Students participating in a lecture

Program and courses Social Psychology track

Become a research expert in the field of social psychology and study individual behavior, decision making and interactions in complex, uncertain situations. You investigate the factors (social, cultural, affective) that influence how we process information, and the importance of emotions and motivation in our interactions with others.

Program structure

This two-year program consists of 120 credits (ECTS):

  • 13 core courses (51 ECTS)
  • 3 track courses (18 ECTS)
  • First year Paper (12 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (24 ECTS)
  • Internal traineeship (12 ECTS)
  • International traineeship (3 ECTS)

This program has one entry moment at the end of August.

Program content

First year content

Block 1 (August - October)

  • Multivariate Analysis including Multilevel Models
    You get an introduction to the classical multivariate methods, particularly regression models, starting with the linear regression model and (M)ANOVA. 
  • Foundations of Social Psychology
    Learn how interpersonal situations influence social interaction, how structural aspects of mutual dependence influences cognitions, motivations, affect and behavior. Address topics such as social identity, exclusion and the need to belong, conflict and cooperation, distributive and procedural justice, fairness and self interest, negotiation, social exchange, and social influence.
  • Foundations of Sociology
    Examine different topics related to culture, social relations and inequality from a theoretical sociological perspective. 

Block 2 (October- January)

  • Multivariate Analysis including Multilevel Models
    You get an introduction to the classical multivariate methods, particularly regression models, starting with the linear regression model and (M)ANOVA. 
  • Foundations of Organization Studies
    Answer two major organizational questions from a theoretical perspective: how to govern organizations and how people and organizations learn about themselves by comparing themselves with others.
  • Behavioral Decision-Making
    Learn how people make decisions from the perspectives of psychology, consumer research, decision-making, and economics. In the course, you will mainly focus on how people make decisions in a context where the outcome of a decision is uncertain. 

Block 3 (January - April)

  • Experimental Research
    Discuss every stage of experimental research.
  • Survey Research
    Learn how to conduct survey research.
  • Programming
    Learn how to work with the statistical program and language R and how to independently work with R in future courses and research projects.
  • Meta Analysis
    Discuss every stage of a meta analysis.
  • Research Integrity and Ethics
    Discuss and critically examine the important ethical issues that arise in the conduct of empirical research in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • First year Paper Social Psychology

Block 4 (April - August)

  • First year Paper Social Psychology
  • Internal Traineeship Social Psychology I
  • Academic Writing in Social Sciences
Second year content

Block 1 (September - October) 

  • International Traineeship in Social Psychology
  • Social Cognition
    Get an in-depth look at the field of social cognition, including the processes underlying perception, memory and judgment of social stimuli, the effects of social, cultural and affective factors on the processing of information, and behavioral and interpersonal consequences of cognitive processes.
  • Internal Traineeship Social Psychology II
  • Psychometrics

Block 2 (October - January)

  • Structural Equation Modeling & Analysis
    You are introduced to a general statistical framework that brings together multiple statistical analysis tools.
  • Emotion and Motivation
    Get familiar with the different psychological perspectives on what emotions are, what triggers specific emotions and the various processes through which emotions shape people's interactions with their (social) environments.
  • Internal Traineeship Social Psychology III

Block 3 (January - April)

  • Master's Thesis in Social Psychology
  • Internal Traineeship Social Psychology IV

Block 4 (April - August)

  • Academic Presenting in Social Sciences
    Touch up your academic writing and presentation skills and learn how to present an academic paper in an engaging, clear, personal and appropriate way and learn to communicate your research in a structured, coherent, clear, concise and attractive way. 
  • Colloquia & Seminars in Social Psychology
  • Master's Thesis Social Psychology
Master’s thesis

In your second year, you will write your Master’s thesis (24 ECTS), in English, under supervision of a knowledgeable staff member who will supervise you during both the research and thesis-writing processes. You write your thesis within your track. Your thesis should have a track related subject.

  • You will choose your own research topic and supervisor.
  • You will learn how to conduct all aspects of the research process: creating hypotheses, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing a scientific article.
  • Prior to writing the thesis, you will write an individual research proposal (IRP) based on an original idea, which your supervisor must approve.
  • You will conduct the research and work on your Master's thesis independently, for most of the time. However, you will be in constant and close contact with your supervisor.
  • The Master’s thesis should be written as a manuscript that could be submitted for publication in an ISI journal.

Examples of thesis subjects are:

  • Transgenders’ experiences stigma and its effect on mental health
  • Trust behavior and dispositional greed
  • The effect of group emotional intelligence on the quality of communication in a team decision-making process that involves risk-taking and time pressure.

During year 1 and 2 students participate in four in-house research traineeships and one international research traineeship. 

  • Through the in-house traineeships students acquire, improve, and effectively use their knowledge and skills required for performing scientific research by working together with staff members.
  • Through the international traineeship (summer in between year 1 and year 2), students get acquainted with scientific research and researchers abroad by attending summer school, participating and presenting at an international conference, or by temporarily joining an international research group.   
  • Students acquire a thorough methodological and statistical education and write two scientific papers as part of the curriculum (first-year paper + Master’s Thesis).  
  • Students need to attend 10 colloquia and/or seminars per year, to get more insights into the functioning of the academic world.

Watch a trial lecture

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions

Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.

Do you want to know more about this Master’s program?

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Short overview of the Social Psychology track

Become a research expert in the field of social psychology while studying individual behaviors in different social contexts from three social sciences perspectives: Social Psychology, Sociology, and Organization Studies.

  • Acquire extensive knowledge of behavioral decision-making, social cognition, emotion and motivation, and methods and statistics. You will apply the theories to everyday behavior in professional and private settings.
  • Gain a competitive advantage in any career that requires sharp analytical and problem-solving skills, project management, and hands-on experience with the full empirical research cycle (from design to analysis).
  • Participate in 4 in-house research traineeships and 1 international research traineeship and work together with renowned national and international academics. 
  • You will receive excellent personal guidance and small-scale, interactive education. There are more full-time professors than students. And no more than 30 students in a class, from different academic and cultural backgrounds.

Interested in the Research Master in Social and Behavioral Sciences?

Do you have:

  • the ambitions for an intellectual challenge

  • strong critical and analytical abilities

  • an interest in and experience with doing research

Then check your eligibility and the deadlines for application.