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Header image Talent Development and Creativity

Talent Development and Creativity

How do athletes and musicians develop their talent? How can teachers stimulate children's talents and creativity in the classroom? And how can we improve talent selection of athletes, employees, musicians, and students?

In any achievement domain, there is an increasing focus on the development, selection, and promotion of talent and creativity. In this unique, internationally-oriented Master's programme you will develop the expertise to select, develop, and nurture talent and creativity in individuals and organisations across achievement domains.

You will learn about the theoretical and practical approaches to talent development and creativity, and about the psychology of success. You will get in touch with organisations from different different industries, sports clubs, and schools, that aim to improve the selection and development of talent and creativity. Furthermore, you will develop coaching skills to enhance people’s personal and professional potential.

As part of your Master’s thesis you will carry out a research project to investigate the development of talent and/or creativity in the achievement domain that interests you most.

Facts & Figures
MSc in Psychology
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
February, September
Behavioural and Social Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?


  • obtain an internationally-recognized MSc. degree in psychology,
  • become an expert in a domain that is, and will remain, of interest to companies, schools, sport clubs, and more: Talent Development and Creativity,
  • can, if you are interested in sports, obtain an official sport psychology certificate, offered by the Dutch Society of Sport Psychology (VSPN)
  • can, if you are interested in coaching, obtain a coaching certificate,
  • are actively supported in working on your employability in the fields of research and practice

Our one-year MSc. program consists of 30 EC master courses and a 30 EC master thesis, possibly including an internship.

  • two foundation courses: in-depth knowledge of talent development and creativity, as well as the skills to apply this knowledge to practice,
  • a skills course and a method course: to develop practical coaching skills and methodological competencies,
  • two elective courses: which can be (a combination of) additional foundation courses, psychology master courses from another program, or courses from outside the psychology department (the exam committee has to provide permission for the latter option).

In your individual master thesis, you can focus on the achievement domain that interests you most. You could conduct a fundamental research project in the lab, but also be involved in projects with one of our partner institutions. Within our program, there are various collaborations in the world of sports (e.g., Dutch Royal Football Association, Royal Dutch Lawn Tennis Association, Team Sunweb (cycling), Football Club Groningen), education (e.g., Friesland College, Topsport Talentschool Groningen, Bètapunt Noord), or other organizations in which talent selection, - development, and creativity are crucial music (e.g., Prince Claus Conservatoire, the Royal Netherlands Army, Museums, local and (inter)national enterprises).

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Multivariate Models (Method course) (5 EC)
Repeated Measures (Method course) (5 EC)
Talent Development and Creativity (Foundation course) (5 EC)
Coaching (Skills course) (5 EC)
Master Thesis (30 EC)
Complexity, Dynamics and Development (Method course) (5 EC)
Talent Development and Creativity in Practice (Foundation course) (5 EC)
Competence and Motivation (Foundation course) (5 EC)
Milestones and Talent in Development (Example of an Elective course)
Test Construction (Method course) (5 EC)
Talent Assessment (Foundation course) (5 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry Requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

For English-taught tracks, students with an HBO (Dutch University of Applied Sciences) Applied Psychology degree or a foreign preparatory course speakers must meet the language requirements. See:

previous education

A BSc in Psychology. For exceptions and a full description of admission requirements, please consult NB: Only students with an HBO (Dutch University of Applied Sciences) Applied Psychology degree can be admitted to the (pre-)master's programme. Applications of students from other HBO programmes will not be considered.

Registration procedure

The application procedure depends on prior education.

For a full description of the application procedure, please consult the page on Application of the Psychology master.

Students who have finished the bachelor in Psychology at the University of Groningen can register until 1 February / 1 September. (Instruction manual for UG bachelor Psychology students)

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Research universities

Via a pre-master with a maximum of 60 EC

More information:
PsychologyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Applied PsychologyAll Universities of applied sciences

Deficiency program with a maximum of 60 EC

More information:
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
PsychologyUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:
Psychology (EN)University of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Non-native English speakers must provide evidence of satisfactory results for one of the standard tests. See

previous education

A BSc in Psychology. For exceptions and a full description of admission requirements, please consult

Registration procedure

The application procedure depends on prior education.

For a full description of the application procedure, please consult the page on Application of the Psychology master.

Students who have finished the Dutch bachelor in Psychology at the University of Groningen can register until 1 February / 1 September. (Instruction manual for UG bachelor Psychology students)

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 December 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
01 December 202001 February 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 December 201901 February 2020
01 May 202001 September 2020
01 December 202001 February 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 November 201901 February 2020
01 April 202001 September 2020
01 November 202001 February 2021
Tuition Fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 14600full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Preparing to get employed! 

How you benefit from what our program brings:

  • In our courses you learn about using your skills in practice, and you have the opportunity to work with an organization in the domain of your interest.
  • We look for interesting meetings where you can do some networking and get in touch with practice outside the courses.
  • If you are interested in sport psychology you can obtain an official sport psychology certificate when having finished this program.
  • Our foundation- and skills courses count to obtain a Coaching certificate.

Job examples

  • Counsellor or Consultant

    in the domains of education, work, sports, music

  • Scientist on talent development and creativity,

    which can be at a university, but also in an organization (embedded)

  • Coach, teacher, or sport psychologist

    in the domains of education, work, sports, music

  • (Talent) Recruiter

    in the fields of work, sports, arts, and music

  • Policy maker/analyst

    in the field of talent development and creativity programmes


Talent Development and Creativity Research at the Department

Staff members involved in MSc. program Talent Development and Creativity have provided important contributions to the selection and development of talent and creativity in different domains. A brief selection of examples is provided below.

Talent selection in team sports (2017-today)

In collaboration with the Dutch Royal Football Association and Football Club Groningen, we are designing and testing new ways to select soccer players. The two most important aims of this project are: 1) Provide better, more systematic ways of scouting players, and 2) construct test environments in which important soccer skills (e.g., psychological skills, passing, defending, attacking) can be assessed in the most valid way. The ultimate aim of the project is that we can come to better predictions of soccer players’ future performance.

Curious Minds (2009-today)

This national research project ("Talentenkracht" in Dutch) has been conducted by different researchers and PhD students of our department. Curious Minds is focused on the measurement and stimulation of scientific talent in primary education. It started about years ago, and has resulted in a list of scientific articles, as well as teaching instruments for schools, coaching packages for teachers, and a handbook on talent development in primary education. The (Dutch) website is Currently, researchers and practitioners are extending the Curious Minds approach to other fields, including music and sports.

Your Special Forces (2018-today)

In collaboration with the Special Forces Unit of the Royal Netherlands Army, we are establishing a data platform to improve the development and selection of operators (i.e., commandos). Key questions we are focusing on in this project are: What skills are needed to perform in exceptional circumstances? How can we develop such talents? What are the effects of psychological training on the skills of the operators? How can we improve the selection procedure for the Special Forces? Results of this project will provide very relevant insights into the selection and development of talent in fields in which people need to perform under stressful circumstances.

Selection of Academic Staff :

Prof. dr. Nico W. Van Yperen Professor Sport & Performance Psychology. Research expertise: Competence and motivation across achievement settings, including work, sports, and education.
Dr. Ruud J. R. Den Hartigh Assistant Professor Talent Development and Creativity. Research expertise: Performance processes in sports and beyond, in particular talent selection and –development, psychological momentum, and resilience.
Dr. Marijn W. G. Van Dijk Research expertise: Talent development in teacher-student interactions, mostly in primary education and the arts.
Prof dr. Rob R. Meijer Research expertise: Methods, measurements, and instruments in Psychology. Design of tests that optimally predict future performance in work, education, and sports.
Dr. Barbara Huijgen Research expertise: Talent identification and –development in sports from a multidimensional perspective.
Dr. Susan Niessen, MSc Research expertise: Talent assessment methods in the context of higher education, work, and sports.
Prof. dr. Peter de Jonge Research expertise: The development of psychopathology and how this could be linked to special talents and creativity.
Yannick Hill, MSc Research expertise: Psychological resilience, breakthroughs and Breakdowns in athletic careers.
Tom Bergkamp, MSc Research expertise: Talent identification and predicting future performance in the domain of sports.

Selection of recent exposure on talent development & creativity

Selection of our staff members’ recent international scientific articles on talent development & creativity:
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Master speeddates PsychologyGrote Kruisstraat 2/1More information


If you want to know more about the programme Talent Development and Creativity, please contact:

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								Testimonial of Joske van der Sluis

    The best course unit that I took was the one on coaching.

    – Joske van der Sluis
    Read more

    I'm the first student to have completed this Master's programme. That's because it's new: officially the programme only started this academic year. But I was allowed follow some of the course units last year, which explains why I have already completed the programme.

    In Talent Development and Creativity you learn how to bring out the best in others. You help them to discover and develop their talents.

    This topic has always interested me, which is why I chose the programme. I’m particularly interested in sport, but I didn’t want to limit myself to sport psychology. In this programme, you learn about the development of various sorts of talent: in sport, in music, at school, at work… you name it.

    The best course unit that I took was the one on coaching. First you learn all the theories and models of coaching, and then you apply them in the practicals, by using role play. And then, and this was the part I liked best, you actually coach someone, a student assistant or PhD student. This meant we could immediately apply what we had learnt, and in fact that was the case with all the course units. I think that is a major strength of this Master’s programme.

    Although you can do a placement as part of the programme, I chose not to. I wrote an extensive thesis, which involved conducting research into affordances, the possibilities that people see to take action, and psychological momentum in a sporting event. The expectation was that a person who is in positive momentum – who has a lead over the opponent for instance – will see more affordances than a person who is in negative momentum. And that proved to be true.

    I’m now working on a PhD proposal that follows on from my thesis. Research didn’t appeal to me very much before, but this topic is so interesting and I am so into it now that I really like the idea of finding out more.

								Testimonial of Jeremy Illman

    What is so great about this programme is the way theory and practice are integrated.

    – Jeremy Illman
    Read more

    I came to Groningen because I had the opportunity to study Psychology here. I was fascinated by human thought and behaviour and I wanted to learn more about it. Furthermore, Groningen is a picturesque city full of canals with sailboats and bicycle paths that get you across town. Throughout my bachelor I discovered the cultural opportunities and liveliness that only a city with 25% student population can offer.

    After my bachelor's programme I worked in Television Production in Germany for two years, before deciding to come back to Groningen for my master's degree. Currently, I am following the ' Talent Development and Creativity' master's programme. We study the nature of talent, where talent originates, and how it can be developed.

    It is a unique study, with an approach to psychology that I think is revolutionary. Whereas most Psychology programmes only examine the development of large groups of people over time, the programme in Groningen also focuses on processes on the individual level. Iam very interested in that research angle - carefully studying someone's development and interactions and describing it in an almost mathematical way.

    Another great aspect of the 'Talent Development and Creativity' programme is the way theory and practice are integrated. One course on talent development consisted almost entirely of lectures by practitioners: from the Conservatory, for instance, or from FC Groningen. These experts presented how they select and develop talent in their institution. Then they discussed their ideas with us and were actually interested in our input.

    Most courses I have in the 'Talent Development and Creativity' trajectory are structured into two components: initially building up knowledge and then applying it to a 'real world' case. This is challenging as you might have a great theoretical Idea which turns out to be impractical when transferred to a real case. But it is also very gratifying: instead of cramming for an exam and forgetting everything the moment you exit the exam hall, you really get to put your knowledge to use.

    After my study, I think I would like to work at a talent development department at an international company, conceptualizing Talent Development programmes that help employees to get the most out of themselves and to perform optimally. Given my work experience in Television, I am searching for a Media Company, because I loved the creative environment it offered.

								Testimonial of Hanna Boers

    We learn a lot about how to recognize talent and creativity.

    – Hanna Boers
    Read more

    After I finished my Bachelor's degree in psychology at Leiden University, I wasn't sure which Master's degree I wanted to do and I decided to first travel for a year.

    During my trip I found out that I really wanted to learn more about creativity, but when I started looking for Master's degree programmes on that topic I only found programmes in the US and Scotland. Then I stumbled upon the Master's programme in Talent Development and Creativity in Groningen. It seemed very interesting and it is the only Master's programme in the Netherlands that really focuses on creativity. I finally submitted my application during my yoga teacher training in Nepal.

    We learn a lot about how to recognize talent and creativity and how to encourage people. I'm very interested in coaching. We have a course unit in which we learn coaching techniques by practicing on each other and then actually applying them in practice.

    I still live in Leiden. After being away for a year, I wanted to be near my family and friends. I travel back and forth – fortunately, there is a direct train – and sometimes I stay overnight with my uncle.

								Testimonial of Sten Dallinga

    Sports psychologist (entrepreneur) and personal trainer

    – Sten Dallinga
    Read more

    Psychology is concerned with everything related to human behaviour. For me, clinical psychology means counseling people who need help. Helping people go from -1 to 0, so to speak. That is very important work, but I found myself much more interested in guiding people who are already doing well. Helping them to go from 0 to 1, to really achieve great things.
    At the moment, I work both as a personal trainer and I have my own business where I work as an independent sports psychologist. As the latter, I coach athletes, especially in the context of performance: how do you perform under pressure, how do you keep your concentration, and how do you deal with the thrill of competition?
    As a personal trainer, I train people in a sports studio. That is very physical – I make sure they do all the exercises right – but at the same time, my education as a psychologist proves very useful. People get stressed, they want a lot. With my background, I can guide them well.
    During my studies, I took quite a few courses in sport psychology, and I still use the theories I learned. The courses on performance and coaching, for example, where you are taught to talk about improving and changing behaviour in a one-on-one setting, have proven to be very useful. My work is all about turning theory into practice.
    In future, I would like to do a lot more in the field of achievement. I want to apply psychological insights to take sports in the Netherlands to a higher level. That is possible, if coaching and talent development are employed in the best possible way. I would love to make a contribution to that, and to develop myself further as a psychologist.
    My advice for (future) students? Your university years can come with a lot of insecurity, especially towards the end. All of a sudden you are a graduate, and then what? If we all had our way, we would complete a study, get a job right after, and have everything go in a nice, straight line from there. But it never does, and that is all right. It is part of life, and it can teach you valuable lessons.
    Above all, I would tell students to really treasure their time at university. It is a wonderful phase of your life, one in which you have a lot of freedom and the opportunity to figure out what really matters.

								Testimonial of Mart de Meij

    I work as a HR analytics advisor at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports

    – Mart de Meij
    Read more

    I am interested in how companies and organizations can use talent in the best way possible. That is very important for an organization, but at the same time very complicated. How do you define talent; how do you make sure people use the talent that they have ? How can you develop talent and how do you let talented people work together in the best way possible. During the Master 'Talent Development and Creativity' you learn to look at talent from this complex and dynamic perspective.

    At the moment, I work as a HR analytics advisor at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports. I analyze data from different staff systems to get new insights for HR managers, policy makers and advisors. I have meetings with them to find out which data they find most interesting. I also talk with the people who provide all the information to discuss which data I can request for my analysis. Finally, I make analyses in Excel with graphics in PowerPoint to share my new insights.

    During the master’s programme, I learned how psychological processes work in organizations and how you can examine them. Because of this study programme, I can look with a different, more creative perspective at approaches to examine processes. My study is still very useful for my current job.

    I look back at my student time in a very positive way. I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Groningen. You will know what I mean by this when you have studied there.

Student profile

Your stairway to talent! Because you:

  • are interested in how to develop talent and creativity in excellent as well as normal people;
  • are keen to learn about the latest knowledge and skills to select talented and creative individuals;
  • want to make a difference in stimulating people's talent and creativity;
  • like to follow a Master's program that integrates relevant disciplines of psychology;
  • like to get in touch with practice, and use your scientific skills to improve practice.
Study support

Our academic advisors provide more detailed information about our programmes and give advice to prospective students, students who are enrolled in one of our programmes, and alumni.You can turn to them with questions about the programme itself, study planning, choosing courses/minors, enrollment, rules and regulations that apply to a programme, following courses at other faculties, studying abroad.

Do not hesitate to make an appointment with your academic advisor. You can arrange for a meeting by phone (+31 50 363 6301, student service desk)