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:
There are so many things waiting to be discovered and so many questions to be answered. A truly fascinating field to study!
My name is Anthony Pinakoulakis, I am 21 years old and I come from Crete, a wonderful island located in Southern Greece. Moreover, I am a second-year Psychology student at the University of Groningen.
Why did you choose the University of Groningen?
Groningen is an ideal student city, as it offers everything that an international student can ask for. It has a large student population; therefore, you can find all kinds of activities. At the same time, however, the city is small and cosy enough to feel part of it. Furthermore, the university has a great reputation, especially in Psychology, where it consistently ranks within the top 50 programmes in the world.
Why did you choose Psychology?
I am fascinated by the human mind, the brain and human behaviour. In fact, we know so much, yet so little about these topics. Why do we dream? How can we improve memory? What does it mean to be self-actualized? There are so many questions that still have to be answered. The field of Psychology is like a fertile crop that has not yet been harvested. There are so many things waiting to be discovered and so many questions to be answered. A truly fascinating field to study!
What skills do you acquire as a student at the University of
Over the course of my studies at the University of Groningen, an essential skill that I have developed is time management. Because the Dutch system focuses less on lectures and more on self-study, students are responsible for creating their own study schedule and sticking to it. In addition, my communication skills have also improved. The university’s culture has played an important role in that, through exposing me to an environment that includes people from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds. Being able to meet with other people and socialize will definitely be a useful skill in the future.
What are your plans after graduation?
Forensic Psychology is my favourite field within the discipline; therefore, I would like to study it on a Master’s level. Furthermore, I want to gain some experience through internships and volunteer work. My long term goal is to join an international law enforcement agency like Interpol and work on the departments of crimes against children or counter-terrorism.
My advice to those considering studying in
To summarize, Groningen is an excellent place study. As a city, it is large enough to have many things going on and small enough to feel part of it. It has approximately 60,000 students and an excellent academic institution. If you choose to study here, you will probably not regret it. Just make sure you bring along a warm coat, as you will certainly need it!
this university is the ideal place to study. You get to learn so much not just academically but also different cultures and interacting with your peers
My name is Mariam Ali and I am 33 years old originally from Lahore, one of the larger cities of Pakistan. I am a third-year Psychology bachelor student.
For me, serious interest in studying Psychology developed from one of my recent jobs in Dubai. I was working for the recruitment department where I came to know about the different applications of Psychology to different fields such as HR, recruitment etc.
What goes on in the human mind has always fascinated me. Psychology is a study of mind and human behavior. Mind is a powerful concept which entails feelings, thoughts, awareness, reasoning etc. All these processes are very essential to us humans and exploring the difference between mind and brain and how these processes work for different people interests me the most. Being a psychology student, I have learnt how psychologists throughout the world strive hard to empirically prove and test their theories. This is what makes Psychology the science of human mind and behavior.
I finally chose the University of Groningen as I found out that it is one of the best-ranked universities, especially in the department of Psychology. After coming to Groningen, I fell in love with the city due to such a diverse culture and full of young and vibrant people who are open to people from very different cultures like myself. Another thing that I love about the city is the amazing biking culture which I quickly got used to and biking is also one of my favorite past times now.
I already had a very good idea about the University of Groningen as it is a known fact that dutch universities are very well organized and equipped with the best facilities for the students. When I started my studies I realized that the students are encouraged to do a lot of self-studying and work independently. There is a great mix between having to attend lectures with hundreds of students together and also working in small groups like our weekly practicals with a student mentor which is where I got an opportunity to make many friends.
My advice to those who are still thinking about studying at the University of Groningen is that this university is the ideal place to study. You get to learn so much not just academically but also different cultures and interacting with your peers, colleagues etc. The studies are designed to make you a true professional right from the start and lets you explore your capabilities.
As a little kid I was already interested in moral reasoning
My name is Janis Mjartans. I am currently 22 years old and I just finished my bachelor's in Psychology. I was born in Prague and grew up in a multicultural environment - that was probably one of the reasons I felt at home in Groningen, which is a diverse city.
Anything associated with us humans is related to psychology, making it a relevant topic nowadays. Especially with the rise of advanced technology, it is crucial to understand how our minds work, so we can use and develop these systems efficiently. As a little kid, I was already interested in moral reasoning, for example how we decide whether it's better to lie in a certain situation. All these processes of how we decide what is good or bad for ourselves, the environment, and others is a network of several psychological disciplines. In the end, psychology is everywhere. That’s why I decided to study Psychology, as I could then go into any other field after my studies.
Next to that, the city and the high ranking of the programme were big factors in choosing to study Psychology in Groningen. As I grew up in a big city, Groningen was a good compromise between living in a familiar environment and a smaller city. I also knew some students who really liked the programme because of all the different disciplines it includes. This would allow me to find out what I actually like.
One course I enjoyed was ‘Working with Psychology’. The course combined learning about different job directions in Psychology together with practical exercises such as group work and presentations. For example, we designed a new Nestor environment and explored how we could implement different features. At the end, we presented our plan and gave the reasons for our design and interface.
For students who consider studying Psychology in Groningen, I would advise taking part in as many activities as possible. I really enjoyed the Diesweek introduction event which was organized by the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the start of the programme. During this event, you can meet people and make new friends within your programme. In addition, I joined the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), which allowed me to connect with people from other study programmes and different faculties.
If you consider to study this programme my advice would be to believe in yourself and go for it
My name is Luisa and I am 21 years old. I’m from Germany and moved to Groningen in September last year. I’ve always been interested in people. When I was a teenager I was told that I was a good listener and I tried to help my friends by giving them advice. When it really came to choosing a study programme I knew that I wanted to study Psychology.
One of the courses I am currently following is Dialogue and group skills. For this course we are supposed to gain communication skills in two-way conversations and in groups. For example we did a role play where one of the students was the interviewer and one the client. We learned how to use body language and to lead the conversation, what to do and not to do. It was so much fun!
Another course I am following is Social Psychology. In this course we learn how to view ourselves and we learn about the importance of social comparison. I think this is really interesting because it is something you always can relate to in real-life. Back in the days there has been done a lot of research on this topic. It is nice that you still can gain knowledge for example from an article in 1980 about people falling in love.
Before applying in Germany I considered studying the programme in the Netherlands. I thought it would be quite appealing to study the programme in English and thought going away from home would help me grow as a person. I also considered Enschede, Amsterdam and Utrecht but eventually decided to go to Groningen. When I first came here I just loved the city and heard good things about the university. I’m still very happy with my choice. Next to my studies I am also a member of the study association VIP. This is great because it allows you to meet new people already in the first week of the programme.
If you consider to study this programme my advice would be to believe in yourself and go for it. There are so many people who don’t get into the programme and might think it is too hard because of statistics. Personally I was never very good at these topics in school, but in Groningen you get good guidance. I remember I was very uncertain about applying and now I know it is the best thing I've ever done.
Laurent 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.
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.
Your career starts while you are studying. Career Services BSS helps to shape that career.
As a Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences student, you can contact Career Services BSS for advice, information and support. Read more ...