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COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Are you interested in the neurocognitive and biological roots of learning, behaviour and emotions in children? If so, the programme in Applied Neuroscience in Human Development might be the specialisation you are looking for.

Applied Neuroscience in Human Development is one of the nine specialisations of the master’s programme in Education and Child Studies that you can choose at Leiden University.

The primary focus in the curriculum of the master specialisation Applied Neuroscience in Human Development is on how knowledge about brain functioning and stress regulation can contribute to educational practice, clinical work, family interventions, and – conversely – how these applications can contribute to optimal neurocognitive and biological functioning.

As a graduate you will have acquired knowledge and skills in:

The basics of the functional anatomy of the brain, the development of the brain and nervous system, and genetic and environmental factors influencing cognitive development and functioning;
Methods and instruments for measuring and studying the quality of the (central) nervous system, such as EEG, brain imaging techniques such as MRI, parameters of the arousal system such as heart rate and skin conductance, eye tracking, genetics and the hormone system;
Possibilities for prevention and intervention aimed at optimizing brain functioning and the regulation of thought, emotions and behavior.

Why choose this specialisation?

Knowledge of children’s normal development is a requirement to be able to design and understand research on problematic developmental processes and outcomes.

This master’s specialisation is intended for you if you wish to become an expert in the neurocognitive and biological correlates of emotions, learning, and behavior, both in non-clinical parents and children and in case of problematic development.

Career prospects

The knowledge and skills you will acquire will qualify you for many different jobs. Possible careers include: researcher of learning, behavioural and emotional problems in children, or designer of prevention and intervention programmes

If you choose the specialisation Applied Neuroscience of Education and Child Studies you will participate in the common effort to learn more about the neurocognitive functioning and biological correlates of learning, behaviour and development.

As a graduate you can carry out research, understand state of the art diagnostic tools and models. You are familiar with evidence based prevention programmes and interventions. You are able to use neuroscientific techniques to improve and evaluate programs in the field of education and mental health care.

The aim is a better understanding of individual differences among children and parents in terms of brain functioning and neurobiological resilience. This is important for the development of prevention and intervention programs aimed at children with emotional, behavioural or learning problems.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (14,31,018) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2022

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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