Applied Psychology - International study programme

We offer an international programme with nine English courses that add up to 30 ECTS. The programme requires a basic knowledge of the main fields in psychology. Signing up for only some of the courses is also an option. If you master Dutch you can also attend the regular courses taught in Dutch.

The following courses are taught in the autumn semester of the academic year 2014-2015:

  • Behavioral and Developmental Problems  | ECTS: 3
  • Applied psychology and Technology | ECTS: 3
  • Forensic psychology | ECTS: 3
  • Sport psychology | ECTS: 4
  • Ethical issues in psychology | ECTS: 3
  • Contemporary topics in HRM | ECTS: 3
  • Applied psychology in Europe | ECTS: 4
  • International Week in Applied Psychology | ECTS: 3
  • Solution focused counseling | ECTS: 4

Behavioral and Developmental Problems | ECTS: 3

For boys, behavioural problems are the most common reason for seeking psychological help; for girls, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are the second most frequent reason. After an introduction to the diagnostics of behavioural problems, this course will focus on counselling and treatment. We will discuss interventions from different psychological perspectives that aim to reduce these symptoms. Students learn to critically reflect on the application of these interventions by analyzing cases.

Course outline (2014/2015)

Applied psychology and Technology | ECTS: 3

As technology becomes more prominent in every aspect of our lives, psychology needs to answer the question to what extent psychology can serve as a guideline to shape technology and to what extent  technology is shaping our behavior and psychological functioning. Some example questions in this context are: Is learning facilitated or hindered by the use of multimedia? Is our virtual presence on widely accessible social media a reflection or a determinant of our personality? Can we use technology to better diagnose and assist individuals with psychosocial questions? This course will adress three main themes. First, it will present students with an overview of the existing technological possibilities for psychological diagnosis, research, counseling and behavior modification. Various technologies will be evaluated critically, presenting evidence for the strengths, limitations and efficiency of these tools as instruments for applied psychology. Second, an outline will be presented of how psychological knowledge can be used to ergonomically optimize the design and usability of new technology and new environments. This in order to ensure that these tools and environments are optimally matched with the strengths and limitations of human cognitive and socio-emotional functioning. Third, some case studies will be presented in which new technologies are shown to have important behavioral and ethical implications. Examples of possible topics are neurostimulation, attentional training through eye tracking, function augmentation through implants, on-line counseling and diagnosis, brain scanning of job applicants, and cyberstalking.

Course outline (2014/2015)

Forensic psychology | ECTS: 3

This course aims to give the student an overview of the field of forensic psychology. The course contains four parts. The first part of the course focuses on the history of forensic psychology and the role of the psychologist within the forensic field. In a second part we will discuss the development of criminal and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. In a third part we will focus on the risk and protective factors of particular criminal offences (e.g. sexual delinquency, aggressive behavior, and partner abuse). The forensic assessment in and psychological interventions of these groups will also be discussed. These topics will be discussed from primarily the offender's perspective. In addition, correctional psychology will be discussed. We’ll discuss the effects of imprisonment on offenders and the possibilities of less punitive interventions. The fourth and final part will cover investigative psychology. We’ll explore how psychology can help for instance police investigations and interrogations.

Course outline (2014/2015)

Sport psychology | ECTS: 4

This course aims to develop an understanding of the psychological variables involved in sport and athletic performance. A major focus of the course is on the development of practical skills and interventions that can be applied to sport and exercise settings with the aim of positively influencing the behavior, performance, and level of participation of an individual or group. The first chapter outlines a psychological model for top performances. After that we focus on arousal, anxiety and stress in sport. Some key concepts are highlighted and the relationship between arousal and performance is discussed. The concept of motivation and mental skills training in a sport context are also extensively examined. The main questions concerning the latter topic are: why, when and where is mental training necessary? The following topics are discussed: attention and concentration, goal setting, imagery, self-talk and arousal regulation. A final section focuses on team sports (development of a team, team cohesion and the leadership of the trainer), sport injuries and aggresion in sport..

Course outline (2014/2015)

Ethical issues in psychology | ECTS: 3

This course focuses on key issues in ethics for psychologists. Current debates in society and the profession of psychology are discussed, as well as dilemmas that individual health care providers may face during their practice. A major dilemma faced by individual health care workers relates to (breaking) the professional secret. Psychologists can be placed in situations where breaking confidentiality seems necessary. During the course these questions will be addressed and related to legal regulations and moral norms and values. Other questions faced by psychologists are, among others: conditions for starting treatment, treating children in a divorce situation, informed consent, and mental competence. The discussion of these questions departs from concrete situations (cases). Societal debates related to psychology covered in the course include: euthanasia in case of unbearable psychological suffering, online communication and the use of social media between counselor and client, mental competence in children, science ethics and science fraud, and coercive measures in psychiatry.

Course outline (2014/2015)

Contemporary topics in HRM | ECTS: 3

This course deepens the students understanding of psychological processes, interactions ans structures in the workplace. The studfent learns about current HRM-related topics that play an important role in today's professiopnal fieldsuch as for example international human resources management and work/life balance. As a result, students are better able to work in certain processes within the organisation, anticipate HRM-related topics and efficiently and creatively deal with characteristics of an organisation. The student is expected to gain knowledge about the six discussed HRM-related topics:  International human resources management, career management, work-life balance, diversity management, organisational change and development and the future of work. The student is also expected to deal with those HRM-related topics in a result-oriented and critical way. Especially during the group-assignments, the student is challenged to apply this knowledge. This is done by case-studies and role-playing.   

Course outline (2014/2015)

Applied psychology in Europe | ECTS: 4

This courses focuses on the working field of the psychologist in Belgium. Several Belgian work settings in the clinical, educational and organizational field will be visited. In individual and group assignments the student is asked to compare aspects of the Belgian profession with the organization of these matters in their home country. The course treats topics as: the education of psychologists in Belgium; protected titles; the professional association in Belgium; the domain of clinical psychology and the structure of (mental) health care; the domain of school and pedagogical psychology and the Belgian school structure, and the domain of occupational and organizational psychology

Course outline (2014/2015)

International Week in Applied Psychology | ECTS: 3

The International Week in Applied Psychology is a conference for students of seven university colleges in the Netherlands and Belgium. The aim of the course is to make students aware of cultural differences, to gain insight in their own intercultural competences and to broaden students' knowledge and experience on how psychology is organised in different European countries. Beside, contact with other psychology students from other countries is stimulated. As an introduction on the conferences, some seminares will be organized in which we will focus on international competences and intercultural differences and cooperation in multicultural groups. During the 5-day stay students will get a programme of lectures, workshops, working visits and cultural visits, all related to the general theme of the conference and focusing on specific psychological topics. Because students will stay at the conference venue (with meals included), participating in the conference costs about 150 euro. This is the only course for which exchange students are asked to pay a fee. This fee is also paid by the regular (Belgian) students who attend this course.

Course outline (2014/2015)

Solution focused counseling | ECTS: 4

Solution focused insights and methods inspire us to make progression in the therapeutic relation:

  • In order to find solutions, it is not always necessary to have a complete understanding of the problem.
  • Respect for and believe in the possibilities of our client is of great importance in the process.
  • To make sense of the difficulties and to create small changes are vital points in the therapeutic strategy.

In the first part of the course an overview of theoretical insights and a training in therapeutic conversation techniques is given. More specifically:

  • General theory of solution focused therapy and recent developments
  • Induction of new perspectives within the therapeutic process
  • Does solution focused therapy reject anamnesis?
  • Resilience of the client system
  • Theory of habits
  • 3 questions for happiness
  • The use of metaphors
  • Techniques of relaxation with demonstration
  • Exercises, discussions on cases

The second part focuses on solution focused working in pupil guidance:

  • General approach to problems of pupils: Causality versus circularity, coaching of teachers, follow the rhythm of your client
  • Kids’ skills: two methods to learn children to overcome their problems: 'I can do it', 'Mission possible'

Course outline (2014/2015)