During your internship, you will work as a junior psychologist in one of the practical or research fields of Social, Health and/or Organisational Psychology. You will apply knowledge and skills acquired in Social, Health and/or Organisational Psychology in a work setting. You will also further develop your professional skills. Professional and scientific reflection are important aspects of your internship.

It is important that you take an active approach to obtain an internship in time. We will offer you support during your search for internship by posting vacancies and by offering lectures, tutorials and guidance. The following information may be helpful to prepare for your internship. 

What are my options?

Before you start looking for an internship you need to know what your options are. Read the requirements and different options carefully. 

Practical internship (external)

In a practical external internship, you will work as a junior psychologist in one of the practical fields of Social, Health and/or Organisational Psychology. Practical internships can be conducted in a broad variety of external organisations, in the commercial or public domain. Please note that many external internship positions will be a combination of practical and research activities.

Research internship

In a research internship, you will work as a junior psychologist in one of the research fields of Social, Health and/or Organisational Psychology. A research internship can be conducted either internally (at the university) or externally (e.g., at a research institute). Research internships are often combined with the thesis and are ideal for students who aim for a career as a researcher in academic or practical settings.

Internship Training & Coaching (internal)

In the internship programme ‘Impactful Training & Coaching’ you will work as a junior trainer at the department of Social, Health and Organisational Psychology. Your main task is to teach communication skills to Bachelor students. The main objective of this programme is that you develop yourself as an impact-oriented trainer/coach that uses theory to understand and guide your training/coaching activities. This internship is available to Dutch speaking students only.

More information about this internship (pdf)

The internship is conducted in the second semester, encompassing a total of 420 hours. It is recommended, but not required, to conduct the internship on a part-time basis. The tasks of the intern should be appropriate for a junior psychologist in the field of Social, Health and/or Organisational Psychology. Supervision should preferably be provided by a qualified Social Psychologist, Health Psychologist, or Work & Organisational Psychologist. One-man enterprises and very small organisations are generally not suitable.

Criteria for external internship positions

There are a number of criteria that every external internship must meet:

  1. The internship position must be in an organisation (or part of an organisation) whose policies are explicitly aimed at achieving objectives that are typical of the professional field of Social, Health and/or Work and Organisational Psychology.
  2. The internship position should be in an environment in which several qualified professionals, including psychologists, are engaged in achieving these objectives. For this reason, one-man enterprises and very small organisations are generally not suitable.
  3. The supervision in the internship organisation itself should preferably be given by a qualified Social Psychologist, Health Psychologist, or Work & Organisational Psychologist. If the supervisor at the internship organisation has a different background, permission from the internal supervisor will be required. The internship work activities are aimed at achieving the objectives mentioned under 1. The intern must actively participate in achieving the objectives. The intern should not simply accompany and observe, but also carry out analyses, come up with proposals, participate in discussions, perform research, etc.
  4. Preferably, and if possible, work activities will be carried out that involve direct contact with commissioning parties, clients, colleagues, and so on.
  5. The internship work activities should be at an academic level and should be related to Social Psychology, Health Psychology and/or Work & Organisational Psychology (depending on the student’s track). The intern will carry out work as a junior psychologist, and needs to use and apply knowledge (theory and literature) and abilities (skills) that have been acquired during the university programme.
  6. A substantial proportion of the work should consist of activities that a psychologist would be expected to perform in the internship organisation. The work activities should also involve the preparation for and reflection on work activities. The intern must be involved in decisions and evaluations concerning work activities. Support tasks may form part of the agreed work tasks, but should never be the main task.
  7. The supervision at the internship organisation should cover both personal and work-related aspects.

The extent to which an internship organisation meets the aforementioned criteria is assessed by the internal supervisor. If there are any doubts, the internal supervisor will consult the track coordinator.

As an internationally oriented country, the Netherlands is home to many international organisations which may offer opportunities for conducting an internship. English is generally the main business language in these international organisations. However, it is important to realize that Dutch is required for the majority of internships that are offered in the Netherlands. We therefore advise international students to explore internship opportunities abroad (including their home country) as well.

When should I start looking for an internship? 

You are advised to orient on internship opportunities before you start with the programme. For international students and students who aim to conduct their internship abroad it is particularly important to start your internship search well in advance. However, we advise you to wait with the actual application process until September (unless you aim to participate in our ‘Impactful Training & Coaching’ programme (see 'Are there different kinds of internships' above). In September, you will receive additional information and guidance that will help you obtain an internship. The internship itself should be scheduled in the second semester.

How do I find an internship?  

The following steps may be helpful in the search for an internship:

To find out, you can ask yourself a few questions: 

  • Which subfield of work within my master track would I prefer for my internship? Would I like to conduct a highly specialized internship, or would I prefer I an internship that covers a broad range of activities? Think of the courses in your study that you found highly interesting.
  • In what kind of job and organisation would I like to pursue a career? See the career prospects for the master SHOP and explore options on the labour market. 
  • What do I want to learn during an internship? Which kind of challenges would I like to work on during my internship?

There are various ways to find an internship. You can use your own network, look for interesting organisations online, or approach professionals in the field. We will also post vacancies that we receive from organisations on our internship job board. There are also several useful websites that may help you obtain an internship. See for instance:

These websites do not only offer internships, but may also give you an impression of organisations that you could approach as an international student. For more general information about a professional career in the Netherlands, see for instance the I am Expat website.

On Blackboard and on the general internship page of the UU you will find more information regarding internships.

You can apply for an internship with your motivation letter and curriculum vitae (CV). Make sure your LinkedIN page is up to date. In Period 1 your will receive a lecture and tutorial that will help you write your motivation letter and CV. You can also take a look at the (online) workshops of Career Services.   

Dream big. Try to contact as many organisations as possible. Send letters, including open applications, to companies that interest you. Email again if you do not get a response. Or call the organisation and try to arrange a personal meeting. Finding an internship takes time and a bit of guts, but most students succeed in finding an external internship that matches with their personal preferences!

You can come for an interview, that’s good news! Prepare yourself well. Make sure you can tell why you are interested in the internship in this specific organisation and what your added value is. In Period 1 your will receive a lecture and tutorial that will you help you prepare for the job interview. For extra tips, take a look at the (online) workshops of Career Services about this subject .

If you have obtained an internship, submit an internship proposal to your internal supervisor to gain permission. Your internal supervisor will be appointed to you in September. Only with permission from your internal supervisor you can accept the internship.

If you are rejected after the job interview, ask for feedback and incorporate this in your preparation for your next application. You may be more successful next time!  

What do graduates say about their internships?

Read the experiences of students about their internship here:

I wanted to do an internship that fitted well with my passion for behavior change while having societal impact. Luckily I was able to do this at Tabula Rasa. I learned about qualitative research (interviews and co-creation), performed literature research, and was invited to join meetings with the advertising agency Tabula Rasa works together with.

From day one I felt that everyone took my input seriously and appreciated what I contributed.
Robin Siemann, internship within track Health Promotion
Robin Siemann, internship within track Health Promotion

From day one I felt that everyone took my input seriously and appreciated what I contributed. I worked on very diverse projects: from destigmatization of mental illness, to measuring the effectiveness of a seminar for school children about alcohol and drug use in traffic, to decreasing alcohol use. At some point, I asked my internship supervisor if I could lead my own project. I was very pleased that my request was accepted - they gave me the freedom and their trust to try this, and supported me when I needed it. It enabled me to learn even more and really get the maximum out of my internship.

Do you have any questions?

If you have any questions left after reading this information, please contact the internship coordinator of your master track: