Study programme of Behavioural Science

The Research Master’s programme in Behavioural Science has a course load of 120 EC (two years). In order to train students to become researchers in behavioural science, we offer four types of courses: Theory, Methods and Statistics, Professional Development and Research Experience. Contact with teachers is plentiful, supervision is personal, and the freedom to choose courses and research topics is substantial. The goal of the Master’s programme is to train excellent behavioural scientists. Therefore, many courses related to statistics, methods, skills, theoretical thinking and research experience are obligatory. On the other hand, content wise, the programme offers a great amount of flexibility. That is, by making a selection in the theme courses, the selective method course, the general elective course, and the content of the minor and the major projects, you can create your own track in behavioural science.

Theme courses

The theme courses are multidisciplinary courses, combining theories and recent theoretical developments from psychology, education and communication science. Students choose five of thirteen theme courses (each 4 EC). The programme starts with a short introductory course Behavioural Science: State of the Art. Students will get an overview of the full width of research of the Behavioural Science Institute, the actual challenges and promises in each specific research field. The elective course(s), minimally 4 EC, can be an additional theme course of our programme or a course from another programme. The elective course(s) may be followed in the first as well as in the second year. The course(s) should be of Master's level and sufficiently relevant to the content of the programme. The Examination Board has made a list of courses from various programmes that are approved. If you want to follow a course that is not yet approved by the Examination board, you can send a request to the examination board.

Statistics & research methods courses 

The Behavioural Science programme includes three compulsory statistics courses and two compulsory research method courses because, at Radboud University, we believe that a good understanding of statistics and methods is essential for conducting solid science. In the first statistics course software package R is introduced. “R” is in many ways superior and, as freeware, can be used by researchers all over the world.

In the course Advanced Methods, students learn the ins and outs of many relevant research methods in behavioural science, including eye-tracking, genetics and hormones; EEG; behavioural observation and meta-analysis.

The programme includes one selective method course. Students can choose between the courses Programming Skills (Python) or Intervention Science. In the course Programming Skills (Python), students are taught the basic understanding of programming in the python programming language. With this knowledge they will be able to understand, interpret, debug, extend, and create python scripts for scientific experiments and data processing. In the course Intervention Science students are taught how to test interventions in field settings (e.g. at schools, clinics or at companies). These field studies often have high ecological validity, but are also with challenges (e.g. complete randomization to groups is often not possible) that makes. In the course, we train students how to deal with these challenges to boost the quality of their research.

Professional development courses

We offer students courses that will teach them additional skills that every researcher needs: to understand the ethics of research, to understand the process of academic publishing and grant proposals, and to comment on the papers and proposals of others. Students will also be taught the necessary writing and presentation skills they need to share their discoveries. We also encourage students to participate in workshops, colloquia, symposia and conferences to gain experience in the international academic field of behavioural science.

Research experience

More than half of this Master’s programme consists of research experience (63 EC).
In the first year, students choose a topic from a list (with more than 45 different research topics), or propose their own ideas and work in trio's during their Minor Research Project. In the second year, for two whole semesters, students set up and carry out their own research project supervised by one or more BSI-researchers. Also, during this project students are encouraged to go abroad for some time (e.g. 2-6 months) and visit another relevant labgroup, making use of the excellent international networks of our BSI researchers. See our research in this field to read more about the research you will be doing during this programme.

Flexibility

The goal of the Master’s programme is to train excellent behavioural scientists. Therefore, many courses related to statistics, methods, skills, theoretical thinking and research experience are obligatory. On the other hand, content wise, the programme offers a great amount of flexibility. That is, by making a selection in the theme courses, the selective method course, the general elective course, and the content of the minor and the major projects, you can create your own track in behavioural science.

Curriculum

  • Behavioural Science: year 1

    The Master’s programme in Behavioural Science is taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences and is part of the graduate school of the Behavioural Science Institute. It has a course load of 120 EC.

    View curriculum
  • Behavioural Science: year 2

    The Master’s programme in Behavioural Science is taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences and is part of the graduate school of the Behavioural Science Institute. 
    It has a course load of 120 EC* (two years).

    View curriculum

Study abroad

We also look beyond borders, learning and working together with colleagues from outside the Netherlands. Several of our staff members and guest speakers are international, as are 30% of the students. We also offer the opportunity for students to do their major internship in the second year abroad.

Please see the International Office web page for information about meetings, scholarships, internships and other practical information.

Additional challenge

The Radboud Honours Academy offers students the chance to participate in an additional, challenging programme at no extra cost. You can apply for a spot in one the three Master’s honours programmes.