Teaching method: Problem-based Learning

The Problem Based Learning (PBL) meetings are the core activity of the FPN study programme and are the driving force for learning. Students work in small groups actively seeking practical solutions to scientific and real-world problems. 

As a rule modules/courses include the following elements: tutorial group meetings, lectures and practicals. Students have to register themselves for the modules/courses and exams of the programme they follow. Students meet once, twice or three times a week in tutorial groups. Group size is limited to 10 to 12 participants. The tutor’s task is to coach the group which entails support to facilitate student interaction and helping students identify the knowledge they need to solve the problem. After leaving the tutorial group, students undertake their own study of the issues they have identified. The course manual includes suggested readings, but the student is free and even encouraged to conduct his/her own literature search in addition to the suggested reading. 

The PBL process is completed when students report what they have learned at the next tutorial group meeting. The tutorial groups change every module/course which means that you meet and co-operate with different students every 7 or 8 weeks. Traditional front-of-class lectures will accompany the tutorial group meetings. These lectures are meant either to introduce a scientific topic or to deepen the knowledge gained from literature study and provide compelling case examples. In many modules/courses, guest lecturers from other universities or from the practical field will give a talk about their field of expertise. 

Apart from tutorial group meetings and lectures, most modules/courses include practical training as well. Practicals require a different teaching format. They offer hands-on training: students practice cases during class and practice other cases as homework. They will receive feedback on their homework.


Course manuals and e-readers

Each module/course uses a so-called course manual. The manual contains all information regarding the module/course: the teaching staff, the subject of the module/course, the knowledge that the student must have acquired by the end of the module/course, the skills that will be taught during that period and the compulsory and recommended literature. Apart from the course manual, each module/course provides students with an online e-reader. The e-reader contains scientific literature recommended by the course coordinator, such as articles from scientific journals and/or chapters from books. 


Requirements for passing a module/course

1. Having met the attendance requirements​There is an attendance obligation of 100% with respect to the tutorial group meetings. However, students can miss a certain number of meetings when they report their absence personally to the tutor at the latest on the day of the tutorial meetings:

  • For courses/modules of 7 or more tutorial meetings, two meetings can be missed;
  • For courses/modules of 5 to 6 tutorial meetings, one meeting can be missed;
  • For courses/modules of 4 or less tutorial meetings, all meetings need to be attended.  

Practical trainings have an attendance obligation of 100% and all training sessions need to be attended. For each course / module, attendance in the tutorial group meetings and the practical training sessions will be registered on a form. When a student has not complied with the attendance obligation, the relevant part will not be registered as having been passed.

2. At least a grade of 5.5 (Bachelor)/6.0 (Master’s) or higher for the course exam 
On a 10-point scale, the exam score must be at least 5.5 (Bachelor)/6.0 (Master’s) in order to pass the exam. When the score is 5.4 (Bachelor)/5.9 (Master’s) or lower, the student has failed the exam. In this case the student has the possibility to take a second exam. For each course one second exam is scheduled per year. 

Please consult   Examination and Education Regulations of your study programme with regard to the rounding off of grades.

3. 100% attendance for the practical(s)
Most practical meetings will involve writing a report or a paper. The student must pass this report or paper to pass the practical part. When the report or paper is not passed, the student will be given the opportunity to revise it. A report can be rewritten only when it has been turned in before the deadline and a serious attempt has been made, but has failed. 

When a student has passed the exam, the transcript can still show a fail for a particular module/course, because either requirement 1 or 3 or both are not met. Make sure all three requirements have been met to avoid failing a module/course.




The method of exam differs per module/course. 
Booking rules are not applicable for exchange/double degree students. It will be done for you. A student who fails the first exam has one opportunity to do a re-sit (second exam) in the same academic year. It is not allowed to take a re-sit for a module/course that is already awarded with a pass/passing grade. The exam results will be processed and published 15 working days after the exam.

Location of the exams
Maastricht University exams take place in large halls. Students from different faculties take exams at the same time in the same hall. One week prior to the exam a hall arrangement will be published in AskPsy. The hall arrangement will also be published in the exam hall.   Please note that exams/resits can only take place at FPN - without exception! 

Course evaluations
FPN continuously monitors the quality of education. Aspects such as academic quality of the curriculum, the quality of teaching, the quality and quantity of staff, students’ study load and student selection are subject to periodic evaluation. All module/course are evaluated on a yearly basis by students of the FPN. After completion of a course, students are asked to evaluate this module/course by means of an electronic or paper questionnaire. You will receive the electronic questionnaire request via e-mail after the end of the module/course. 

Right of inspection 
Students have the right to review a written exam. The course coordinator is responsible for the announcement and organisation of the exam review. The review is either mentioned on the front page of the exam or on the list of results on EleUM.

Right of appeal
In case a student does not agree with a decision by the examiner and the Board of Examiners he or she can lodge an appeal through the Complaint Service Point of the UM within six weeks after the decision is announced. 

FPN has a very strict regulation concerning fraud, including plagiarism. If the Board of Examiners ascertains that in the course of any form of testing a student made use of illicit aids, texts or notes, or makes or made use of electronic aids or means of communication, communicated or tried to communicate with fellow student without the permission of a invigilator copied or tried to copy or gave somebody the opportunity to copy or committed any other form of fraud, which includes also plagiarism, the Board of Examiners can declare the result of the relevant test invalid for the student concerned. The Board of Examiners can furthermore reprimand the student or exclude the student from (further) participation in one or more parts of the study programme for a period of one year at most. In case of fraud, the Board of Examiners will apply the fraud regulation, as laid down in the Rules and Regulations. This fraud regulation also specifies what is understood by fraud. The faculty uses anti-plagiarism software to keep students from copying texts from other people. We recommend you to carefully read the information concerning fraud and plagiarism in the Education and Examination regulations on www.askpsy.nl.

Grading system
Dutch grades are awarded on a scale from 1 to 10. Grades from 1 to 5.4 (Bachelor)/ 5.9 (Master’s) indicate a FAIL. Grades from 5.5 (Bachelor)/6.0 (Master’s) to 10 indicate a PASS.

  1. Very bad
  2. Bad
  3. Low
  4. Insufficient
  5. Almost sufficient 
  6. Sufficient
  7. Ample sufficient 
  8. Good 
  9. Very good 
  10.  Excellent

Code of Conduct

The Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) hosts a large number of students, both Dutch and international. FPN regards behaviour in compliance with its core values as being of great importance. A Code of Conduct has been developed to ensure a good and productive study environment and to avoid undesirable and unwanted situations. You can find the Code of Conduct on www.askpsy.nl/regulations

Student portal (single sign on)

The UM student portal is designed to work on all devices. So you can truly access the information you need, whenever you need it. You can look at your calendar when you grab your phone in the morning, show your latest grades on your tablet during lunch with friends or download course materials when you are working on your laptop. The information is laid out in such a way that you'll see the most important information first.

Course schedule & registration

Two weeks before the beginning of each course, the course schedules are published in the student portal via My Timetable. Exchange students do not have to register (book) for their courses, exams and/or resits. It will be done for you. You will not see all your courses in the portal at the beginning of your studies at FPN. Two weeks before the beginning of each course you will be booked for the courses and then you see the course in the portal.

Ask Psychology

AskPsy, the website for FPN faculty information, FAQ’s and contact options. Here you can find among other things exam schedules, exam procedures, exam inspection, requirements for passing a course, information on resits, provisional schedules, rules and regulations, attendance requirements, catch-up assignments and so on, and so forth.

Study materials

Course materials will be provided via EleUM. Study books can be borrowed from the University Library or can be purchased with discount via Luna-tik.

List of keywords and abbreviations

Ask Psychology = Electronic service centre 
EleUM = Electronic learning environment Maastricht University 
EO = Education Office 
First exam (regular exam) = First opportunity for a student to take an exam 
FPN = Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience 
IRO = International Relations Office
Luna-tik = Study association FPN
Module = Course
My UM = University information system for student administration and personal helpdesk 
OXF55 = Oxfordlaan 55 (FPN building) 
Randwyck = Area in Maastricht where FPN is located 
Second exam (re-sit) = Second opportunity for a student to take an exam (in case of non-attendance/failing the first exam).
SSC = Student Services Centre 
UL = University Library 
UM = Maastricht University (in Dutch: Universiteit Maastricht) 
UNS40/50 = Universiteitssingel 40/50 (FPN buildings) 
Webmail = Maastricht University email