your dossier. Applications that are not complete after the deadline will not be further considered.
The current tuition fee is 906,10 euro. The tuition fee for the 2018-2019 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2018. Please consult the website for the most recent information: www.kuleuven.be/tuitionfees.
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:
- University of Cambridge (UK)
- University of Oxford (UK)
- University of Melbourne (AUS)
- Stanford University (USA)
- Rutgers University, New Jersey (USA)
- Berkeley University (USA)
- Tübingen Max Planck Instituut (GER)
- University of Göttingen (GER)
- University of Copenhagen (DAN)
Is this the right program for me?
The Master of Science in Psychology: Theory and Research program welcomes motivated and inspired students who aim for a research career in psychological, social, or behavioral sciences.
To be eligible and to ensure an optimal match with the program, the following selection criteria apply:
- a holder of a Bachelor or Master’s degree in Psychology or in the field of science and technology (for a list of Dutch language degrees that qualify, see below).
- a solid background in statistics and research methods.
- an affinity with psychological research.
- English language proficiency.
We have selected a few M.O.O.C.S. (massive online open courses) which are suitable for students who are unsure about their basic knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and introduction to R.
The primary purpose of the Master of Psychology: Theory and Research is to prepare students to pursue a Ph.D. project. Many of our graduates go on to pursue academic careers at top universities. The program 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.
- centers for educational research and counseling.
- insurance providers.
- government agencies.
- pharmaceutical, food, and medical technology industries.
The program of the Research master "Master of Psychology: Theory and Research" aims to guide students to become independent researchers in psychological science through the realization of two objectives: (a) a thorough training in statistics and research methodology, and (b) 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 in quantitative psychology. Students become acquainted with recent multidisciplinary research at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (KU Leuven). Throughout the master's thesis and internship, students gain thorough hands-on expertise in performing empirical research in psychology.
- 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 into 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.
Online application instructions for Bachelor or Master Students; Postgraduate students; International Scholars or Specialisation Students: http://www.kuleuven.be/application/instructions.html
- Specifieke lerarenopleiding gedragswetenschappen (Leuven)
Access after preparatory, bridging or abridged program:
- Specifieke lerarenopleiding gedragswetenschappen (Leuven), after taking Master in de psychologie (verkort programma) (Leuven)
- Master in de seksuologie (Leuven), after taking Master in de psychologie (verkort programma) (Leuven)
- Voorbereidingsprogramma: Master in het overheidsmanagement en -beleid (Leuven), after taking Master in de psychologie (verkort programma) (Leuven)
Program taught in: