Master in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

How do children and adolescents develop? How do emotional and behavioural disorders emerge, and how can they be prevented? How can you use scientific knowledge to advise schools? In the Master’s programme Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, you will learn how to apply your knowledge of developmental psychology in clinical practice.

Care, treatment and support

During this one-year Master’s programme, you will learn all about the psychological care, treatment, and support of children and young people. We will also address how policies and institutions can contribute to child development.

As a child and youth psychologist, you will study:

  • Systematic changes over the course of a child’s life;
  • The developmental processes that underlie and account for these changes;
  • The social context of developmental changes.

You will also learn knowledge and skills for assessing (diagnostics), treating (intervention), and preventing problematic youth development.

Societal issues

In addition to these topics, you will also learn about relevant societal issues, such as:

  • Bullying and its prevention
  • Juvenile criminal behaviour


This programme is offered by various chair groups, which conduct research into:

  • Social cognitive development (Prof. Sander Thomaes)
  • Social and personality development (Prof. Marcel van Aken)
  • Biological developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology (Prof. Chantal Kemner)

Researchers from these programmes teach courses and supervise the students’ theses. Students also have the opportunity to take part in their research projects as research assistants.

Learn to look beyond the limits of psychology

In order to prevent and alleviate psycho-social problems in children and young people, a variety of perspectives are needed: pedagogical, medical, educational and sometimes legal. Students in this Master's programme will, therefore, learn to consider these ‘non-psychological’ factors as well. You can also enroll in elective courses in other fields of study. If you do a clinical internship, you may work as part of a multi-disciplinary team together with child psychiatrists, social-psychiatric caregivers, social workers, and internal mentors.


The Master’s programme is structured in such a way that you can begin your internship immediately in September. If you decide to enroll in our Master’s programme, it is therefore vital that you start looking for an internship position in time. It becomes progressively more difficult to find an internship position if you start applying later in the year. Check the study programme page for more about the internships.

For information about the internship and application procedures, please contact our internship coordinator at as soon as possible after enrolling in the Master’s programme.

Objective of the Programme

You will develop into a scientist-practitioner, who is able to make a difference in the practice of child and adolescent psychology by tying the knowledge gained in theoretical courses to practical experience obtained during your internship. This Master's programme prepares you for a career as a care provider, diagnostician or policy consultant. You may also choose to continue your studies, as this programme qualifies you (in the Netherlands) for post-academic education as a clinical psychologist, school psychologist and the registration process for NIP Child- and Youth Psychologist/NIP Registered Psychologist/Child and Youth.

NIP Basic Psychodiagnostics Registration (BAPD)

Depending on your previous education, after completing this Master’s programme, you can continue your studies and:

  • earn the Basic Psychodiagnostics Registration (BAPD) (in Dutch) from the NIP (Dutch Association of Psychologists Psychologists);
  • meet the entry requirements for the Health Care Psychologist training programme (in the Netherlands).

Career Prospects

Towards the Job Market

Once you have completed the Master’s programme, you will be able to work in the professional field at an academic level. This may include supervising and treating children and young people, but may also include developing policy. Alternatively, you could choose to continue your studies and earn a registration.

Potential careers include:

  • Clinical child- and adolescent psychologist
  • Policy consultant

Potential employers include:

  • Municipal mental health or youth care institutions
  • Educational institution or school supervision service
  • Municipal or provincial organisations

What does the work entail?

You may find work in the fields of diagnostics or mental health care, but you may also find a position as a consultant or policy assistant. Supporting quality of life and encouraging a healthy mental development are increasingly important areas of activity as well.

Continuing Education

In order to be able to work as an independent psychologist, you will usually need a post-graduate education as a Clinical Psychologist or a Child- and Youth Psychologist NIP. The professional association The Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP) issues guidelines for these certifications.

NIP Basic Psychodiagnostics Registration (BAPD)
As part of this Master’s programme, you have the opportunity to complete the requirements for the NIP’s Basic Psychodiagnostics Registration (BAPD in Dutch). In order to be considered for registration, you must acquire sufficient experience with psychodiagnostics during your internship. This means that during the internship, you must accumulate at least 200 hours of diagnostics experience, and you must provide three case studies of diagnostics you have performed in the internship report.

Clinical Psychologist
If you hope to start a career in health care (psychiatry, GGZ, hospitals or youth care), this Master’s programme prepares you for admission to the Health Care Psychologist professional study programme (in Dutch:GZ-opleiding). In order to be eligible, you must have had sufficient diagnostics and treatment contacts with clients and client systems during your internship. After being registered as a certified Health Care Psychologist, you will be able to enroll in the Clinical Psychologist (in Dutch) study programme.

NIP Child- and Youth Psychologist registration and the post-graduate School Psychologist study programme
The Master’s programme satisfies the prerequisites for the certification programmes NIP Child- and Adolescent Psychologist registration (in Dutch) and the post-graduate School Psychologist study programme.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less