MSc in Forensic Psychology

Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Program Description

MSc in Forensic Psychology

Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Master of Science (MSc) in Forensic Psychology

Are you ambitious, self-critical and eager to learn? Are you curious about the psychology of people who come into contact with the law? And would you like to pursue a career in forensic mental health? Then Forensic Psychology might be the perfect programme for you. It will provide you with a mix of theoretical and empirical knowledge. You will study scientific literature in relation to real-life problems and work on projects in small tutorial groups. Furthermore, the programme includes hands-on training in forensic assessment, therapy and expert witness skills. After graduation, you will be qualified to work in prisons, forensic psychiatric facilities, police services, probation services, and in areas such as child protection and domestic violence..

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.

Programme Curriculum

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.

Year 1

-- Core courses

•Investigative Interviewing and Deception
•Eyewitnesses and Victims
•Psychotic Disorders
•Experts and their decisions
•Personality Disorders
•Criminal Law
•Professional Ethics in Forensic Psychology
•Forensic Neuropsychology
•Sex Offenders
•Psychopharmacology of Reward and Drugs of Abuse
•Young Offenders
•Applied Statistics for Forensic Psychologists

-- Skills labs

•Forensic Assessment skills lab
•Therapy skills lab
•Expert witness skills lab
•Forensic Psychological Assesment in Child Custody and Child Abuse Cases

Year 2

•Clinical internship
•Research internship and master's thesis

Career Prospects

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.

Admission Requirements

see website

Forensic Psychology
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 1, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 1, 2017
2 years
Full time
3,495 EUR
Mar. 31, 2017
Start date Sept. 1, 2017
Netherlands Maastricht
Application deadline Mar. 31, 2017
End date Aug. 31, 2019
Duration 2 years
Price 3,495 EUR
per year; €13.000 for non-EU/EEA student

Master in Forensic Psychology