Program Research Master in Individual Differences and Assessment

The Research Master in Individual Differences and Assessment program consists of a mixture of:

  • Interactive lectures
    The basic courses comprise a mix of lectures and seminars.
  • Hands-on learning via practicals
    In the methods and statistics courses, you acquire scientific skills through the supervision of an experienced mentor.
  • Traineeships
    In traineeships you are embedded in active research groups and experience what it's like to apply research skills in practice.
  • Individual supervision while writing papers
    As a scientist, you communicate your results via articles. You therefore learn to conduct a literature review and write a research article. Very good articles can be submitted to an international journal!

Program structure in the first year

First semester

In the first semester of the first year, the program focuses on acquiring broad knowledge about individual differences and their assessment.

  • The program covers the most important theoretical models of personality, motivation, and intelligence.
  • It also deals with biological foundations and the lifespan development of individual differences.
  • In two courses, you lay the statistical foundation for doing solid psychometric research.

Second semester

  • In the second semester, you are being taught structural equation models that you can apply to longitudinal data.
  • Furthermore, you become acquainted with a broad spectrum of assessment methods and also learn research skills during your first internal traineeship.
  • Equipped with this knowledge and experience, you'll start your first-year paper, a conceptual paper that could be presented at a scientific conference.
  • You will get the above-mentioned possibility to attend a scientific congress in another country in the international traineeship.

Program structure in the second year

First semester

  • The second year begins with two courses that address research about the role of individual differences in health and work. These two topics match the two research themes of the faculty:
    • Health and Care
    • People, Work and Organizations
  • Furthermore, you take part in three traineeships that are focused on applying scientific skills and providing critical feedback.
  • The first semester is completed by a course on programming and an elective course that matches your research interests.

Second semester

  • In the second semester of the second year, you finish the program with a master's thesis.
  • In case of a very good result, you can submit your thesis for publication in a scientific journal.
  • Previous to the master's thesis, you follow a course on ethics and data management. In this course, you learn about the requirements of research ethics and responsible data management.
  • The writing of your thesis is supported by a research seminar, in which you learn to perfect the various steps of the scientific writing process.


Have a look at this program's courses

  • Theoretical Models of Individual Differences (6 ECTS)
    History and theory of personality, motivation, and intelligence research.
  • Biological and Physiological Correlates of Individual Differences (6 ECTS)
    Behavior genetics; biological and physiological parameters and how to measure them.
  • Multivariate Analysis, Including Multilevel Models (part I 3 ECTS, part II 3 ECTS)
    Regression models including multilevel analysis, factor analysis and principal components analysis, discriminant analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, and loglinear models.
  • Dynamics of Individual Differences (6 ECTS)
    Short-­term fluctuations and longer-­term development.
  • Psychometrics: Measurement of Individual Differences, Theory and Practice (6 ECTS)
    Measurement models for individual differences (classical and novel approaches) and test and questionnaire construction, person-­centered methods.
  • Internal Traineeship 1-­4 (4 x 3 ECTS)
    Acquisition and application of research skills while embedded in active research group; learning to review and provide scientific feedback on research.
  • Structural Equation Modeling and Analysis of Longitudinal Data (6 ECTS)
    Structural equation models, confirmatory factor analysis, longitudinal analysis.
  • Extended Assessment Methods (6 ECTS)
    Methods that supplement self-­report, single informant, and one-­shot assessment.
  • International Traineeship (3 ECTS)
    Getting acquainted with scientific research and researchers abroad.
  • First-­Year Paper (12 ECTS)
    Synthesizing scientific literature, deriving research questions, analyzing available data, and presenting results.
  • Advanced Applications: Individual Differences, Personality and Health (6 ECTS)
    Personalized medicine, coping with illness, risk and protective factors.
  • Advanced Applications: Individual Differences and Work (6 ECTS)
    Personnel selection, performance evaluation, employee resilience.
  • Programming
    Writing statistical syntax; advanced data transformations; R code.
  • Elective Course (6 ECTS)
    Students select a course from the list of recommendations.
  • Ethics and Datamanagement (3 ECTS)
    Scientific integrity and ethics; write Institutional Review Board (IRB;; ethics) proposal to obtain permission for conducting MA research.
  • Master’s Thesis (part I 12 ECTS, part II 12 ECTS)
    • Part I; Reviewing literature, discussing ideas, writing independent research proposal;;
      collecting data.
    • Part II; Finishing data collection, analyzing data, writing a thesis obeying the requirements of a journal article.

Check the course overview for the detailed course descriptions.

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