International Bachelor in Psychology

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Program Description

International Bachelor in Psychology

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

International Bachelor Psychology

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Psychology

Erasmus University

Do you strive to understand why humans behave the way they do? Find out if the International Bachelor in Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam is the right choice for you.

Why study International Bachelor in Psychology in Rotterdam?

  • Because of the theoretical and practical approach to a wide range of psychology subjects such as cognition, learning, addiction, motivation etc.;
  • Students ranked the Dutch bachelor programme number one in the Netherlands for eleven times;
  • Of the Problem-Based Learning method, which enables you to study more efficiently;
  • You are a part of a group of over 100 international students and you get to mingle with Dutch students during classes.


Study programme in short

Do you want to help organisations solve their problems in a professional way? Are you interested in the ways the brain functions and how you can develop talent through education? If so, this programme is the one for you! Through theory and practice, you will encounter various subjects in psychology, such as cognition, learning, addiction, motivation, normal and abnormal behaviour.

By choosing Rotterdam, you choose Problem-Based Learning. In small groups, you will analyse concrete problems by looking for information in books, journals and digital media. Class discussions will strengthen your bond with fellow students and encourage you to succeed. You will also develop skills which are useful in your career.

First year

During the Bachelor’s programme in psychology, you learn about all the subject areas related to psychology. This means that in the first year, you gain a good overview of all of the disciplines. You also attend classes in statistics, research methods and practical skills. For instance, you learn how you conduct conversations and how to observe people. You furthermore learn how to conduct experiments, and act as a test subject yourself.

Second year

In the second year, you will attend more advanced courses in all fields of psychology. Please note that there will be an observation week between block 2 and block 3.

Third year

In the third year, you have more freedom in terms of what subjects to choose. In the first half of this year, you choose which subjects you want to take in your minor and as (an) elective(s). You can also spend this time at a foreign university or another faculty. Do you want to deepen or broaden your knowledge? With the minor and the elective, you can start determining your major.

In the first two years, you have familiarised yourself with all of the sub-areas of psychology. In the third year, you specialise in the area of psychology that most appeals to you, and these subjects prepare you for a Master’s course. You conclude you Bachelor with a dissertation in which you address a psychological issue in a scientific manner.

Teaching method

Problem-based Learning

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a method that is based on the idea that the student plays an active role in the learning process (student-centred education). It is not about lecturing in order to accomplish information transfer (as is the case in traditional educational systems), but rather about active participation of the student in small groups. So most of the time, it’s not the teacher who’s explaining, it’s the students themselves.

This student-centered approach stems from the constructivist vision of learning which states that the best way to deal with information is to actively construct knowledge instead of passively consuming it.

With Problem-Based Learning, you have few mass lectures where you simply sit and listen to your lecturers, instead having to search for the information you need in small groups. You use the knowledge you already to acquire new knowledge. You have on average twelve contact hours a week. This time is spread over lectures, tutor groups and practice. You spend the remaining time on self-study and resolving the problem, which you can do alone or in groups. The majority of students spend around 40 hours a week on their studies.

Watch the video below and learn more about the Problem-Based Learning!

During your studies

Truly international

The Bachelor programme in Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam is a truly international programme with a diverse student population. In the infographic below you’ll see the nationalities of over 100 admitted applicants of the year 2015-2016.

Erasmus University

Best programme in the Netherlands

In national surveys, the Dutch-taught Bachelor programme in Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam has been ranked the best programme in the Netherlands eleven times in the past years.

The Keuzegids Universiteiten 2016 (literally translated as: 'Universities Choice Guide', available in Dutch only), for instance, is particularly positive about the content of the studies, the focus on practice and the course load of the Psychology course in Rotterdam compared with other universities. It is the focus on practice in particular (‘acquiring professional skills’) that is highlighted in this survey.

In an annual national survey conducted among students and professors by current affairs weekly Elsevier (available in Dutch only), Erasmus University ranked first of all psychology courses in the Netherlands for eleven times in the past years. The individual and total scores of Erasmus University Rotterdam normally come out above average. The lecturers, the curriculum and the course structure are the features of the programme that students value especially high.

Studying abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to develop yourself and get to know another culture, as well as compare different educational and academic cultures. This is a wonderful experience which does not need to be complicated or expensive and does not delay your studies.

This programme encourages you to spend a term (the first part of year 3) outside the Netherlands in the third year. You will be able to study at one of the universities with which we have exchange cooperation.

Career opportunities

Depending on your specialisation you can not only work as a trainer, selection and assessment advisor, HR consultant, coach or occupational health professional but also as a researcher at companies and organisations, such as educational consultancies, school inspection services or research agencies. Furthermore, a master’s degree in Psychology provides you with a solid basis to pursue a PhD.

If you want to become a clinical psychologist or healthcare professional, it is important to realise that a Bachelor's and a Master's course are insufficient. In the Netherlands, postdoctoral training for clinical psychologists is required. If you want to become a clinical psychologist in another country, different requirements may apply. These requirements are usually determined by psychologists' national associations.


On this page, you will find more information about the entry requirements for our bachelor programmes. Each application is a viewed holistically and carefully examined by the Admissions Board.

  • Diploma requirements
  • Knowledge of English
  • Mathematics skills
  • Letter of motivation
  • CV/ Resume
  • Academic performance
  • Diploma requirements

As a rule, you are eligible to apply for our bachelor programmes if you have obtained or will obtain a vwo diploma or its foreign equivalent, i.e., a diploma of pre-academic education (secondary school or high school). International Baccalaureate (IB) and European Baccalaureate (EB) diplomas are the international equivalents of national secondary school diplomas.

If you are in doubt, please refer to the list of most common diplomas granting you access to studies at a research university. Whether or not your diploma is at the required level, will be determined upon receipt of your application and documents.

No diploma yet?

The test score report should be taken no longer than 2 years before the application.

If you have not graduated yet on the day of application, don't worry! Please read what to do:

If you have not completed your studies yet, please send us the most recent copy of your academic record(s) at the moment of application (grade list) and provide a statement of your school with the date you expect to fulfil all requirements necessary for graduation (you need to have completed your studies by mid-August). The statement by your school should include the name of your diploma in the original language. Knowledge of English

To be able to participate in the small-scale education, a good command of English is essential. You will have to write, search for information and participate in class discussions in English. You can demonstrate your English skills in the following ways:

The test score report should be taken no longer than 2 years before the application.

Language Test Minimum Score Minimum Sub-scores
TOEFL (our TOEFL ID Code 5971) 80 (internet based) 20
IELTS 6.5 6.0
CEF (Common European Framework) C1-level -
Cambridge EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Examinations CAE level B; CPE level C -

Exemption from language proficiency requirement

You might be exempted from this language-skill requirement if:

  • You are a native speaker of English (i.e., a national of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States of America and South Africa) and you have obtained a diploma of secondary education in English for at least 2,5 years in one of the above countries and/or;
  • You hold an International Baccalaureate Diploma, English A (HL or SL), English B (HL);
  • You hold a European Baccalaureate and took English as L1, L2 (7.0 or higher) or L3 (7.0 or higher);
  • English was part of your final exam of the following diplomas and you have obtained at least 70% of the maximum score: Dutch vwo, Belgian ASO (in the Flemish and German-speaking part of Belgium), German Abitur, Norwegian Vitnemal, Swedish Slutbetyg, Finnish Ylioppilastuskintotodistus, Icelandic Studentprof, Danish Studentereksamen, Swiss Maturität (in the German-speaking part of Switzerland), Austrian Maturazeugnis, French Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (Anglo-American section);
  • The GCSE O-level English first language is only accepted for those students who apply on the basis of GCSE O-levels + GCE A-levels;
  • You have obtained a diploma of higher education in English (the entire programme which lasted for at least 2,5 years) and will submit proof or a statement by the university that your degree was taught fully in English.

Mathematics skills

Since the course includes statistics, which requires a sufficient grasp of mathematics, it is strongly advised that you have had mathematics (pre-academic level) in high school (i.e., secondary school). A background in mathematics would help you learn to think in a logical and structured way and prepare you for the test. If at this point you think your knowledge of mathematics is insufficient, you could start practising by yourself to improve your knowledge of mathematics in preparation for the Bachelor degree. It is, however, not a mandatory requirement.

Letter of motivation

Apart from your grades, the Admissions Board also consider your motivation to join a particular programme. In terms of motivation, selection will be based on how well the following points are developed in your letter:

  • Why have you chosen to study this particular discipline?
  • Why do you choose to study this discipline at Erasmus University Rotterdam, as opposed to other universities?
  • Why does Problem-Based Learning appeal to you?
  • Demonstrate international orientation and experiences through your CV/ life story/ interests and explain why you choose to study in English and in an international environment.

The motivation letter must be 1 A4 page maximum. You are expected to write your letter in English and address it to the Admissions Board. Do not forget to state your full name and date of birth at the top of your motivation letter.

CV/ Resume

Your Curriculum Vitae or Resume allows you to list your educational career and work experience you obtained so far. A CV should not exceed two A4 pages. If you do not have any professional experience, don't worry, many of your future group mates are in the same situation. You might want to add involvement with NGO’s and extra-curricular activities.

Academic performance

In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admissions Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e., your grades. Please note that there is no minimum score or average grade mentioned; your application will be assessed against the pool of applicants of the given year.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 15, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
3 years
Full time
6,300 EUR
€ 2.006 (EU/EEA), € 6.300 (Non EU/EEA)
Netherlands - Rotterdam, South Holland
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Rotterdam, South Holland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info