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Curriculum of Psychology

The Bachelor’s program in Psychology at Tilburg University has a flexible curriculum. This entails the following:

  • In the second and third year, you choose a major and a minor from nine fields of specialization. All combinations are possible, so you can choose a combination that best suits your ambitions.
  • Normally, you start with your major in the second year, followed by your minor. However, if you discover during the second year that you want to focus on a different area, you can change the major of your choice into a minor. You will then first take your minor, followed by a major, without any study delay.

First year

In the first general year of your Bachelor's program, you are introduced to all of the interesting focus areas that form the essential basis for your future program in psychology. This will help you to make a choice from the majors and minors that you will further explore.

First-year courses are:

Experimental Psychology

You will learn the basics of human functioning. This course answers questions such as: How do our senses work? How do people learn? How does our memory work?

Introduction to Psychology and History of Psychology

You will learn to understand modern psychology by studying where it originated. This course answers questions such as: Are psychological characteristics congenital or acquired? What is the influence of Freud on psychology? Where does the intelligence test come from?

Introduction to Research Methodology:

You will learn what psychological research entails. This course answers questions such as: How do you set up good research? How do you measure psychological characteristics? How do you do research in an ethically responsible way?

Academic Skills

You will learn all the skills needed to study an academic Bachelor’s program. This course answers questions such as: How do you read a scientific article? How should you reason logically? How do you set up a literature study?

Brain and Behavior

You will learn how the brain functions and how this relates to human experience and behavior. This course answers questions such as: How does the brain develop? How do nerves work? How do sleep and dreaming work?

Psychology of Personality

You will learn how and why people differ from each other. This course examines the properties that are typical of individuals and answers questions such as: What types of personality are there? What is our self-image? Why do people respond differently to stress and disease?

Social Psychology

You will learn how thoughts, feelings and behavior of people is affected by the presence of others. This course answers questions such as: How do people form impressions of others? Why do we feel attracted to some people and not to others? Why are some people aggressive?

Philosophy for Psychologists

You will learn how the philosophy of consciousness is important for psychologists. This course answers questions such as: What is consciousness? What is the ‘I’? What is the relationship between brain and consciousness?

Introduction to Statistics

You will learn the basics of statistics and how this can be applied to psychology. This course answers questions such as: How do you describe a set of observations? How do you test if groups of people differ from each other? How do you use computer programs to do statistical analysis?

Developmental Psychology

You will learn how people develop from conception to old age. This course answers questions such as: What is the emotional development of children? What are the cognitive consequences of old age? What is the interaction between predisposition and environment?


You learn what kind of mental disorders exist, where they come from, and what methods of treatment are possible. This course answers questions such as: What is schizophrenia? How do you treat eating disorders? What happens to people who are depressed?

Second year

In addition to a number of advanced courses and statistics courses, in the second year you will choose a unique major that forms the core of your future program. You will follow a specialization course in each study period, learn professional skills in the major of your choice, and conduct supervised research in small groups.

The advanced courses in Biological Psychology, Cultural Psychology, and Sociology will put your first-year knowledge in a broader context. The statistics courses in Test Theory and Psycho Diagnostics, Correlational Research Methods, and Experimental Research Methods will deepen your methodological and statistical knowledge.

In addition, you will choose one of following nine majors at Tilburg University:

These majors provide you with a unique curriculum and prepare you for your final Bachelor’s year and subsequent Master’s programs.

Third year

In the third year, you will conclude your major with a course that focuses on professional practice. After finishing your major, you will individually shape your program by choosing a minor and two electives.

At the beginning of your third year, you will follow the last course in the field of statistics, which is focused on applying all the acquired knowledge in research practice. You then choose your minor (3 courses) from one of the nine areas of specialization.

You will also choose two optional subjects in the area of your interest. These can be courses from the program in Psychology as well as courses outside of the program. You can also follow your minor or electives abroad or at another School of Tilburg University. You will conclude your program with a Bachelor's thesis in the field of your major.

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Financial matters

Admission and application