Universiteit Maastricht

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Forensic Psychology


The master’s programme in Forensic Psychology prepares you for working as a scientist-practitioner in the forensic mental health field. Work in forensic settings is challenging. First of all, the patient group admitted to forensic settings is diverse and demanding, among which are persons with severe antisocial behaviour and co-morbid mental disorders (such as schizophrenia combined with substance use disorders).
Secondly, assessment and research questions in forensic settings are 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 be effective as an expert witness in court.


The programme is unique because of:

  • The selected, motivated, hardworking students
  • The learning in small groups
  • The close contact with professors and experts in the field
  • The practical skills labs throughout the first year
  • The clinical and research internship in the second year
  • The internship possibilities in various countries .

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.