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Human Factors and Engineering Psychology

This specialization belongs to the master's programme Psychology.

This specialization emphasizes the interaction between people and technology. You will discover how to design or improve technological applications using your knowledge of cognitive psychology.

About human factors and engineering psychology

The specialization Human Factors & Engineering Psychology focuses on the requirements and skills of people when it comes to interacting with technology. You learn to look beyond the individual: how does the environment influence the individual? How can something not simply be a matter of human error? In addition, you learn to translate cognitive processes into intelligent systems: what makes a system intelligent? How can an intelligent system (like a robot vacuum cleaner) think or decide for itself? Furthermore, you will investigate the usability of websites and applications, for example, and how to match user requirements with system operations. 

In your research for your Master’s thesis, you might study how people wish to receive feedback about their energy use through a system, for instance. Or how processes in a factory can be optimized, taking into account the cognitive limitations (such as mental workload) of its employees.

Why this specialization?

The Master's specialization Human Factors and Engineering Psychology is a unique programme that focuses on the idea that technical systems must always serve people, and not vice versa. Throughout the programme, we emphasize the application of systems in different environments in which human factors play a crucial role, like commercial websites and traffic, but also in the area of technical cognition, such as in robotics. Using cognitive psychology as our basis, you will look at how we can bear in mind people's cognitive, motivational, sensory and physical limitation and strengths in these applications. You can use these insights to design smartphones, robots or cars that are user-friendly, efficient and safe. That is why in this Master's programme we do not just focus on studying the ideas and principles belonging to the human factor domain, but also emphasize the application of methods out of human factors design.

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