Grading System

The dutch grading system is on a 10-point scale, from 1 til 10, with at the UvA, a 5.5 meaning a pass. Grades are rounded (usually) by the .5, expect at the pass-fail point, where either you get a 5 or a 6.

The grades at the UvA are weighted, using Testvision, there is usually a ‘guessing chance’ counter-measure. More information can be found under the Exam Regulations of each course, on Canvas or via Studiegids.

Something that especially new students find difficult to realize, that equivilant to UK and US grade, an 8.5 is usually already a 1st/A, and receiving a 10 is extremely rare due to the grades being weighted. Therefore, a realistic expectation should be held for yourself, to balance student and study life.

Ordering your Books!

You can find all the books you need in the study guide. Here is the link to the psychology bachelor in the study guide.

There are multiple ways to get the books, you can search them online, get them from another (older) student, or buy them through us, the VSPA.

The VSPA makes a book list for each year, and makes it easy for you to order all the correct books. As a VSPA member, you also get a huge discount (up to 200,- a year)! The books will be sent to you within 24 hours. Delivery within the Netherlands is free of charge.

You can order the books at ‘Book Sales’. You have to sign in with your VSPA account to be able to order them.

Free: Office 365 ProPlus

As a UvA student, you can get Office 365 ProPlus for free! This means you can use all the latest versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. For more information on how to download the software you can visit the following link:

Education Programme

During the year you follow several courses. For each course, an exam takes place at the end of each month. This ensures that the first two weeks of the month are fairly quiet, then the third week is hard work required, and the fourth week you will be locked in the library to learn.

European Credits 

For each completed course a student will receive credits, called ECTS, but they’re better known as EC’s (European Credits). It is an international European credit system and it emphasizes the study load of a course. An easily achievable course with a very short longitude will probably earn you 3 points, while a difficult course that takes 4 months will earn you 12 points for example. Students need to earn 60 points per year to receive their Bachelor’s degree in three years. All together, the courses in the first year are worth 60 points. Of course, it can happen that you don’t pass a course, in that case, you can retake the exam at the end of the year. If students fail the exam again, they will not receive any credits.

Binding Study Advice 

Students are issued with a Binding Study Advice (BSA). This means that students must obtain sufficient study credits in the first year of their Bachelor’s programme to be permitted to continue studying in their second year. This BSA is 48 points for Psychology at the UvA. So this means that if you have not obtained a 12-point course or two 6-point courses, you can still move on to the second year! However, in your second year you will have to make up for the shortfall. If you haven’t obtained the 48 points,  you sadly have to stop studying Psychology at the UvA, except if you have specific personal reasons that have prevented you from working optimally on the course.

Year 1, semester 1 (September until January)

– In the first four months you follow the course Introduction to Psychology & Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive Psychology deals with mental activities and the acquisition of knowledge for observations and information processing. Research Methods & Statistics will be followed during the same period. It covers what science is, what scientific research is, how you do your research and finally you will be introduced to statistics.

– In the last four weeks of the semester (January), the course Developmental Psychology discusses the development of humans from birth to death.

– Throughout the first semester you will also learn how to write a scientific piece. This will also take place during the second semester.

– The Christmas holidays are the first break during the year. It takes place from December to January, specific dates depend on the year.

Year 1, semester 2 (February until June)

– In the second semester everyone will start with Social and Work & Organisational Psychology for 8 weeks. During Social Psychology you will learn mainly about group processes and in W&O you will learn about the psychology behind the employee in a company.

– You will then have Clinical Psychology & Brain and Cognition for 8 weeks. Clinical Psychology treats mental disorders and in B&C you learn about the substances and parts in the brain.

– The May Vacation is the second break in the year, it lasts a week and usually takes place around the beginning of May.

– As the last course of the year you will have Professional Orientation. This course helps you choose a specialization for the second year.

For more information, check out the link of the UvA-website for the Psychology Bachelor.

Your Schedule

The UvA Schedule is the website where you can find your courses, the lecture and tutorial times, the locations of the lecture or tutorial and your lecturer/teacher. For your information, the website is called Rooster is the Dutch word for schedule. The UvA schedule is quite a difficult one to find out, so do not hesitate to ask other people if you do not get how it works. I hope we can give you enough information about how it works to make sure you know where to be when. I will explain it step-by-step, so hopefully, you have your schedule in your timetable after these steps.

Step 1: go to and log in with your UvAnetID (your student number and password) in the top right corner.

Step 2: To see your schedule, you have to add your schedule to the timetable. You can do so by clicking on “Add timetable”.

Step 3: To see a shared programme, click on “Programme of study”. For first year students your whole first year is a shared programme. For second years, most of your year is a shared programme.

Step 4: search for “Psychology” in the search bar

Step 5: click on “Bachelor’s in Psychology year ….” and then your year and click on “Add timetable in the bottom right corner”

→ now you will see a lot of classes in your schedule. These are all of the classes there are, so now you have to specify your own tutorial groups. I will explain this for the first-year classes.

Step 6: On the right of the screen, you find a list of all timetables comprising your personal timetable. Hover your mouse over the Tutorials Academic Skills/Reading and Writing of Scientific Texts – 7201620PXY_Sem1_Blok_1en2en3  timetable and click the button. Because it says Sem1_Blok_1en2en3 you know it is for semester 1, blocks 1, 2 and 3. Now click on “Filter Activities”.

Step 7: click on the tutorial group that is assigned to you and you will see your schedule!

For more information about the timetable, go to

Roeterseiland Campus

The UvA has different buildings and campuses located in different parts of Amsterdam. The psychology department is located on Roeterseilandcampus, Roetersstraat 11. This is the center of Amsterdam, and the place you will have most of your lectures and tutorials. However, your exams mostly take place at another location, mostly at IWO, Meibergdreef 29, Amsterdam.

The different buildings at Roeterseiland Campus:

  • A, B, C: you will have most lectures in these buildings. These are the bordeaux red, light orange, and lila buildings on the map. Big chance that your tutorial groups will take place here as well.
  • D or “De Brug” (the Bridge): De Brug is a canteen on a bridge over the canal on the 4th floor and has an amazing view over the campus. It is the green building on the map. So, for a nice view during your lunch, you should definitely go there.
  • E: Faculty of Economics & Business
  • G: the Psychology Department. The VSPA room is also situated in this building. This is the place to get your summaries, ask your questions about extracurricular activities and meet fellow psychology students. This is the orange building on the map.
  • H: In building H, the red building in the top left corner, is the general canteen. Here you can buy sandwiches, soup, and a changing assortment of warm meals, such as Vietnamese, Indian or Mexican food. Building H also has workspaces, a library, and computers to work on.
  • JK: there is a chance that your tutorials will take place in the purple JK building.

For a nice study break, a good lunch, some coffee, or a beer, CREA is the place to be. CREA is a cafe and a cultural student center, where you can do a lot. You can follow courses in music, dance, film & photography, theatre, creative skills, fine arts and much more with a discount for UvA students. For more information about CREA go to their website, or head over to ‘Enjoy Your Stay’.

For other food around campus, you should go to “De Brug” or the canteen in the H building. Luckily, the buildings are very well marked on campus with their letters. And you can always ask someone at the service desk of a building. Furthermore, the campus has practical facilities as well. There are computers in the library, you can print on campus, and you can book your own rooms via

Around campus, there are loads of facilities. There’s a supermarket, Albert Heijn, around the corner. There are tram and metro stops close by, which makes the campus easy to reach. Moreover, there are bars, cafes, and restaurants in the streets around campus as well.

For the campus tour you can watch the following video:


A study association (not to be confused with a student association) is a non-profit organisation that represents the interests of students in a particular field of study. It consists of many different committees which organise study-related (extracurricular) activities, such as educational trips, lectures and excursions as well as social activities like borrels (typical Dutch get-togethers), dinners and parties. Study associations are run for students, by students, and are a great way to get to know like-minded people and make your life as a student easier. Keep in mind though that it is not obligatory to join one or a necessity for passing the year! Still, joining one could definitely help you out since these associations oftentimes offer students great opportunities, benefits and discounts!

The VSPA, is an association run by Psychology students, for Psychology students. VSPA stands for: Vereniging van Studenten in de Psychologie te Amsterdam (the Association of Students in Psychology in Amsterdam). It is over 80  years old and with that one of the oldest and biggest study associations of the Netherlands!

The VSPA consists of about 1600 members, all looking for ways to expand their student lives in both a social and a study related way.

The association is built on her many committees that organise all kinds of study related activities such as: an international conference, different lectures, workshops and excursions, just to name a few. Besides these events, there are many opportunities to make social connections by means of the various parties, trips and ‘borrels’ that are organised. As a member you can join all these activities and even better; you can organise them yourselves! Basically, about 90% of Psychology-related things you experience on campus besides lectures and tutorials, are done by or with the VSPA. The VSPA is constantly growing and developing, just like its members. Make sure to stop by and check it out to see if there’s something we can offer you! Now: ‘where to find us?’, you may ask. Keep reading!

The VSPA room is where the board of 6 students stays every working day. Here, they fulfill all of their tasks to coordinate the organisation and keep everything running. But don’t be confused: the VSPA room is just as much a home for members as it is an office! All members are welcome to come together and chat with each other or with the board while enjoying a free cup of coffee. Also you can: get your study books with a great discount, buy summaries, receive information on activities, pick up free pens, markers, notebooks, snacks, merch and so much more. The VSPA room is located in the G-building of the Roeterseiland Campus, room GS.25. Do not hesitate to stop by once in a while, we are more than happy to help you or hang out!