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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Talent Development and Creativity
Header image Talent Development and Creativity

Talent Development and Creativity

How can we develop the best athletes? How can teachers nurture pupils' talent and creativity in education and music? And how can we improve the selection of talented and creative employees, students, and athletes?

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 organizations across achievement domains.

You will learn about the (psychological) factors that explain talent and creativity, and directly put this knowledge into practice. You will learn coaching skills to enhance people’s personal and professional potential. Furthermore, you will get in touch with organizations from different industries, sports clubs, and schools, that aim to improve the selection and development of talent and creativity.

In your Master’s thesis and internship you will carry out a project on the selection and development of talent and/or creativity in the achievement domain that interests you most.

*** study information in connection with corona ***

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 Creativit;
  • get taught by renowned experts in the field;
  • will put your knowledge into practice;
  • can, if you are interested in sports, obtain an official sport psychology certificate, offered by the Dutch Society of Sport Psychology (VSPN);
  • can obtain a coaching certificate;
  • are actively supported in working on your employability in the fields of research and practice.

In our programme you gain the latest insights and skills on the selection and development of talent and creativity.

In the courses, you will learn about the (psychological) mechanisms behind talent development and creativity and will put your knowledge into practice. The courses are taught by renowned scientific experts, and you will be in touch with people working in the field of talent development and creativity. You will also learn to coach another person, to enhance that person's personal and professional competence.

In your individual master thesis and internship, you can focus on the achievement domain that interests you most. You could conduct a research project in the lab, but also be involved in projects with one of our partner institutions. Within our program, we have 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 (e.g., Prince Claus Conservatoire, the Royal Netherlands Army, Museums, local and (inter)national enterprises).

Supervisors in our program offer a variety of topics you can focus on in your master thesis project. These include, amongst others: motivation and performance, talent identification and –development in sports, coaching and mentoring, resilience and performing under pressure, mindfulness and positive psychology, stimulating talent and creativity in the classroom, creative processes in arts, music, and theater, selection of employees, students, or athletes.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Repeated Measures (Method course) (5 EC)
Talent Development and Creativity (Foundation course) (5 EC)
Coaching (Skills course) (5 EC)
Master Thesis and Internship (30 EC)
Analyzing Individual Development (Method course)
Talent Development and Creativity in Practice (Foundation course) (5 EC)
Competence and Motivation (Foundation course) (5 EC)
Elective courses (additional foundation course(s) / another Master Psychology course / relevant course outside the Psychology program)
Test Construction (Method course) (5 EC)
Talent Assessment (Foundation course) (5 EC)


The program consists of (minimum) 10 EC Foundation courses, a 5 EC Skills course, a 5 EC Methods course, 10 EC Free choice courses, and 30 EC Master thesis and internship.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Bachelor students meet language requirements. For English-taught tracks, students with an HBO Toegepaste Psychologie need to provide evidence of satisfactory results for one of the standard tests. For more details see

previous education

To be directly admitted to the Master's degree in Psychology, you must have a full university degree in Psychology. If you have another university bachelor's degree or an HBO degree in Applied Psychology, you may be eligible for a premaster place. Always check for the exact requirements and admission procedures for your previous education.

At start in September 2021: if there are more applications for a track than available places, a selection procedure will be used.

Registration procedure

The application procedure depends on prior education.

For a full description of the application procedure, please consult Application and Admission.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 October 202101 February 2022
01 March 202201 September 2022
01 October 202201 February 2023
EU/EEA students01 October 202101 February 2022
01 March 202201 September 2022
01 October 202201 February 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 October 202101 February 2022
01 March 202201 September 2022
01 October 202201 February 2023

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Non-native English speakers must provide evidence of satisfactory results for one of the standard tests. For an overview, please see

previous education

To be eligible for admission to this master, you need to hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology (or with a strong focus on Psychology) from a Research University, based on wide psychological knowledge and skills, as well advanced statistical and methodological knowledge and skills. Always check for the exact requirements and admission procedures for your previous education.

At start in September 2021: if there are more applications for a track than available places, a selection procedure will be used.

Registration procedure

The application procedure depends on prior education.

For a full description of the application procedure, please consult Application and Admission.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 October 202101 February 2022
01 March 202201 September 2022
01 October 202201 February 2023
EU/EEA students01 October 202101 February 2022
01 March 202201 September 2022
01 October 202201 February 2023
non-EU/EEA students01 October 202101 February 2022
01 March 202201 September 2022
01 October 202201 February 2023
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2021-2022€ 2168full-time
non-EU/EEA2021-2022€ 15900full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

After finishing the program Talent Development and Creativity you can be valuable to various kinds of companies, sports clubs and –associations, educational institutions, etc. These institutions are all interested in the questions: 

1) How can we detect and select talented and creative individuals?;
2) How do talent and creativity actually develop?; and
3) What strategies can we use to stimulate talent and creativity?

Exactly these questions are the ones addressed in our master program.

The skills you develop in our program are broadly applicable. Our students start working at different places, often related to the field of their main interest. There are students who have chosen the direction of coaching and teaching, sport psychology, or working in a (inter)national company.

Job prospects

In the program Talent Development and Creativity you are prepared for the job market. In almost any domain (work, education, sports, arts), the selection and development of talent and creativity is high on the agenda. Accordingly, students who graduated from our program have found good jobs in different domains.

Examples of such jobs are:

  • Sport psychologist at a professional sports club
  • Teacher at a school or university
  • Director of a professional training and coaching company
  • Selection psychologist at the Ministry of Defense
  • Lifestyle coach
  • Embedded scientist at the head quarter of BMW
  • Other jobs in coaching and teaching, recruitment, policy advising and consultancy

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.

Resilient Athletes (2019 – today)
Talented athletes are exposed to various physical and mental stressors, such as injuries and defeats. To deal with these stressors, athletes need to be resilient. Resilience is thus a crucial concept in talent development. In this project, we collaborate with psychologists, movement scientists, and data scientists to measure, analyze, and improve the resilience of athletes. Different professional sports organizations are involved, and facilitate this project: FC Groningen, PSV, Vitesse, Dutch Royal Football Association – KNVB, Dutch Olympic Committee * Dutch Sports Confederation (NOC*NSF). Read more about the project Resilient Athletes.

Your Special Forces (2018-today)
The commandos of the special forces need to be prepared to optimally perform is very stressful situations. In collaboration with the Special Forces Unit of the Royal Netherlands Army, we have established an online platform to do psychological tests, and collect psychological and physiological data during the intensive training program. Key questions that we are answering using our platform 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? The 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.

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 several 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.

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

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact


  • Admissions Board Admissions Board Master Psychology (admission & application, for students with a Dutch diploma)
    Email: toelatingscommissie.masterpsy
  • Secretary Of The Talent Development And Creativity Program
    Email: stairwaytotalent
  • Dr. Ruud den Hartigh (Coordinator master programme Talent Development and Creativity)
    Email: j.r.den.hartigh
    Telephone: +31 (0)50 363 9726
  • Prof. Dr. Nico van Yperen (Professor)
    Email: n.van.yperen
  • Prof. Dr. Rob Meijer (Professor)
    Email: r.r.meijer
  • Dr. Henderien Steenbeek (Associate Professor)
    Email: h.w.steenbeek
  • Studieadviseur Psychologie (Study Advisor)
    Email: studieadvies.psy
    Telephone: +31 (0)50 3636301
  • Admissions Office bss.msc (for students with a non-Dutch diploma)
						Testimonial of alumnus Sten Dallinga

    Sports psychologist (entrepreneur) and personal trainer

    – alumnus Sten Dallinga
    Read more

    (Sten is currently working as a sportspsychologist / basic psychologist)

    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 alumnus Joske van der Sluis

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

    – alumnus 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 alumnus Mart de Meij

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

    – alumnus 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.

						Testimonial of student Jeremy Illman

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

    – student 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 student Hanna Boers

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

    – student 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 student Marta Sveb

    What surprised me the most is the relationship between the students and lecturers.

    – student Marta Sveb
    Read more


    My name is Marta Sveb, I am 23 years old and I come from Zagreb, Croatia. I am currently following the Master's programme in Talent Development and Creativity. In addition, I am following the Master's Honours programme in Leadership

    I chose the University of Groningen because it offered the exact programme that I was interested in. In addition, not only is the programme offered by a top-notch university, but it is also located in a beautiful city with a diverse student population and loads of bitterballen !

    What was your motivation behind studying Talent Development and Creativity?
    I have always been interested in football, although I barely ever played. Before moving to Groningen, I was part of the most prestigious Croatian football club, GNK Dinamo Zagreb Youth Academy, as a psychology assistant. For almost two years, we carried out various projects including situational observations of players, creative workshops, team-building activities and team management at tournaments in which we often ended up at the top! That experience made me realize that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, so finding the Talent Development and Creativity programme, which also focuses on developing sports talents, was the jackpot!

    What skills have you gained over your time at the University of Groningen?
    During my time at Groningen, I have gained many skills. One of those skills is riding a bike on frozen streets! When it comes to academic skills, however, I am happy to see how my coaching skills have developed over the course of my studies. Before, I used to avoid coaching situations, but now I fully embrace them. Being able to gain coaching knowledge through theoretical lectures and then applying that knowledge to real clients (student assistants) is the best experience that I have had at the University.

    What surprised you the most about the University of Groningen?
    What surprised me the most is the relationship between the students and lecturers. Namely, in lectures, students are encouraged to be critical and ask questions, which is not something that happens in Croatia. This shows that students are able to filter incoming information and actively use their minds in order to think critically about what is covered in class. Of course, it also makes lectures more interesting and interactive.

    What are your plans after graduating?
    As football is my biggest passion, I would like to pursue a career within this field upon graduating. At the beginning of the programme, I decided to enrol in the Honours College in order to learn more about leadership, as it combines well with my Master’s programme, which focuses on developing human potential. Hopefully, upon graduating I will be able to find a job that combines leading people and developing their potential.

    Would you recommend the University of Groningen to prospective students?
    Yes, I would definitely recommend the University of Groningen to prospective students. In my programme, the course units are very specific but also manage to go quite in depth, the lecturers are always kind and willing to help and fellow students are not just people who you see in lectures, but rather your Friday night friends as well. The energy of the University is very positive, which makes studying much more enjoyable. Additionally, the city is picturesque and there is always something happening – from quiet picnics in the beautiful parks to a number of extraordinary and unusual festivals.

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 inform and advise prospective students, students enrolled in one of our programmes, and alumni. You can turn to them with all kinds of questions, e.g. about the programme itself, study planning, choice of courses/minors, enrolment, rules and regulations that apply to a study programme, attending courses at other faculties and studying abroad.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our academic advisors or plan an appointment with one of them. Navigate to or click the Contact button on this page.