Are you ready for the many challenges of studying behaviour, awareness and the brain? Then this study will suit you, for psychology pervades all forms of human activity.
As a psychologist you deal with human behaviour and development in many fields, including psychological treatment, education, work place, sports, environment, traffic, health, media, and more. In clinical professions, for example, you are concerned with the treatment of people with emotional or behavioural disorders or supporting patients with neurological deficits. Developmental issues are central to clinical work as well, since origins of maladaptive behaviour often lie in early childhood.
In our bachelor programme:
Don van Ravenzwaaij – Assistant Professor in Statistics
I teach on the Bachelor's programme in Psychology and the Research Master's programme in Behavioural and Social Sciences. I teach the course units Statistics and Statistical Solutions to Problems in Psychology, which are English-taught.
Just like so many other students, I started taking Statistics thinking that it was simply a compulsory hurdle I had to pass. As my studies progressed, however, I started to find it more and more fun. I discovered that statistics isn’t some abstract idea confined to the lecture hall but something you can use in daily life. One example is board games. While playing Risk I wondered how many armies I needed to defend myself properly. Thanks to first-year Statistics I realized that I could use statistics to work out what the optimum number was! I was using it not only for knowledge but in my everyday life.
What are my research passions? My field actually acts as a kind of umbrella science – statistics is the means that is used to help many different fields draw conclusions. It is very important that it is done properly and I always try to make that clear to students. I think I succeed in the main – there are always fanatical students who want to continue in statistics.
In the Psychology degree programme, Statistics is used for the social case studies we work with. In principle you can use statistics for just about everything, it’s simply the method you use that varies. Psychology is incredibly broad. You can research many different topics. For example, I have researched ‘speedy decision-making’ – how do people make decisions under time pressure? Psychology can be used to deal with many different themes, but when it comes down to it it’s all about ourselves.
Compared with other psychology degrees in the Netherlands, the Groningen programme is very research-oriented. This means that students get a relatively broad training in statistics. The biggest advantage of this is that if your ambitions lie in academia, you’re in the right place.
When I found out I could study Psychology in English abroad, I decided to give everything up and start over again.
My name is Marco Burelli, I'm 29 years old and I'm originally from Udine, a small city in the north of Italy. I'm in the second year of the Bachelor's degree programme in Psychology. Before I started my Bachelor's I worked for a couple of years in Italy. After a while I realized I didn't want to do that job for the rest of my life. When I found out I could study Psychology in English abroad, I decided to give everything up and start over again.
My first impression of Groningen was very good. It is exactly the right size for a city and there are so many students. It's a very livable city, as we say in Italy, except for the weather, which is not all that great.
I really liked the University from the first day. I expected it to be well organized, because of the stereotypes about The Netherlands. But I was still really surprised by how clearly all the information is provided through the website. You always know what you have to do today, tomorrow, next week or even in six months. That's a huge difference with how things are organized at universities in Italy.
The students on my degree programme are very open and friendly, and particularly in the international track everyone is very willing to meet new people. Although there are many students in the Bachelor's in Psychology, you also have small classes. There were only 12 of us in my academic skills class last year and I made a lot of friends.
At first I thought I wanted to be a workplace psychologist, but now I don't know anymore because all the course units are so interesting. I might want to work for an NGO, but I'm not sure yet.
I'm extremely happy that I decided to come here. The quality of the University is so high that I am confident that whatever specialization I choose I'll be satisfied and that I'll find a job that makes me happy.
"To anyone who is thinking about studying overseas: just do it. It's a big, scary risk but it is so worth it.... Groningen is probably the smallest place I've ever lived in, but it's got everything."
After I finished high school in South Africa I wanted to return to Europe. I'm half South-African and half English, and grew up in both countries. I looked around to see where I could study in English and found the psychology Bachelor's programme in Groningen.
Psychology seemed like a good basis for all sorts of things, and I knew that even if I didn’t end up working in the field of psychology, it would be a good background for something else. Now I’m in the final year of the Bachelor’s programme.
Groningen is probably the smallest place I’ve ever lived in, but it’s got everything. There are so many things to do, there is so much culture and sport. It really is a big little city, every night of the week there is something going on. And it’s great that you can get around so easily, by bike or on foot.
In the programme you learn how to think critically, how to decipher scientific articles and how to disseminate scientific information. The way I think about things and the way I take in news has changed as a result.
One thing I’m really impressed with here is the level of English. I have lecturers who are able to teach me really complex things and I understand them perfectly even though they are from all over the world.
After I finish I’m going to take some time off and think about what I want to do, also because I want to pursue more creative, theatrical things. But I think psychology will be useful for everything I do. You learn how people think, how to interact with them, why people act the way they do, and you learn to interpret their behaviour. All that has been valuable.
To anyone who is thinking about studying overseas: just do it. It’s a big, scary risk but it is so worth it. There are many international students, so you’re just going to meet people and experience a whole new way of life which is very exciting. One tip: Facebook is invaluable: from bicycles to housing, from clothes to furniture, for everything, really.
Lauren Krook, lecturer in Research Methods, Academic Skills and Bachelor's thesis supervisor
I work at the Teaching Unit of the Psychology department. This means that I teach a selection of basic course units for the Bachelor's programme in psychology, both in English and Dutch.
I teach four course units in three days, namely: research methods, Bachelor’s theses, research practice and mentor groups. I spend the other two days doing my own thing, unconnected with the Bachelor’s programme in psychology. I’m trying to focus on IT, to get more experience in programming, particularly in gathering and analysing data.
I have a cross-faculty Research Master’s degree in Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience. My original plan was to pursue a PhD; I applied but nothing came of it. I then applied for a teaching position here and soon realized that I actually prefer teaching to conducting research.
The thing I like about the course units I teach is that the department has a sort of omnipresence: every student must follow our course units. I teach students the basics of academic learning, academic writing skills, giving academic presentations or carrying out empirical research. This lays the foundations for an academic future, so that students can decide for themselves where their interests lie in the more specialized departments.
Psychology ties in nicely with the concept of the Teaching Unit; you put it to good use anywhere. It’s a very broad concept, so it’s not only useful in psychology itself, but also in lots of smaller fields. Learning from each other about all the different disciplines and understanding the links between them is great fun. I think that for many people, a Bachelor’s degree in psychology together with a Master’s degree in a subject related to psychology forms a solid basis for a career. Psychology covers so much ground, whatever your specialization and whatever you plan to do.
Prospective students can expect an international learning environment, as we teach the Bachelor’s programme in psychology in both English and Dutch. Students are given a lot of freedom; they can compile their own package of course units, and new initiatives and ideas are welcomed. Finally, they can look forward to living in a great, young, lively city.