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MSc in Education and Child Studies - Educational Science




What will I learn?

The Master’s specialisation in Educational Sciences offers students cutting-edge insights into the learning and developing child in education. Furthermore, students practice translating the implications of this knowledge to educational practices including instruction, social interaction, and assessment. Because learning and education are not ‘one-size-fits-all’ phenomena, individual differences between children receive ample attention.

Educational Sciences is one of the nine specialisations of the master’s programme in Education and Child Studies that you can choose at Leiden University.

This specialization offers a unique multidisciplinary approach: you will study children’s learning processes from a cognitive-psychological, social-emotional, and neurodevelopmental perspective. In addition to this multidisciplinary focus on the learning and developing child, the programme addresses the impact that the social and educational environment have. At the core of the programme as a whole is the idea that the Master’s student develops a critical attitude towards research and practices in the field of learning and education, as well as the skills needed to bridge the gap between theory, research, and educational practice.

Educational Sciences addresses questions such as:

  • What is the relation between brain development, cognitive development, and learning?
  • How do children learn to understand what they read?
  • How does contemporary mathematics education impact children’s arithmetic strategies?
  • How can teachers foster children’s motivation for school by supporting their needs?
  • How can teachers adapt their teaching to the needs of children with different sociocultural backgrounds?

How can teachers build effective individualized programs based on ongoing progress monitoring data?
What are the promises and challenges of digital educational applications?
What are the backgrounds, meanings, and consequences of current educational innovations?

Why choose this specialisation?

This master specialisation is designed for you if you who wish to become an expert in the field of learning processes and development in educational settings. Key to the programme is its multidisciplinary approach: you will study the learning processes of children and adolescents from a cognitive-psychological, social-emotional, and neuroscientific perspective.

You will learn to think critically about the development of children and adolescents on the basis of recent theoretical knowledge and empirical research. Upon completion of the programme you will be able to conduct educationally relevant research and to evaluate teaching methods and educational innovations based on evidence and scientifically sound arguments.

The programme will give you the broad experience required to work in a wide range of educational settings, including schools, museums, governance, organizations that develop educational materials, and educational advice services.

Career prospects

Once you have completed the specialisation Educational Science, you will be an expert in the field of child development in a school context. You will be up to date on the newest scientific insights into learning, language and arithmetic skills, brain development, application to teaching, and so on.


As researcher in the field of Educational Science you can contribute to the scientific knowledge of child development in educational settings.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (US$ 18,867) per year
Non-EEA/non-Swiss/non-Surinam: Full-time & Part-time: €18800. Part-time for EU/EEA/Surinam applicants: €2168.
Application deadline

Expected October 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2023


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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