Approximately 10% of all 13,000 psychologists in the Netherlands who are a member of the Dutch Association of Psychologists (NIP) are forensic psychologists. Meanwhile, forensic psychologists are in numbers by far the most influential forensic experts (NRGD).
This master programme will teach you how to become a forensic psychologist, either in practice or as a scientific researcher. You can alternatively choose to prepare for a career as a legal psychologist. Bear in mind that forensic psychologists study criminal irresponsibility, while legal psychologists study the strength of (criminal) evidence. These two fields are related yet distinct.
The curriculum consists of 3 courses (including practicals and assignments) that are relevant for forensic and legal psychology, an advanced statistics course, and clinical and/or research internships.
The first three courses are:
An introduction to forensic and legal psychology;
An overview of the relation between psychopathology and crime;
An overview of forensic diagnostics and treatment.
In these courses, there is much attention for psychological influences on crime, and functional, neuroscientific concepts of misconduct and crime. The fourth course is uniform for all psychology masters: a course in advanced statistics.
In the second semester, students who wish to pursue a career in forensic (neuro)psychology complete a practical and research internship. Students who wish to specialize in legal psychology complete a research internship and an elaborate moot court assignment in which they practice doing legal psychological research and writing legal psychological reports. Depending on personal interest, topics can be chosen such as deceptive behaviour in psychopathy, neuroscience of antisocial behaviour, or the validity of eyewitness testimony.
Introduction to Forensic and Legal Psychology
Forensic Psychological Assessment in Crim.
Etiology of Offender Types & Foren.
Techniques in Forensic Neuroscience
Forensic Diagnostic and Treatment
Treatment Interv. in Forensic Popu.
Applied Multivariate Data Analysis
Multivariate Data Analysis
Moot Court Legal Psychology
Why study Master Forensic and Legal Psychology
This programme will teach you how to apply scientifically validated knowledge and instrumentation to forensic problems. You will be able to better understand underlying neural, social and behavioural mechanisms of criminal behaviour, to help assess criminal irresponsibility and to treat criminals with a mental disorder. You will also learn how legal fact findings works, that is, how to evaluate criminal evidence.
"While forensic psychology is one of the biggest applied domains of psychology in the Netherlands, strongly in need of innovation, legal psychology is a new and small domain, in need of psychologists taking up the challenges of any undeveloped field."
Professor Mr. doctor Eric Rassin
Coordinator of the programme
"As a forensic psychologist doing neuroscientific research, I am inspired to teach this new and vibrant area of forensic neuropsychology to students who are eager and motivated to learn about this new field."
Doctor Josanne van Dongen
Coordinator of the Forensic (Neuro)psychology track
Why study this programme in Rotterdam?
The programme aims at implementing state of the art scientific insights in the field of forensic psychology (i.e. evidence-based practice), with a track focusing on clinical forensic (neuro)psychology and one focusing on legal psychology.
The programme employs various educational approaches ranging from lectures to problem-based learning techniques.
This programme is unique in its combination of forensic (neuro)psychology and legal psychology in a 1-year programme.
Why study in Rotterdam?
Welcome to the highly-ranked Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), a research university located in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. EUR offers 13 selective bachelor programmes, and more than 50 top master programmes, taught in English.
Erasmus University traces its origins back to 1913. The university has become internationally recognised for its distinct social orientation in education and research. Our 30,000+ students come from more than 100 countries all around the world.
Erasmus University Rotterdam. Make it happen.
Career opportunities for Master Forensic and Legal Psychology
This master will make you familiar with forensic and legal psychology topics. There is some room for choice.
If you aim at becoming a clinical forensic psychologist, you should choose a relevant practical internship in the second semester. Note that the number of clinical practical internships is limited, and may require some proficiency at speaking Dutch. Further note that to be successful in your later career as a clinical forensic psychologist, you should have a bachelor degree in clinical psychology. This is so to meet the requirements for the postdoctoral educational programme for GZ-psycholoog.
If you are more interested in legal psychology, you will trade the practical forensic internship for the legal psychology moot court, in which you will practice writing a legal psychology expert witness report. You will be prepared for a job as researcher or policy advisor in (forensic or) legal psychology, for example in institutions for forensic mental health, the ministry of Justice, and research institutions such as NRCR, WODC, or university.
Facts & Figures for Master Forensic and Legal Psychology
Instruction language: English
Mode of study: Full-time
Faculty: Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Location: Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam
Start date: September
Duration: 1 year
Study points (ECTS): 60
Double degree: No
Application Deadline (EEA): 1 June
Application Deadline (Non-EEA): 15 May
Tuition fees (2020-2021):
€2,168 (Statutory fee: Dutch / EEA students)
€12,300 (Institutional fee: Dutch / EEA students)
€15,500 (Institutional fee: non-EEA students)