Studying Psychology in the Netherlands

Studying psychology in the Netherlands can be taken at three different educational levels.

  • Higher professional education (HBO)
  • University
  • Post-master’s education

Each form of education has its own approach to psychology and has different admission requirements and will result in different degrees. Thereby only a four year research-based university degree will give you entry to become a member of our association. If you wish to work  as an independent psychologist, giving diagnosis and treatment to people, you need to undertake post-master’s training in order to get registered with the governmental BIG-register.

In the Netherlands the title psychologist is not statutorily regulated. Anyone could call him- or herself a psychologist. Also there are no regulations that administer what actions a psychologist is allowed to perform. However, the Dutch government and the NIP do demand that psychologists working in certain areas of healthcare give proof of their capabilities by registering with the BIG-register or register with the NIP.


Higher professional education (HBO)

For the last few years courses of applied psychology have also been run at the so called hogescholen, the universities of applied sciences.

The higher education system in the Netherlands is based on a three tier degree system, consisting of a bachelor, master’s and PhD. Universities of applied sciences offer courses that will grand a bachelors degree in applied psychology only.

Courses taken at the universities of applied sciences prepare students for specific tasks of psychological care. A degree gained at one of these universities is recognised by the NIP but will not give entry to become a member of or register with our association.

  • For more information about the Dutch higher professional education system, check

Overview of universities of applied sciences (find out more about the courses each university offers).



An academic degree in psychology can be obtained at most Dutch research-based universities. Research universities focus on the independent practice of research-oriented work in an academic or professional setting. Common courses are a four-year Bachelor and Master’s of Psychology in order to be able to work as a psychologist and to become a member of the NIP.

With your Bachelor and Master’s degree in Psychology and 1440 hours of working experience and two references of senior, registered psychologists you can also apply at our Association for the use of the registered title ‘Psycholoog NIP’. This benchmark reflects the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise.

However, the NIP does emphasise the importance of an additional two year post master’s training to empower you with sufficient knowledge for diagnosing and treating people.  Post-master’s training is also required by the government when you want to work in certain areas of mental healthcare.

Overview of universities (find out more about the courses each university offers).


Post-Master’s training

When you have finished your Master’s degree, you can take on a post-master’s training course. These courses consist of specialist training and working in a supervised practice.