Your first year

Studying psychology is a full-time job; it will take you 40 hours a week on average. Attending lectures, tutorials, work group sessions and practicals will take about 16 hours; these are the contact hours. The rest of the time you will study independently preparing for the lectures and work group sessions, writing assignments and essays, and reading.


The programme of the International Bachelor in Psychology (IBP) gives you a strong foundation in all main subdisciplines of psychology:

Subdisciplines in Psychology


In twelve tutorials you will learn academic skills, such as writing an essay, giving a presentation and setting up an experiment. You need these academic skills for a succesful bachelor’s programme in Psychology.

Course Overview

The first year consist of 12 courses:

One quarter of the study credits for the first year cover the methods and statistics courses. You will find a list and description as well as important details in the e-Prospectus:


The academic year is divided over two semesters, and a semester is divided into two blocks of 8-10 weeks. At the university we count in credits, called ECTS. For successfully completing each course you get a number of credits, and one credit represents 28 hours of studying. A year has a total of 60 credits. At the end of your first year, you need to have earned at least 45 of the 60 credits to be able to continue with your study programme.


Courses are completed with an exam, usually in the week directly following the course. The exams in the first year are mostly exams consisting of multiple choice questions. In addition your grades for essays, papers or presentations will be taken into account when your final grade for a course is determined. After each exam period a week has been set aside for re-sits.

Digital facilities

Leiden University uses many digital tools to support our teaching and your studying in the University Leiden Community Network (ULCN). You enrol for exams and will get your results through uSis. You will get online access to materials posted by lecturers and to messages or documents posted by your fellow students through Blackboard.

Testimonial IBP - Winglet Law - First year

What Winglet (Hong-Kong) finds the most interesting in the first year:
Studying psychology from a scientific approach is the core of the programme. That explains why statistics is highlighted. It soon became my favourite course. It is absolutely fascinating how numbers can explain a phenomenon or a behaviour and how relationships are shown by data analysis.

Testimonial IBP - Alyson Henry - your first year

What Alyson (USA) finds the most surprising in the first year:
I expected the courses in the first year to be more general. I was quite surprised about how specific they were. I find the material interesting and I like learning about the more specific fields of psychology. The strongest point of the programme for me is the curriculum.