***Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label, Keuzegids 2018***
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.
Why this programme?
The master's in Forensic Psychology is a highly challenging programme that operates at the intersection between psychology and the justice system. The programme prepares you for a career as a scientist-practitioner in the mental health field. You will learn about the psychology of people who come into contact with the law, and will receive the specialised skills training you need to work in this diverse, complex and challenging field.
As a forensic psychologist, you will be called upon to answer a broad range of difficult questions, such as:
- Is there a relationship between the mental disorder of a suspet and their behaviour during the crime?
- How big is the risk that someone will re-offend in the future?
- When is it safe to allow a sex offender back into the community?
The group of patients you'll work with will be diverse and demanding. They may have severe antisocial behaviour and/or co-morbid mental disorders (such as schizophrenia combined with substance abuse disorders).
You will also need knowledge in the field of material law and legal procedures to be effective as an expert witness in court, for example. This means that you will need a very particular skillset. The programme contains a number of specialised courses that will provide you with all the training you’ll need to take on these situations.
This programme is a good fit if you...
- want to pursue a career in forensic mental health
- have scientific curiosity and an eagerness to learn
- are open-minded and well-balanced
- are willing to work hard both independently and in groups
From day one, you’ll be challenged with differing viewpoints and experiences as you interact with staff and students from all over the world. Your preconceptions and worldview will be enhanced by this interaction, bringing you closer to the programme’s goal of teaching students not only facts and concepts but also international accessibility and understanding. Roughly 50% of the students in this master’s programme come from outside the Netherlands. Such diversity creates an international atmosphere that is strengthened by the international orientation of the programme.
You can opt to spend your internships (clinical and/or research) at one of our partner institutes across the globe. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from top forensic researchers and clinicians in such diverse places as: San Diego, California; Toronto, Canada; Edinburgh, Scotland.
As with many Maastricht University programmes, the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience programmes are taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). In small tutorial groups 10 to 12 students, you seek solutions to ‘problems’ taken from real-world situations. Instructors act as facilitators, giving help as it’s needed. This allows you to build independence and develop problem-solving skills that you’ll need in the field. This active, dynamic and collaborative learning method has one of the highest knowledge retention rates of any instructional method. You'll also take a number of skills labs, which offer hands-on training. You'll practice assessment and therapy skills during class and work on other cases as homework.
Research and clinical internships
At the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, we consider internships an indispensable experience. Internships not only enhance your studies by giving you practical experience, but they also give you an edge when looking for a job. The Forensic Psychology programme therefore contains both a clinical and a research internship in the second year, during which you will have the opportunity to put both your research and your clinical skills into practice. Dutch-speaking students are also offered the opportunity to fulfill entrance requirements (e.g. ‘basisaantekening psychodiagnostiek NIP’) for professional post-master’s training programmes in the Netherlands.
This programme is unique because of our:
- selected, motivated, hardworking students
- learning in small groups
- close contact with professors and experts in the field
- practical skills labs throughout the first year
- clinical and research internship in the second year
- internship possibilities in various countries
Courses & curriculum
The first year of the master’s programme consists of a number of core courses. In addition to those, you will participate in various skills labs during which you will receive hands-on training in forensic assessment, therapy and expert witness skills.
The second year of the programme is focused on gaining practical experience. During this year, you will do clinical internship and research internship, and you will write your master’s thesis.
See website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fpn/masters