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Bachelor’s programme in Psychology FAQ

Do you have questions about our Bachelor’s programme in Psychology or studying at VU Amsterdam?

To help you find answers to your questions, below you can find a list with our top FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • General questions

    Can I follow the programme fully in Dutch? Are the exams in English or Dutch?

    For the Dutch track, the tutorial groups will be in Dutch. However, some of the lectures/exams and some of the literature will be in English only. You do not have to worry about the English if it is not your first language. Because of the international environment and the literature in English, you will catch on soon.

    Isn’t it difficult to make contact with other students and teachers in such a large programme?
    Not at all! In addition to large-scale lectures, you will also attend weekly seminars in smaller groups of about 20 students. These groups will be different for each course, so you will get to know many of your fellow students. You will see your seminar instructors every week, and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask them any questions you might have. Each seminar also has a mentor you can go to if you have questions. If you want to get to know your fellow students outside class, check out our study association.

    What makes VU Amsterdam’s Psychology programme so unique compared to those at other universities?
    You will be taught by researchers with extensive expertise and you will learn about cutting-edge developments in psychology, such as the unique twin studies being conducted at VU Amsterdam using the Twin Register. These studies investigate the extent to which human behaviour is hereditary. VU researchers are also doing groundbreaking work in the fields of experimental and applied psychology (for instance on leadership and cooperation in the workplace), clinical psychology (prevention and treatment of mental disorders), neuropsychology (relationship between physical activity and cognition) and developmental psychology (behavioural disorders in children). Click here for an overview of the fields and experts you may encounter during the programme.

    What other reasons are there for choosing VU Amsterdam?
    As a campus university, VU Amsterdam offers students a kind of ‘city within a city’. All the faculty buildings, teaching staff and facilities are located in one place. This makes it easy to meet students from other programmes. VU Amsterdam also has its own sports centre, which offers affordable access to a wide range of sports programmes, and you can go to the Griffioen Cultural Centre for classes, performances and lectures. Discover more about the VU Campus here.

    Can I become a psychotherapist or healthcare psychologist after completing this Bachelor’s programme?
    At VU Amsterdam, we offer Master’s programmes in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Developmental Psychology (all Dutch-taught) which prepare you for a career as a psychotherapist or healthcare psychologist. To gain admission to one of these programmes, you must complete the clinical learning path in the third year of the Bachelor’s programme, which includes a number of compulsory courses. After completing your Master’s, you can apply for a job as a trainee psychotherapist or healthcare psychologist. Please note: a career as a psychotherapist or healthcare psychologist in the Netherlands is only possible if you have sufficient proficiency in Dutch. If you are a non-Dutch speaking student, you will need to check within your own country (or other countries where you might want to become a therapist) if the relevant institutes accept a Psychology Bachelor’s degree from the VU for relevant Master’s and Postgraduate programmes.

    Which specialisations can I choose from?
    In your second year, you will take a number of elective courses, after which you will choose one of four specialisations for your third and final year:

    • The clinical learning path (Dutch-taught) prepares you for a career in clinical psychology. This learning path is intended for Dutch-speaking students who want to pursue a career as a qualified clinical psychologist in the Netherlands.
    • If you choose to specialise in Psychopathology, Prevention and Health (English-taught), you will explore the causes, treatment and prevention of mental disorders. This learning path is intended for students with an interest in clinical psychology.
    • In Social & Organizational Psychology (English-taught), you will learn all about how people behave in both small and large groups, such as at the workplace. This learning path prepares you for a job as a coach, business consultant, HR manager or researcher.
    • In Genes, Cognition & Behaviour (English-taught), you will learn all about cognitive processes such as memory formation, language and emotional responses, and about the relationship between genetics and human behaviour. This learning path prepares you for a career in research in fields such as neuroscience and cognitive psychology.

    Click here for an overview of the third-year courses.

  • Admission

    Where and when can I take the exams for the VWO certificates?

    You can find all the institutions on this website.

    I’m in my first HBO year, so I don’t have my Propedeuse yet. Can I still apply this year?

    Yes. You can apply if you have not yet finished your admission giving education. You have to meet the admission criteria on the 15th of July 2024.

    I passed the CAE exam, is this also proof of a sufficient English language level?

    Yes, we accept the Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)/C1 test with a minimum grade of C. Please have a look here for more information about exemptions and what English tests and minimum scores we accept

    When is the deadline to submit the English exam results?

    For international student who need to apply for a study visa: before the 1st of June. For international students who do not need a visa: before the 1st of August.

    Is IB Maths Analysis & Approaches enough for the Math requirement of the programme?

    Yes, that is enough. You will need a full IB diploma.

    If my international diploma doesn’t meet the requirements, I’ll be asked to take several entrance exams. Can I take these exams at the university?

    It depends on the diploma and the whole of your previous education whether or not you have to take the extra exams. Those tests are not offered by the university. You can find more information about this on this webpage

    How is the calculation of GPA for IB students (the 30% of the application), for example if their IB predicted grade is 40/45?

    We do not look at predicted grades. If you are in your final year right now, we will look at your final completed year. For example, this means we would look at your GPA of year 11 if you are now in year 12.

    Do I need to take an additional mathematics exam like OMPT?

    This depends on your previous education. You will receive more information about this in your decision on admission letter after your application. You can also find some examples on this webpage under the selection tab "Admission requirements with non-Dutch previous education for Psychology (ENG)".

    I have a German Abitur, do I have to take the English language test?

    This depends on your situation, please have a look here for all exemptions: Meeting language proficiency requirements - More about - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (

  • Selection Procedure

    I have a non-Dutch diploma/previous education. How will you determine if my GPA is equivalent to a ≥7.5 in the Dutch grading system?

    You can find a list of examples of the high school diplomas accepted as equivalent to the Dutch pre-university level VWO here. In the table you can find what VU Amsterdam accepts as equivalent to the ≥7.5 in the Dutch grading system. 

Want to know more?

General questions

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on, please contact the Student Desk:, stating your student number.

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00). 

Or send a WhatsApp message to +31 (0)6 82548367.

International diploma applicants

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an email to to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme.

Also, make sure to take a look at our FAQ page - you might already find your question answered there.


  • Julia Tan
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
  • Nordin Bigaré
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences