Master of Science (MSc) in Forensic Psychology
Forensic Psychology is the application of scientific and professional aspects of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The two-year Master of Science in Forensic Psychology (MSc) at Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, educates its students to become scientist-practitioners in the forensic mental health field.
This selective programme provides students with a mix of theoretical and empirical knowledge in forensic psychology through the educational concept of Problem Based Learning (PBL). Students study the literature in relation to real-life problems and work in small tutorial groups to meet their learning goals. Furthermore, the programme includes hands-on training in forensic assessment and therapy skills. This combination makes this master’s programme unique.
Knowledge and skills
Forensic psychologists always operate with two goals in mind: the safety of society and the well-being of the offender-patient. Forensic psychologists need specialised knowledge in areas such as offender typologies, criminal and juvenile law, psychopathy, malingering, sexual offending, trauma and victimisation, risk assessment and offender treatment.
Work in forensic settings is challenging. First of all, the patient group that is admitted to forensic settings is diverse and demanding, including persons with severe antisocial behaviour problems and co-morbid mental disorders (such as schizophrenia combined with substance use disorders). Secondly, assessment and research questions in forensic settings are highly complex (for example questions concerning criminal responsibility, future violence risk and parenting capacity). Last but not least, to be able to work effectively in the forensic field, specialised skills and knowledge in the field of material law and legal procedure are required, for example to serve as an expert witness in court.
Apart from the above-mentioned knowledge and skills, a successful career in the forensic mental health field requires strong motivation and communication skills.
The Master in Forensic Psychology is a two-year, internationally oriented programme, taught in English.
The two-year master’s programme in Forensic Psychology will deliver scientist-practitioner forensic psychologists with both knowledge of mental disorders and their evidence-based assessment and treatment, specific to forensic settings. The first year of the two-year programme prepares the students for their clinical and research internship, and their master’s thesis during the second year.
-- Core courses
•Experts and their Decisions
•Eyewitnesses and Victims
•Perpetrators and Defendants
•Professional Ethics in Forensic Psychology
•Psychopharmacology of Reward and Drugs of Abuse
•Deception and Malingering
•Applied Statistics for Forensic Psychologists
-- Skills labs
•Assessment skills lab
•Therapy skills lab
•Expert witness skills lab
•Research internship and master's thesis
The forensic mental health field is growing rapidly. As a result, there is a need for highly qualified forensic psychologists. Graduates in forensic psychology will be especially qualified to work in prisons (adult and juvenile), forensic psychiatric (inpatient and outpatient) facilities, police services, probation services, and in areas such as child protection and domestic violence.
see website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fpn/masters
Last updated July 27, 2015